Rumson School District Superintendent Scott Feder officially announced his resignation citing “cost of living” reasons, and now the district’s search for another superintendent begins anew after only a year and a half.
Feder was hired in January 2010 and announced his resignation officially last week. He will be taking over as superintendent of the Millstone School District.
Rumson Board of Education (BOE) President Colleen O’Connor said that a search consultant was hired on Thursday, May 5. She said the consultant will help the district to find the right person for the job. Scott Feder’s resignation letter was accepted by the BOE at a meeting last week.
Feder had no plans on leaving Rumson so soon. He said he and his family planned on moving to Rumson, but those plans changed with the new state salary caps that went into effect February 7, 2011. Those caps limit the salaries of superintendents and gives maximum salary amounts for superintendents depending on student enrollment figures. For Rumson, with approximately 1,000 students, the superintendent’s salary would be capped at $145,000 a year.
For Feder, he said the Millstone position, “is closer to where we live, closer to our roots. It is a better opportunity for my family,” Feder said. “When rule changes to caps were made, it made it difficult.” Feder explained that if he stayed in Rumson for a longer time, “I would have had to take a pay cut due to the new pay caps.” Feder said that he believes a superintendent should live, or be closer to the district in which he serves. He said, staying in Rumson after the salary caps were made, “became a financial burden.”
“It’s unfortunate this is happening, but I’m kind of stuck with the way things are,” he said. Asked if he will miss the Rumson School District, he responded, “Very much, I love my job, loved the community, the teachers and the board.”
“Great things happen in Rumson. It’s a great place to work,” Feder said. “I’m leaving the district in exceptional hands.”
O’Connor said, “I felt we had good leadership with him and were getting good things done. Now, this holds things up a bit.” She said that the board had a “great relationship with him, we all worked really well together. He enjoyed working in this district—we have great parents and kids.”
She added, “I think we’re going to be fine.” She said she understood how expensive it is to live in the Rumson area, and understands Feder’s position. “We understand, but we are disappointed.”
When asked what she is hearing from parents in the district about Feder’s resignation, O’Connor said that there is disappointment with his resignation. “It’s upsetting if you have children in the schools. Children are going to want to see some consistency.”
On finding a replacement, O'Connor said she is confident. “We’re a cohesive board and I feel confident that we’ll get the right person in very soon,” O’Connor said. She said that a search for an interim superintendent to take over when Feder leaves on July 31st is underway, and that perhaps an interim superintendent will serve through September 2011. She is hopeful that a new, permanent superintendent will be hired by October.
As for Feder’s reign over the district, O’Connor said, “Scott had a great business head and brought things to our district that we are going to continue. We wish him the best in his new district in Millstone.”