TOMS RIVER – High School East Principal Patrick Thomas was appointed by the Board of Education to be a new assistant superintendent, but it was not a unanimous choice.
Superintendent Michael Citta said that Thomas has been in the district about 27 years, of which he’s been a principal for about 11-12.
Although the assistant superintendents all collaborate on everything that goes on in the district, they each have a specialty. This position is for grades 6-12.
“When I was looking to fill the needs of a secondary (meaning grades 6-12) assistant superintendent, I wanted someone with practical building experience” and to hire from within, Citta said. “We interviewed a litany of people.”
Thomas had the experience with that age group, and has been able to ring in multiple character education awards for his school, he said.
Richard Fastnacht, who served as an assistant superintendent, will now be the Director of Grants and Funded Programs.
“With the eliminating of (former supervisor Dr. Estee Maillot’s position, so much has changed with the state and federal funding, and there’s a lot of grant writing, it made sense to consolidate it all to one person,” Citta said. “Richard’s experience made sense to move him over to that.”
Two board members disagreed with this change.
Michele Williams voted no, stating “I was not in accord with the way the vacancy was created.”
Anna Polozzo voted no “simply because it was handled improperly.”
Board member Kathleen Eagen recused herself from voting.
District Business Administrator William Doering said that Maillot’s ending salary was $158,865. Fastnacht’s current salary is $169,785. That is the same salary he last had as an Assistant Superintendent as his salary was frozen when he transitioned to the Director of Funded Programs/Testing position. His health benefits would be the same.
Thomas’ salary will be $170,000.