Teachers war with superintendent over NJ district’s return to buildings
HOLMDEL — Teachers have taken a nearly unanimous vote of "no confidence" against Acting Superintendent Lee Seitz as the district switches to all in-school learning against the wishes of the teachers union.
Seitz took over as superintendent for the 2020-21 school year while the district looks for a replacement for Robert McGarry, who took an assistant superintendent position with the the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public School District after six years. By law he can remain in the position for two years.
Holmdel Teachers Education Association president Denise King told a school board meeting on Dec. 16 that it's "ridiculous" to have to wait that long for a permanent replacement, according to an Asbury Park Press report.
King also told the meeting that 98% of the membership supported the vote because they believe Seitz has has not communicated the district's plans for in-person instruction, according to the Press report.
Seitz has served in three districts over the past 15 years, mostly in other interim positions.
Seitz was the superintendent of the Parsippany-Troy Hills for nearly seven years before leaving in 2013, according to his LinkedIn page. He then served as interim superintendent of the Franklin district for from 2014-1015, returned to Parsippany-Troy Hills from 2015 to 2017 on an interim basis and then worked 2019 to 2020 in Pequannock.
Parsippany-Troy Hills sued Seitz in 2012 to recover $38,000 in salary overpayment he received under a contract the state was forced to rescind when the state put a salary cap on superintendent contracts.
In a letter posted Dec. 19, the school board "voiced its support" for Seitz and schools opening for in-school instruction. The board accused the union of carrying out a "a spam assault on the community, using the services of an outside politically-oriented organization, to flood the email accounts of Board members and residents with their complaints."
Seitz and King on Thursday afternoon did not return New Jersey 101.5's requests for comment.