Jackson Schools Seeking Advice from Community on New Superintendent
Jackson, NJ – Thomas Gialanella, the superintendent of the Jackson School District is retiring at the end of this coming school year, but district officials are wasting no time in finding a replacement. The district is now conducting a “Superintendent Search” and is asking the community to help them choose the next leader of the district.
A public forum will be held on Thursday, October 11th from 6-8 p.m. at a location that has yet to be determined. Parents can also participate in an online survey located on the school district website, which has not yet been posted.
Gialanella will be retiring this year after an 11 year stint in the district.
Gialanella was hired by the Jackson School District Board of Education in September of 2002, replacing Margaret Quinn who had retired at the end of the previous school year. Prior to landing the job that paid him $196,000 last year, he served as assistant superintendent of schools in Brick Township.
Gialanella did not get a warm welcome from Jackson township residents at the polls. That spring, in 2003, Gialanella’s first school budget was defeated by voters in the township with 61% voting no in the school election. The next 5 school budgets under Gialanella were also soundly rejected by voters in the township until 2009, when the budget was accepted by voters by a margin of 131 votes. Budgets were subsequently rejected in 2010 and 2011.
In October of 2008, the Jackson School Board opted to renegotiate the contract with Gialanella upon his request, giving the superintendent a raise from $164,689 to $179,500 , plus an annual increase of 3.9 percent. That five year contract expires after this year. Under state law, in a school district the size of Jackson’s, he would have to take a $21,000 pay cut, with a salary cap of $175,000.
While Gialanella oversaw the opening of Jackson Liberty High School, in 2005, plans for a new elementary school on the site of Jackson Liberty’s and a third middle school never got off the ground. Prior to Gialanella’s arrival, in 2002, voters approved the new high school and he saw the completion of the new Elms Elementary School. Voters had rejected expansion plans proposed by Gialanella and the Board of Education at the polls, including golf course irrigation systems at sports fields and multiple solar energy initiatives.
Now, with Gialanella’s announced retirement, the district is asking for community input on what it would like to see in the next superintendent. Similar discussions were held prior to Gialanella’s arrival.
What qualities would you like to see in the next superintendent? Visit www.jacksonsd.org for more information on the search.