BRICK – Members of the Board of Education went outside the district and outside the county to find the next Superintendent of Schools, who was named at the most recent Board of Education meeting.
Gerard Dalton accepted a four-year contract starting on July 1, 2018, replacing acting superintendent of schools Dennis Filippone, who is a long-time administrator in the district and did not seek the position.
As the assistant superintendent of schools of the highly-rated West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, Dalton stood out amongst other candidates and impressed the board members with his vision and experience, said Board President Stephanie Wohlrab.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North is rated number 10 in the top-ranked high schools in the state.
Dalton’s boss, Superintendent of West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District David Aderhold, attended the meeting in support of his co-worker.
“Gerard and I worked together for eight years, so it’s with a heavy heart I come here to support my friend and colleague,” he said. “I can’t think of a finer individual you could have selected.”
Aderhold called Dalton “a consummate champion for students,” and said that Brick was making “a tremendous decision for the community of Brick, but it is a loss to West Windsor- Plainsboro.”
Three administrators from the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district, who Dalton had mentored and hired, also attended the meeting, as did Michele Kaish, who serves as the vice president of the Board of Education there.
“Selfishly, I wish I could tell you you are making a mistake and you should hire another candidate, and hiring Gerard Dalton is a really bad idea, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Kaish said.
She said that Dalton is “inspirational, an effective communicator, a true team player who deeply cares about the district families and staff.”
“I, above everybody else, welcome you,” quipped Filippone, who would be returning to his previous position of District Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation.
“I look forward with great anticipation to being able to work with you. Everything that I know about you, everything I’ve heard about you gets me excited about the process and the possibilities,” Filippone said.
The acting superintendent said the district is in need of long-term leadership after having 10 superintendents in 10 years. “That’s not a positive for any district,” he said.
Dalton’s comments were brief.
“I am honored to have been chosen, and humbled to serve this community,” he said. “I really enjoyed the interview process. I walked out each time not sure where I stood. You left me guessing.”
Dalton said he looks forward to building relationships with the board, with the faculty and staff, and with the community.
“I hope that they are long-lasting relationships in the service of children, and I want to stress that it’s always in the service of children,” he said.
As assistant superintendent at West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, Dalton oversaw pupil services, special education, guidance, athletics, crisis management and more.
His previous experience includes serving as principal of one of the two middle schools in the district, and as principal in the Clinton School District.
He is a graduate of St. Peter’s College with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration.
Dalton’s first year salary would be $190,000, and with yearly increments, his salary will top out at $196,000 in his fourth year.
The next regularly-scheduled Board of Education meeting will be on Thursday, May 31, but before that, a hearing on the school budget is scheduled for Thursday, April 26.
Both meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the Professional Development Center at the Veteran’s Complex.