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Toms River North Principal Chosen as New District Assistant Superintendent

James Hauenstein among eight candidates interviewed

The news of James Hauenstein's appointment by the Toms River Regional School Board found him surrounded by a large crowd of people, each waiting to personally congratulate the newest assistant superintendent.

Hauenstein, who has served 12 years in administration and 17 in teaching, smiled broadly and reciprocated dozens of handshakes, hugs and congratulations with a hearty "thank you" to each.

Toms River High School North Principal Hauenstein will serve as the newest assistant superintendent for Toms River Regional Schools.

The announcement came with a standing ovation in the school Hauenstein oversees, Toms River North, where Tuesday's board of education meeting was held.

"It will be difficult to walk out that door," Hauenstein said after the school board meeting. "It will not be easy to walk of out this building and say goodbye. It will be bittersweet."

The school district’s third assistant superintendent position has been vacant since Frank Roselli served as interim Superintendent in October, when then-Superintendent Michael J. Ritacco resigned amid scandal. Tuesday, the school board discussed who should fill the spot.

While Roselli has been holding both the superintendent and assistant superintendent positions, issues affecting the high schools and special education did not have a dedicated assistant superintendent to address them.

“Though I received tremendous support from the two assistant and high school principals, it’s not a way to run a school district,” Roselli said tonight. “We look to be proactive, not reactive, and it’s my opinion it’s in the best interest to have this position filled.”

The district has had the job posting up for about six weeks, said district spokesperson Tammi Millar. Roselli said 33 applicants applied and eight were interviewed.

“Frank Roselli has been serving as both but felt this is a position that needs to be filled,” Millar said.

After a series of screenings and interviews, the Toms River Regional School Board met in executive session Tuesday to discuss which candidate to appoint. Roselli said six candidates were from inside the district and two applicants were from outside the Toms River Regional Schools.

The assistant superintendent position is dedicated to the district’s three high schools — North, East and South — as well as the 2,100 special education students.

Millar said the assistant superintendent position did not have a search for candidates, instead the vacancy was posted and advertised.

Hauenstein said his background includes instruction and administration of high school and special education.

He started in the district as a special education instructor at Intermediate East in 1982, before becoming Cedar Grove Elementary's supervisor of instruction. He also served as an assistant principal and building principal at Toms River Intermediate East.

For the past seven years, Hauenstein was the principal for Toms River North High School, where he pointed to success in bringing up SAT scores, focusing on student's ownership of their goals, and installing specialized programs for the special education students. For example, the school recently installed a job shadowing program for its special education students, Hauenstein said.

Hauenstein said he applied for the job both because he believes in the district and because he hopes the position will challenge him.

"Toms River is a great district, an outstanding district," he said. "I hope whatever talents I have can be used in this role to continue to impact and improve the district for all its students."

ZeroHedge July 20, 2011 at 01:19 AM
Three ASSISTANT superintendants !!!!!!! people need to WAKE UP and PROPERTY TAX REVOLT !
lalamama July 20, 2011 at 01:59 AM
""The assistant superintendent position is dedicated to the district’s three high schools — North, East and South — as well as the 2,100 special education students."" The district has 17 schools. There's always been 3 ASSISTANT superintendents. Running a huge school district is a lot of work and requires expertise and experience.
curious July 20, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Congratulations. You got where you wanted to go by climbing on the backs of the little people at North. How to become a Super? Treat the staff like elementary school children, manage the students with empty threats of "disciplinary consequences" that never materialized, and using staff for extra work and taking credit for it yourself. The last requirement is to brown nose Roselli, but fail to stand up for the people who did the work you took credit for. Must not rattle any cages. Doing the right thing might jeopardize your ambitions. We were all pawns in your quest to make North "look good." (Your words) Really? Is that what education is about?
Ken G July 20, 2011 at 03:42 AM
I'd like to see some of you people manage a school district on your own.
fed up July 20, 2011 at 03:47 AM
@ lalala you live in lala land . The business as usual attitude is not continuing ask Chris Christie.! Just because there has always been 3 does not mean we need three . Oh yess, they were experts. Experts in ripping off the taxpayers, lining their pockets and turning a blind eye to our previous super? .
just me July 20, 2011 at 04:41 AM
The "fat" never seems to be cut from the top. Teachers are expected to do more with less --- why should it be any different at the top??
Sean Conneamhe July 20, 2011 at 09:33 AM
Congratulations!
lalamama July 20, 2011 at 11:26 AM
Congratulations Mr. Hausenstein! You deserve to be where you are! And no, I don't live in lala land. You obviously have no idea what it takes to run a school district. Find something else to cry about. Just because Ritacco was a dirty thief, doesn't mean the entire school board is tainted. There were people who just went to work. Bill Cardone was incredible at his job. It always happens that when someone gets praised, there's going to be people who cry about it and say how they don't deserve to be in that position and state fictional facts... It's a bad attitude and sets a bad example. We'll never get out of the Ritacco era if people keep this up. We'll just keep going in circles.
Uglykid825 July 20, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Just don't... Buy you kids cars with taxpayer money Buy your daughter a new kitchen with taxpayer money Buy Rolex watched with our money Have Pavin design your son's house with our money Build your kids homes with our money and you just might end up being better than your old dear friend MJR
walt tupycia July 20, 2011 at 12:07 PM
what is going on withe cedar drove school state investagating.
B.A. Ware July 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM
You're worried about your property tax and you don't even have a clue obviously where your tax dollars go. Three Asst. Superintendents you ask? Yes, my friend. Let me fill you in...............each Superintendent oversees thousands of students on the elementary level, intermediate level and high school level, not to mention special education. There is one Administrator for each level - the "three" levels of education. Obviously you are unaware of where your tax dollars go. Or maybe you just never had children go through our school district, or better yet, maybe you did have children who went through the district and just didn't take a vested interest in your childs education! You know who needs to wake up...............you do!
lalamama July 20, 2011 at 01:01 PM
@Walt, it has to with 'wrong to right' erasure marks on state exams if I read the article correctly.
Uglykid825 July 20, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Please enlighten us.... That is where Nesta used to bilk the taxpayers out of his 6-digit salary being the 'resource officer' And then Lt. Nesta retired all the sudden last summer
Gretta July 21, 2011 at 03:22 AM
Why would you need 3 Asst. Supers? The VPs do discipline of the students - the Curriculum Supervisors oversee all the curriculum for the students. Special Ed has a Director and a child study team - not to mention Guidance has a Director and councelors overseeing every student in the district. There are so many other administrators not mentioned - Principals, Athletic Director, etc. There is not a need for 3.
Malinda Matthews LaVolpe July 22, 2011 at 05:46 AM
CONGRATUALATIONS MR. HAUNENSTEIN. I had you in middle school and if you are the same good-natured, caring person, you will do a great job!!!
walt tupycia July 22, 2011 at 02:23 PM
state of delaware only has one super per county and no assistants.principles help out.
Pat July 24, 2011 at 06:49 PM
I agree, Mr. Hauenstein deserves the position, and I think he's great!!!
Pat July 24, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Absolutely! Running a large school district with just the minimum amount of superintendents will not get the job or jobs done. I wouldn't want any of their positions because of the amount of work and dedication that comes along with the job title. As I said before, Mr. Pizza should be voted as the assistant to take over Mr. Cardone's position, and if anyone thinks that they can run all of the elementary schools, attend numerous faculty meetings, attend to the curriculum and keep current with all the new programs that are come out, and that is only mentioning the tip of what Mr. Cardone had to do, then let that person handle that job and see how it is on the other end. I agree with B.A. Ware and that person should wake up.
Pat July 24, 2011 at 07:01 PM
You obviously don't know what the superintendent does, so I will just consider your comment as coming from ignorance!
fed up July 24, 2011 at 08:20 PM
I think we can be assured that those who judge others and do not question the fat at the top are the very ones at the Top or are benefitting from their check . We will wake up when our tax dollars are directed to the children . Not to pad the pockets of those who are not in the classroom . We out here in the public work with less staff and get the job done crazy right? Plus ,To have another North suck up at the top should really get things done at South and East !! As a TRHSS.. we have no AC no books no fancy uniforms no warm ups for our teams . But, We do have rats (Not the senior staff ),Ceilings falling down etc . You all sound like your rep Ms Barbara who spent millions of your dollars to get nothing . That is how us parents feel. Soon we will all wake up together when the NJ education model is changed . Vouchers for all!!
Seaside River July 25, 2011 at 03:51 AM
There are multi administrators in each school building already. I don't think eliminating an asst. super would impact the students in any way. Try it for one year at least and then make a decision.
Pat July 25, 2011 at 08:22 AM
Eliminate some of the assistant principals in the high schools and intermediate schools first and then made a decision. Why do we need an assistant principal for each grade levels? That is where all the money is spent.
Seaside River July 25, 2011 at 02:25 PM
I agree! in addition to the 3rd asst. superintendent, trying all of these eliminations for one year is a great idea.

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