The Guttenberg School District recently welcomed a new superintendent, Michelle Rosenberg. The town is so small that it only has one school – Anna L. Klein, an elementary school – and high school students cross the border to attend North Bergen High School. Nevertheless, the district employs a full-time superintendent in addition to Klein School Principal Pedro Garrido.
“We have over 1,000 children in our district and more than 100 teachers and staff members,” said Board of Education President Rebecca Vasquez. “It is essential that we have a chief executive who will be an educational leader that provides a vision and a mission for our school district.”
Rosenberg has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts and obtained her teaching certificate from Ramapo College. She also has a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Rosenberg’s teaching career began at Elmwood Park High School, where she taught social studies for six years. She later became supervisor of social studies, world languages and ESL for the Warren Hills Regional School District before becoming the curriculum director at Klein School in 2008 and 2009. She left Klein in the middle of the year to become the vice principal at Mount Olive Middle School in Budd Lake.
She discussed her transition from Guttenberg's School District to Mount Olive.
"I'm not adverse to talking to anyone who has a problem or concern with anything." - Superintendent Michelle Rosenberg
Some of her accolades are having received the 2012 National School Change Award. Rosenberg also implemented new reading, writing and math programs during her teaching career.
Meet the new superintendent
School Board President Rebecca Vasquez said that originally three candidates were interviewed in seach of a new full-time superintendent, although only Rosenberg was considered for the position.
“Ms. Rosenberg has a strong background in curriculum development, which is an area that ALK [Anna L. Klein] needs improvement in,” said Vasquez.
Rosenberg’s five-year term commands a $145,000 salary.
At Mount Olive, her principal was Dr. Tracey Severns, who is now the chief academic officer of the New Jersey Department of Education. Dr. Severns will be attending Anna L Klein to help teachers with the Common Core State Standards. She is being paid by the state.
"She wants to see my success and the school to be successful," said Rosenberg. "I think if I did not have the position working under Dr. Tracey Severns, learning what I learned there, I would not be in a position to come back and do this position."
Rosenberg will tackle obstacles at Anna L Klein such as overcrowding and lower than average test scores.
"I gave up my tenure to come to [Anna L. Klein] because I really believe in the school and feel that what I’ve learned can help to bring the school to the next level," said Rosenberg.
She hopes to improve the test scores at the K-8 school.
"I would like to see this school in the top 10 percent in the county. That would be my goal for five years," said Rosenberg. "Parents put their trust in us to help their children succeed, learn, and be safe. My goal is to make them feel that we are doing that.”
Rosenberg said she hopes to have a parent information session to show parents the benefits of Power School, an on-line resource that lets parents get important school notifications and check up on their grades.
Saving money for the district
Anna L. Klein has seen more changes, as former Vice Principal Joseph Forenza retired and is being replaced by two supervisors, Donna Grzybowski and Nicolas Remondelli. Remondelli will fulfill his new role as of March. Both will have the title of curriculum and instruction director as well as disciplinarian, and will be split duties between the grades.
"In place of a [vice principal] we're going to have two people, so it's saving the district about $15,000,” said Rosenberg.
Business Administrator Jolene Mantineo will also have an additional role as assistant superintendent with no additional salary.
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org