Morris Hills Regional District - Superintendent Search
The MORRIS HILLS REGIONAL DISTRICT is seeking a Superintendent of Schools. The district is located in a suburb of Morris County just 35 miles west of New York City. Morris Hills Regional is a 9-12 district consisting of two high schools, Morris Hills and Morris Knolls High Schools, with a total population of 3,000 students from Denville, Rockaway Borough, Wharton, and Rockaway Township. Morris Hills Regional provides three programs for School Choice: 1) General High School Program; the Math and Science Magnet Program; and 3) the International Baccalaureate Program (IB). The district provides a high quality educational experience and enjoys a tradition of high performance and support for its schools and community.
The Board of Education seeks a superintendent who will further enhance the exemplary and equitable education we provide for all students. The successful candidate will be an exceptional communicator and consensus-builder with a proven track record as a student-centered, visionary and results-oriented leader. The Board of Education desires a candidate who has the experience and skills to lead an involved and diverse community with high expectations. The District is seeking candidates who will build on the strengths of the district, embrace its challenges while working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure continuous growth.
Strengths of the District
Among the most recurrent themes was a universal belief that the Morris Hills School District provides a tremendous amount of opportunities both curricula and extra-curricular for all students’ especially special needs students. These opportunities include but are not limited to the Performing Arts Academy, practical arts such as metal, wood and auto shops, a vibrant work study
program, extensive Advanced Placement and IB Programs, a robust Gifted and Talented Program as well as a rich offerings of extra-curricular programs to extend learning beyond the classroom. As one student said it best, “if there is a program that we would like, the school would make sure we will get it.”
There is great pride in the special education program in the district where inclusion is an integral part of the school culture. Special needs are included in everything as paraprofessional are well-trained and helpful and there is a Peers helping Students on the Spectrum that ensures meaningful participation as well as a Unified sports program.
Morris Hills Regional truly is a distinctive place that makes students and staff feel welcome and safe. There is strong school spirit where the community supports the schools and everyone supports each other. Faculty and staff tend to stay and many graduates return to raise their families here. There is a healthy rivalry and respect between the two high schools and the two schools have their own special cultures, a graduating senior summed it up by saying, “that what makes Knolls- Knolls and what makes Hills-Hills.”
The district has a veteran and dedicated Board of Education that, trusts each other, does not show partisanship nor micromanages, and leaves the administration of the schools to the administration
and staff. They are focused on ensuring that the school district is well run and that all students are achieving at the highest levels.
Morris Hills Regional District is in strong fiscal and academic standing. It needs a leader to be committed to be part of this special community and work with all stakeholders on continuous improvement.
Areas of Growth/Challenges
There is concern regarding the superintendent and business administrator positions being open at the same time as they have served with distinction the Morris Hills Regional District for many years. The new administration will be charged with increasing pathways for after high school beside college as well as increasing rigor and relevance to a well-developed and established curriculum to meet the rapid changing demands of the 21st century. Several participants who wanted a renewed focus on academic achievement scores as compared to other nearby districts.
There is concern regarding the growing student population and slowing expanding class size as well as the growing needs of incoming students to high school. Increasing collaboration and coordination with sending districts will be essential. The English Language Learners have been growing steadily and has increased from 25 to 100 students and many feel now is the time to assess the efficacy of the 88 minute block schedule and the efficiencies of the IB program.
There is agreement among all stakeholders for improved two way communication that is welcomed, timely, and informative.
Characteristics of Superintendent
Has the leadership vision that:
● Is a strategic leader who is able to develop a clear vision for the district through collaboration with all stakeholders and who possesses the ability to motivate and hold all accountable to achieve the vision.
● Demonstrate leadership that is dynamic, principled, respected, and trusted.
● Skilled positive leader who serves and leads collaboratively to identify, lead, manage, and sustain necessary changes.
● Systems thinker who can bring overall academic improvement efforts/programs to the district.
● Has a proven track record of success in improving academic rigor and reputation.
● Demonstrates the ability to address all aspects of learning that includes addressing social, emotional, and mental health needs of students and staff.
● Encourages student voice, values their perspective, and uses a system-wide, child-centered approach to support the needs of all children.
● Articulates a clear vision that puts students at the center of the district’s work.
● Understands the needs of send/receive districts as well as the choice school program.
Has the personal traits of:
● Trustworthy leader who demonstrates integrity, honesty, humility, and compassion. Possesses confidence with humility.
● Is a Leader who does not have an ego, is humble and not self-centered or self-serving.
● Genuinely likes people, is deeply caring, authentically passionate about students.
● Is a stand up person who has the ability/self-confidence to admit mistakes.
● Is a Leader who does not have an ego.
Has the technical skills that:
● Displays the fiscal acumen and experience to responsibly manage a complex public education enterprise through the equitable allocation of resources.
● Displays the skills needed to attract, recruit, retain and maintain a highly qualified, diverse staff.
● Has experience in managing budgets and capital projects.
● Is experienced in contract negotiation, transportation, and capital improvement planning.
Has the communication skills that:
● Is a trust-builder who is visible, present, and collaborative through interactions with students, teachers, staff, Board, parents, and community members.
● An extraordinary communicator who will listen to, engage, value, inspire and engage a diverse group of stakeholders.
● Visible, approachable, and relatable through involvement, being an active presence in schools and a collaborative, outgoing presence whose community involvement leads to being a recognized community leader.
All candidates are asked to send a cover letter describing how they meet the above criteria, together with their resume to:
Strategic Educational Advantage
Attn: Dr. Michael Kuchar/Dr. Frank Auriemma
ALL APPLICATIONS WILL BE TREATED IN THE STRICTEST OF CONFIDENCE.
The Morris Hills Regional School District is an EEO employer.
Priority consideration on an ongoing basis through Friday, March 24th, 2023