ROSELLE, NJ — Schools Superintendent Richard Corbett has announced he will resign from his post less than one year into his contract, the latest in a series of top officials who have left or plan to leave the district this year.
School board member Arthur Rice resigned in January, followed by board Secretary Dorian Timmons that same month. The business administrator, Jason Jones, and his secretary, Jade Wilson, were also “relieved of their responsibilities” effective Jan. 30.
“Until my last day, June 30, 2018, I remain committed to the mission of this district; to prepare students for college, work and life,” Corbett said in a statement to LocalSource. “I also intend to facilitate a smooth transition to new leadership which will benefit our students and community. Over the next two months, these will be my priorities.”
The departures also follow a high-profile battle over funding for the so-called Mind Body Complex with the borough that had to be scuttled when a former school board member sued.
Corbett served on an interim basis for about six months before being officially appointed the top administrator in June for a two-year contract. State records show he made $127,000 annually.
He formerly served as a superintendent in East Newark and Hardyston. Corbett did not indicate his plans for the future in his statement to LocalSource.
The school board has faced a number of hurdles in the last year. Most recently, two special audits have been approved by the board since the departure of the board’s administrator and his secretary, who were officially terminated by the board May 19.
On March 13, the board officially appointed Donohue, Doria & Tomkins, a Bayonne-based firm, to conduct a special forensic audit. In February, school board member Archange Antoine made a motion to ask the state Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance to investigate the district’s central office.
State Department of Education staff planned to meet with local school officials, DOE spokesman Michael Yaple told Local Source in March.
“The district reached out to the Department looking for assistance, and we continue to work with the district,” Yaple said in a May 7 email. “I should note that the DOE regularly meets with districts officials throughout the county. The Department’s County Office of Education holds regular meetings with individual school districts on an ongoing basis to discuss whatever matters are relevant at the time.”
Rice resigned about one year into his elected term, and for about two months afterwards, the board was unable to pass any measures due to a lack of a quorum or tied votes.
The board eventually voted to appoint Courtney Washington to fill Rice’s vacant seat after a round of public interviews.
Meanwhile, Anthony Juskiewicz is listed as the the interim business administrator on the Roselle Board of Education website.
School board President Patricia Fabrizio said in a statement said the board is experiencing “a time of great transition.”
“Dr. Corbett arrived in Roselle during a time of great transition and he leaves us with a clearer picture on what we need to do to move forward and continue and grow our tradition of education excellence in Roselle,” Fabrizio said.
Archange thanked his fellow school board members who accepted the resignation of the current superintendent, saying, “We will be creating a committee of community leaders, administrators, teachers and students to pick our next superintendent,” in a public Facebook post.