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Mystery Surrounds Woodbridge Assistant School Superintendent's Departure

Lois Rotella, the Woodbridge school district's assistant superintendent, is no longer employed by the BOE, and no one is saying what happened.


The sudden departure of the second in command has set tongues wagging in the township.

Lois Rotella, the longtime assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, was mysteriously missing from her job in the last week. Board of Education administrators have not returned repeated phone calls about what happened to Rotella, and whether her leaving was her choice or not.

Neither Schools Superintendent John Crowe or Business Administrator Dennis DeMarino were available for comment.

Julie Bair, director of special services for the district, was left in charge on Friday. She said she had "no comment" about Rotella's fate.

"You can call her and ask her for her comments," Bair said before hanging up.

Rotella, who lives in Edison, also had nothing to say when she was contacted.

The district has been notoriously tight-lipped about matters since various schools have been under investigation by the State Board of Education's Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance. 

The state came into the district earlier this year to investigate three schools because of a high number of wrong-to-right erasures on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) standardized tests.

One of the three schools, Ford Avenue School, was eventually cleared, with a warning that if the school testing exhibits similiar number of wrong-to-right changes in future tests, the state investigators will be back in force.

The two other schools, Avenel Street School 4 & 5 and Ross Street School, are still under investigation, and the results of those inquiries have not yet been released. Several of the schools had changes in principals after the investigations began.

The investigations were based upon the 2010 NJASK tests. The statistic results of the 2011 test, and this year's test, have not been released.

Rotella's assistant superintendent job was advertising for applicants in a online post dated August 1. 

The Board of Education advertised on August 2 that they would be holding a special meeting on Tuesday, August 7, where they will "immediately retire into closed session to discuss personnel matters."

The special meeting will be held at 6:30 pm at Oak Ridge Heights School in Colonia.

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Tom Maras August 04, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Allegedly, Ms. Rotella's sudden departure (retirement) has more to do with testing shenanigans at Woodbridge High School than the other schools. If the allegation hold, as Ms. Rotella's rapid departure may suggest they will, other high ranking school officials could be checking there pension status.
olga bocchiaro August 05, 2012 at 03:45 PM
It would be refreshing to see some justice brought to our tax dollar with the ridiculous amount of our tax dollars going to over inflated pensions and deceit in our school systems. The only ones fooled are our children when they have to go into the real world not properly educated or prepared so someone can live a great life style on our dime.
7 out August 11, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Teacher pensions are deferred compensation. Without them salaries would be comparable to the private sector. Most teachers have advanced degrees and wouldn't teach without good wages and benefits. You want Walmart wages then expect Walmart quality workers.
Bucky Winters August 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I find it sad, but normal behavior in which a phone call asking what happen isn't returned. Really people, how dare you ask your officials to be accountable for your tax dollars! 7 and out. Teachers have a dream schedule and are paid extremely well with great benefits. Don't compare yourself to a private sector worker. You didn't go to the private sector because you wouldn't last. There is no tenure and there is accountability. You know the pay before going in. Stop acting like you signed a million dollar contract and then were duped. Also, how many of your advanced degrees were paid for by the taxpayers?
Bucky Winters August 19, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Teachers have a dream schedule and are paid extremely well with great benefits. Don't compare yourself to a private sector worker. You didn't go to the private sector because you wouldn't last. There is no tenure and there is accountability. You know the pay before going in. Stop acting like you signed a million dollar contract and then were duped. Also, how many of your advanced degrees were paid for by the taxpayers? A normal and clear thinking person would weigh the cost of the Master's degree and the potential benefit. If the cost outweighs the benefit, you don't spend the money. This simple cost/benefit is Economics 101. You should have learned this in undergraduate. Unless, you feel a sense of entitlement and someone else is paying for it, then all rational thought goes out the window. Only in the teacher's union and thought process are the laws of supply and demand, cost benefit analysis, and basic economics are totally inverse.
Kay Smith August 21, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Wow Mr. Winters, I couldn't have said it any better. These teachers have it made and still want more. I believe some teachers deserve every dime but there are way to many that hide behind their tenure and do nothing and are allowed to do so because it's to much work to get rid of them.
NotInKansasAnymore August 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Oh I believe they are paid better then Walmart workers. I also believe the Walmart workers probably only get 2 short breaks a day, with an unpaid lunch and they also put in a whole 8 hours. They don't work for 6 1/2 hours, get an hour paid lunch (included in the 6 1/2 hours) plus professional periods to prepare for the next (short) day. Plus alot of days off, the whole summer off, great benefits....Gimme a break. If teachers think they have it so rough they should find another line of work. Also, I was told School #14 was cleared by an internal, NOT STATE, investigation. Well do you think the township would find them guilty! I think the state gave them a little too much credit to do the right thing.

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