One of Woodbridge High School’s vice principals and its guidance/special education department supervisor have been suspended pending an ongoing investigation, according to the Board of Education.
Vice Principal Martin Scarano has been suspended with pay effective June 7 and Brian Russo, the guidance/special education department supervisor, was also suspended, effective immediately, according to the personnel report distributed at Thursday night's Board of Education meeting.
Details of the investigation into Scarano and Russo could not be released, Board of Education President Ezio Tamburello said. It was also not clear whether the two suspensions were related.
When reached at his Allentown home Wednesday morning, Scarano said he had "no comment" on the situation.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Zega said Wednesday he could not speak on the matter since it is ongoing.
According to the personnel agenda, Matthew Connelly will be hired effective July 1 as the school's acting vice principal. Woodbridge High’s other vice principal, Steven Caroscio, will take over as principal, replacing Lee Warren, who is retiring at the end of this school year. Abdulsaleem Hasan will be taking Caroscio’s vice principal position as of July 1.
Scarano is paid a salary of $122,235, according to latest information from APP.com Data Universe. Russo’s salary was listed as $70,120 for his previous position as a special education teacher before he was named guidance/special education department supervisor.
Scarano began teaching at Woodbridge High, his Alma mater, in 1995 as a special education teacher. He coached soccer and basketball for six years before becoming athletic director in 2001. In 2005, he became one of two vice principals at the high school.
Russo, also a Woodbridge High graduate, resigned as the school’s head football coach last summer to take the guidance/special education department supervisor position for the 2012-13 school year.
The district has also suspended Avenel Middle School teacher, Randall Hunt, effective June 11 pending further action from the Board of Education.
The suspensions come less than one year after Woodbridge High School was investigated by the NJ Department of Education, based on allegations of cheating on standardized tests in August of 2012.
That same year, Avenel Street and Ross Street schools were discovered to be cheating after the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance reported a high numbers of wrong-to-right erasures on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, or NJASK, standardized test.
The cheating at the two schools led to the suspension of five teachers, one of whom was recently fired in April. Patch previously reported that John Radzik was dismissed by the Board of Education on April 18. Fords Avenue School was also investigated for cheating in 2012, but nothing was found.
Deborah Bell also contributed to this report.