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Engravalle Appointed Superintendent For Next Three Years

The appointment, which was not a unanimous decision on the part of the school board, is pending county approval; the Fort Lee BOE also voted Tuesday to appoint Dr. Sharon Amato Assistant Superintendent of Schools through June 2013.

Fort Lee’s Interim Superintendent of Schools Steven Engravalle will not be serving in an “interim” capacity for much longer, after the voted 5 to 2 Tuesday to appoint him to the post of Superintendent of Fort Lee Schools for the next three years, pending approval of his contract by the Executive County Superintendent of Schools.

The school board also appointed Dr. Sharon Amato Assistant Superintendent of Schools through the end of the upcoming school year.

Board members Charlie Luppino, Angela Napolitano, Peter Suh, board president Arthur Levine and board vice president Linda McCue voted in favor of Engravalle’s appointment, while board members Yusang Park and Helen Yoon, who said "absolutely no" to the resolution, voted against the appointment.

Board members Joseph Surace and John Bang were not in attendance at the meeting.

If approved by the executive county superintendent, Engravalle’s contract will be effective July 1 through June 30, 2015 and calls for a salary of $167,500. The resolution appointing Engravalle also stipulates that the former acting and now soon-to-be former interim superintendent will be paid $147,462 until “county and board approval has been received.”

Amato’s contract is effective July 1 through June 30, 2013 and comes with a salary of $141,462. However until her contract is approved at the county level, Amato will continue to serve as Interim Administrative Assistant to the District Superintendent at a per diem rate of $544 a day.

Amato's appointment was unanimous, although Suh abstained, saying, "I may have a conflict."

Asked if the school board conducted reference checks on both of the finalists for the position, Suh, who also serves as chair of the personnel committee, said, “On this occasion, no.”

Pressed on whether every member of the board had a chance to review the contract to be submitted to the executive county superintendent, Park, who was not in attendance at a special private session last week at which the contract was discussed, said he had not.

“I did not get a chance to take a look at this contract,” Park said. “It was handed to me during executive session [Tuesday].”

But Napolitano sought to set the record straight, saying, “Last week, during the private session, we discussed what we were going to put in the contract.”

“I just want the public to know that,” Napolitano said. “So it’s not blindsided.”

Board attorney Matthew Giacobbe said that when the board met in private session last week, they “gave direction, and we immediately put together the contracts,” and that Engravalle’s is “modeled after” the interim superintendent contract the board approved in March, which Giacobbe noted “was approved by the executive county superintendent.”

“A letter was sent to the executive county superintendent; [Business Administrator Cheryl Balletto] has spoken with the executive county superintendent’s office today,” Giacobbe said at Tuesday’s meeting. “They are in the process of reviewing it. They are cognizant that it is based on the other contract that they reviewed, and a letter should be forthcoming approving it.”

Fort Lee resident Nancy Stern, premising her questions by saying she was only asking about the process of hiring a superintendent, asked if there was "a provision in the contract for the 15 percent allowable increase for stipend due to merit?"

Giacobbe said that was the only difference from the interim superintendent contract approved in March.

“What’s happened recently is a lot of the executive county superintendents are writing back, asking that you take that out of the contract, and then they will do an addendum later on,” he said, adding, “They might have minor language changes.”

“Everything else remains exactly the same,” Giacobbe said.

Check back for more on Tuesday’s special meeting of the Fort Lee Board of Education.

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Tracy June 27, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Congratulations! I am very happy and relieved that we have continuity of leadership. Best of luck and keep up the great educational-focused work!
Luca D. June 27, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Tonight we congratulate you, tomorrow, we ask you to get to work on the issues of importance.
William Mays June 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM
How am I not surprised? Although Park and Yoon did the right thing.
Art Elmers June 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Billy, by right thing, you mean Yoon not attending any of the Superintendent interviews, and then deciding to vote anyway. If I remember, one of the charges you made against Mr Engravalle was that he didn't personally observe the teachers that were not rehired. If you can criticize him for that then you should criticize Yoon for her lack of due diligence.
Elvert June 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Yoon is playing the role of obstructionist. She opposes everything! I wasted my time voting her.
Lisa Salvato June 27, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Your angry old lady meanness is coming out again. Maybe you should go get a job and be happy for a change. The fighting is over. We need to all help make the school better. It's tiring to see you complain on things you know nothing about.
Lisa Salvato June 27, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Park kept saying he didn't get a chance to read the contract. Then we find out it was because he missed so many meetings. Him and Yoon abstained from the insurance vote and now we have no insurance.
Tracy June 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I do object to the BOE's not approving the accident insurance for the school grounds. As of July 1, if someone gets hurt in the town camp that is held on school property or at any of the SD summer programs the medical expenses will need to be paid directly from SD budget. Yesterday was not the time to vote against something that is required, and within reasonable budgeting because you wanted a round of applause and give the appearance of 'transparency'. Even the lawyer warned of this trouble and it was still voted down. It borders on gross negligence. This is voted on and approved year after year, going out to bid should have been done months ago but it was not an issue-- its too late to go out now. A BOE member should have just tagged it as a pet project for next year and approved the insurance resolution. I have been supportive of the change in dynamics of the BOE over the past year, but this was just without validity, without objective reasons.
Anna June 27, 2012 at 06:26 PM
She should be impeached.
Robert June 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Helen Yoon apparently never shows up to anything. She misses meetings , I am told she did not attend any of the interviews and she voted for the search. Thanks to Andrew Kim for bringing her and her whipping boy Park.
William Mays June 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I have a job, and the schools will only get better when Engravalle gets a better job offer from some other town and leaves, which will probably be sometime soon.
William Mays June 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Yeah , I criticized Yoon for not attending meetings before, but she voted the way I wanted, so for now I'm happy.
Paul Umrichin June 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM
The camp is run by the borough. They have their own insurance for the kids. The insurance vote was negligent on the parts of the board. Same company, same cost, NO INCREASE for the same coverage. They could have taken the time over the next year to go out to bid rather than vote no last night.
Tracy June 28, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Paul - its off the article subject but property accident insurance is still neccessary for the owners of the property, correct? Bourough's is there (thanks goodness) but i think that the SD is still liable.Especially in todays litigious society.
Wonk June 28, 2012 at 01:58 PM
It is off topic, and suspicious that you brought it up here. Almost like someone asked you to bring this up to try and take focus away from the Engravalle vote...
Tracy June 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Yes, it is off topic and it was in reference to Lisa's comment. It could have used its own article. I don't need to disuade from the article, Engravalle has done a good job for the past two years and has been able to do more as the Interim of six months than the last six years. I have always supported him, his philosophies and ability to remain focused on what is best for the children, (not just placate the adults), calm and stoic in very anatagonistic times. And, I am looking forward to see what else he can do. The vote was 5-2, what's the issue there? It was no surprise.
Lisa Salvato June 28, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Sorry Tracy Mattei. I didn't mean to go off topic. I was just annoyed about Yoon and Park voting on this resolution and on the insurance resolution witjout having all the facts because they miss so many meetings.
Billy Mays June 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Robert, You are talking through your hat again.
Tracy June 30, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Lisa--it was a good subject/comment-- and it did get its own article after.
Billy Mays July 01, 2012 at 01:27 AM
And sometimes you talk through somewhere else Robert.
Billy Mays July 01, 2012 at 01:29 AM
You were told wrong. There you go, off to jumping to conclusions. You know more and more about less and less. Keep up the good work.
Billy Mays July 01, 2012 at 01:29 AM
It is off topic, and suspicious that you brought it up here. Almost like someone asked you to bring this up to try and take focus away from the Engravalle vote...
William Mays July 01, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Wow, the moron who impersonated Lisa and me used Tracy's profile pic. Tracy, the person hasn't actually hacked our accounts, they just create fake names.
Paul Umrichin July 01, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Seeing as Tracy is the owner of that picture and someone is using her likeness publicly without her release, I'm pretty sure it's a violation of some law on the books.
Deb Fein July 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I'm with you Tracy. Continuity is important.
Deb Fein July 01, 2012 at 01:50 PM
They just extended the accident insurance.
Paul Umrichin July 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Wait a minute; "Billy Mays" is a fake name, and the person using that name here is using his likeness publicly without his family's release, I'm pretty sure it's a violation of some law on the books. But then again, what do I know. I'm not the smartest person in the world.
William Mays July 01, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Billy Mays 9:29 pm on Saturday, June 30, 2012 It is off topic, and suspicious that you brought it up here. Almost like someone asked you to bring this up to try and take focus away from the Engravalle vote... Thats not me.
William Mays July 01, 2012 at 05:33 PM
It's not really up to the editor, they can't change the registration system. If Patch really wanted to get rid of this person, they'd threaten legal action. Thats not up to the editors however.

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