They also intended to conduct a second and final round of interviews this past Friday.
Board members have spent two weeks narrowing down a field of 30 applicants to the two finalists.
The superintendent search is an important one, as that person will oversee Hoboken's six public schools and two parent-founded charter schools. The schools have long been at the center of a battle between political forces over whether they are improving quickly enough and how to best serve the student population.
The new superintendent will be appointed at a special session to be held on Wednesday, Feb. 28, and will be officially introduced to the public at a board meeting set for March 1.
Short notice on forum
Board President James Farina said last week that in order to notify parents of the public hearing, ads were placed in this weekend's newspapers and notices would be sent home with Hoboken public school students on Monday. It is unclear how many members of the public - especially parents of small children - will be able to clear time in their schedules on such short notice.
New Jersey School Boards Administration Representative Cathie Sousa, who has been guiding the board through the selection process, said that a date for the forum could not have been set any earlier because the board was still involved in the interview process through Feb. 22.
Board Trustee Theresa Burns said that no date could be set until the two finalists were chosen.
"We don't know for sure who we're going to have there, and what their schedule will be like," Burns said.
But she added that the board does, indeed, want the public involved.
"We'll certainly reach out to everyone in the schools and in the community that we can," she said.
From 30 to three
The number of candidates for the position had been whittled down from 30 to three after the first round of interviews, said Farina. He said the interviews have each been about 45 minutes long.
"The questions covered a wide range of ideas and educational goals," he said. "Plenty of information was given back and forth between candidates and board members."
"It's been very interesting and very intense," said Trustee Captain Anthony Romano. "There are a lot of quality candidates."
"The process has met my expectations, and I have high expectations," said Burns.
So who will it be?
Members of the Board of Education would not give any details about the finalists, but some did share the qualifications that they were looking for.
"The person should be a competent administrator," said Romano. "Someone who has a knowledge of budgeting, who has a good relationship with the Board of Education, who knows about federal programs and grants, who can deal well with the teachers and can reach out to all aspects of the community."
Farina said, "He or she should have knowledge of an urban educational environment and what the board is striving for in terms of test scores, as well as different kinds of new and innovative educational goals."
Current superintendent Patrick Gagliardi has held his current position for a little more than eight years, and will be staying on as assistant superintendent and as principal of Hoboken High School through the end of June in order to ease the transition process for the new head administrator.
The many duties that the new superintendent will be tasked with include setting the budget for the entire school system and administering all personnel.
"It's a big decision that's resting on the board's shoulders," said Romano. "I'd like to think that there is wisdom being used and deliberation being done in choosing [the finalists]."
Past rumors stated that former Board President John Raslowsky II, a Hoboken resident who for 11 years was principal of the respected St. Peter's Preparatory School in Jersey City, was the favorite all along.
"People would be very shocked if Jack Raslowsky didn't get the job," said Hoboken resident Maureen Sullivan, a parent of two children at the Wallace Primary School, recently.
Last year, Raslowsky resigned his post as school board president in order to apply.
Raslowsky served as the principal of St. Peter's Preparatory School for 11 years. He was then appointed the provincial assistant for Education and Lay Formation of the New York Province Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. In this role, he oversees the work of the seven Jesuit high schools and five middle schools in New York and New Jersey, and sits on the Board of Trustees of each institution.
Raslowsky said in a prior article that he had applied, but did not believe he was receiving favoritism. The board members said they had not made any decisions.
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