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Toms River BOE Appoints David Healy As New Superintendent

Terms of superintendent contract not released to public or media, however

Photo: Daniel Nee
Photo: Daniel Nee
David M. Healy will become the next superintendent of New Jersey's largest suburban school district.

The Toms River Regional Board of Education unanimously voted in favor of appointing Healy to lead the district Tuesday night, though two board members voted against approving his contract, the terms of which are still unclear.

Healy currently serves as superintendent of the Matawan-Aberdeen school district in Monmouth County and, before that, was assistant superintendent in the Middletown Township school district, also in Monmouth County. Healy also previously worked as a teacher with the New Jersey Department of Corrections, a principal for the Monmouth Ocean Education Services Commission and vice principal at Middletown High School North.

He will now lead the state's largest suburban school district, comprised of more than 17,000 students, 2,500 employees and the largest public school bus fleet in New Jersey.

"The most important action a school board can take is to appoint a new superintendent of schools," said Board of Education President Joseph Torrone, in a prepared statement. "We are very pleased to appoint a seasoned professional we believe is the right person to lead the Toms River Regional School District to the next level.

After the short board meeting ended, Healy said his experience working in a large district – Middletown, which is just slightly smaller than Toms River Regional – as well as leading the Matawan-Aberdeen district makes him both qualified and prepared to take on his new position.

Healy will lead a district still in the midst of a healing process after longtime superintendent Michael J. Ritacco was sent to prison in a large-scale bribery and kickback scandal, and is the first permanent superintendent to be appointed by the so-called "Clean Slate" team which holds a majority on the Board of Education.

"Middletown is a large and complex school district, and I think that was an important determining factor for this board," said Healy.

Among his accomplishments in Middletown was instituting a full-time kindergarten program for all students and developing 37 programs in 12 elementary schools without increasing taxes or reducing staff.

"Now, we have generations of students entering first grade where we've leveled the playing field," said Healy, indicating that he would like to begin a full-day kindergarten program in Toms River.

In Matawan, he said, he put into place a program to help put freshmen on the right track in high school, leading to an increase in HSPA test scores. The district also increased AP scores while significantly reducing disciplinary issues.

Tackling capital improvements while maintaining a stable tax rate is also a goal Healy has set.

"We're going to find some resources that we can reinvest in the facilities," he said.

Contract Terms Unclear, Yet to Be Approved

While Healy was formally appointed superintendent and a contract was signed in a closed-session meeting, district officials would not release a copy of that contract or divulge Healy's salary.

Board members said this was because the contract is still pending approval by the Ocean County Office of the New Jersey Department of Education. Torrone said the hold up was caused by departure of Chris Cerf from the position of state education commissioner and related staffing changes at the state level.

Two board members, Alex Pavliv and Ginny Rhine, publicly voted against the terms of the contract.

District spokeswoman Tammi Millar said officials are expecting the contract to be approved by Wednesday afternoon. Patch will follow up with the district at that time and provide an update.
Betty Boop March 12, 2014 at 11:36 AM
Bob, you need an "outsider" to make changes. "Insiders" can't or won't because of how they got to their positions to begin with.
grace March 12, 2014 at 02:17 PM
@betty boop isnt it something how best bud cardone made that salary? amazing.. thanks mike! oh and thanks for my wifes principal job and all my kids their cousins and wedded partners you gave jobs to>>. ah toms river schools at their best
letsgetreal March 12, 2014 at 07:11 PM
Ok Ok ....I agree with much said, but how about we stop and see what happens with this New Appointment. Like it or not the Ritacco invest is over and its time put that crap behind us already. Nothing else is gonna be answered, or investigated so bitching the constant is not gonna change anything. We as a community need to get this district back on track. Bottom line, we live in this community and it only benefits us by having a strong district (i.e. tax wise, property value etc) for us to support and be positive that things will turn around for the better. (I am going to remain cautiously optimistic I am turning over a new leaf) MARUCA-FAILED your meds have worn off again....today is Wed you need to run to your pill box and remove the pills marked WEDNESDAY and take them!! LOL
grace March 13, 2014 at 09:13 AM
hi linda baloney i do agree but the amount of people hired by ritacco takes up alot....they didnt have degrees and so on...just disturbs me lol

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