All they had originally intended to do was hire a high school football coach.
Instead, a special meeting called Tuesday night mushroomed because of several difficult and painful subjects that have hit the school district in the past week.
They included the possibility of who forged his credentials while treating nine Woodbridge schools for asbestos; the sudden and mysterious from her job last week; and the ongoing state investigation into several Woodbridge schools based on allegations of cheating on standardized tests.
But Tuesday night, one more school was added to the list of problematic institutions when Schools Superintendent John Crowe admitted that was also being investigated for cheating allegations by the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE)
Crowe dropped the bombshell in answer to Woodbridge resident 's questions about Woodbridge High and other schools in the district that have been under a cloud since charges of cheating first emerged earlier this year.
The superintendent said he had no idea when the NJDOE would be releasing its findings on investigations of , and .
Along with , the three schools were being investigated for a high number of wrong-to-right erasures on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) standardized tests. While Ford Avenue School was eventually cleared, the reports on the other two schools have not yet been made public.
Crowe did not elaborate on the nature of the investigation into Woodbridge High.
Pinkowitz - a former BOE candidate and a parent with a young daughter in district schools - was the only member of the public to ask the board questions at the beginning of the meeting.
He broached the subject of , the former assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction who resigned abruptly last week. Her job vacancy was immediately posted on the BOE's website.
Because Rotella's leaving the district was a personnel matter, nothing more was said in public about the cause of her departure. After the board came out of executive session, Board President Brian Small said Rotella's retirement was effective as of September 1, and that the board accepted her resignation after 39 years with the district "with regret."
The board meeting had been called to deal with personnel issues, including new hires, so most of the work and discussion would be going on behind closed doors when the board went into executive session.
The problem, though, was that so many board members have family members working in the district that it would be a conflict of interest for them to vote - but if they recused themselves en masse, the board wouldn't have a quorum to do business.
Board Attorney Jonathan Busch invoked the Doctrine of Necessity, a proviso of the School Ethics Act that allows board members to vote if they disclose the nature of the conflict of interest beforehand.
Five of the nine members on the board - Frank DellaPietro, Judy Leidner, Lawrence Miloscia, Jonathan Triebwasser, and President Brian Small - have family members who work in some capacity for the BOE.
After the board returned, Small announced the following hires:
- Joanna Albers, Language Arts teacher, Iselin Middle School, at a salary of $54,957;
- Jenna Tanis, Special Education teacher, Colonia High School, at a salary of $51,435;
- William Nyers, Head Football Coach, Woodbridge High School, at a salary of $9,435.