When Fair Haven Schools Superintendent Kathleen Cronin's letter of retirement was accepted by the Board of Education not long ago, there was reluctance and regret that came with the approval vote, but also heartfelt good wishes.
The board didn't want to let her go. They didn't want to be faced with replacing the district's top administrator, who had grown quite popular in her tenure in the district since December 2007.
With her retirement becoming effective at the end of the school year, on June 30, the hunt is on for a suitable replacement.
As is status quo with the Fair Haven schools, when such a major change is in the works, such as an administrator leaving, district officials usually reach out to the community for input.
As with the search for a Sickles School principal, Fair Haven school district officials are again reaching out to the community for input in finding the schools' next superintendent.
So, if you have something to say about it, now's the time. There will be an open forum, for which public input is being sought, concerning the superintendent search process tomorrow night, Jan. 10 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Media Center at Knollwood School.
"Come share your perspective on the traits and skills you feel are important in our next superintendent and learn more about the search process," a message on the schools website said. "The forum will be moderated by Richard Marasco, from Leadership Advantage, a superintendent search firm."
The cost of the search firm has not yet been disclosed.
Including her work in Fair Haven, Cronin has nearly 25 years of experience and earned a salary of roughly $150,100, according to the latest state records.
When first hired, her salary was $145,000 through the 2009 school year, according to her contract. The salary increased to $150,075 for the 2009-10 school year and went up based on negotiations between Cronin and the board thereafter, the contract added.
Before becoming superintendent in Fair Haven, Cronin spent 20 years in the Rumson schools as principal of both Deane-Porter and Forrestdale schools, curriculum supervisor for the district and as an English teacher at Forrestdale.
If you cannot attend the forum, schools officials still welcome input through Jan. 11. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, inserting "superintendent search" in the subject line, with your perspectives.
Between Rumson and Fair Haven, there are three boards of education and sets of administrators: one for Rumson schools, one for Fair Haven and another for Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.There are a total of five schools between the three school districts.
Do you think the three districts should combine or do you feel that it's better to focus efforts on each district separately? Tell us in the comments section below.