Linwood School District hires superintendent

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Belhaven Middle School Belhaven Middle School LINWOOD – Members of the Linwood Board of Education held an early morning special meeting Thursday, July 10 to officially hire a Marianne Gaffney as the new superintendent of the PreK-8 school district.

Gaffney, of Sewell, most recently worked in the Toms River School District in an interim superintendent position and prior to that was with the Cherry Hill School District, according to Board Secretary and Business Administrator Teri Weeks.

The board called on the services of New Jersey School Boards Association during the superintendent search.

Weeks said there were 30 applicants for the position and the six members of the board vetted that number down to nine candidates for the first round of interviews. Then it was down to three who came back for a second interview with the full board.

Each of the candidates was given a visionary question and had to put together a presentation based on that question and answer any other questions from the board.

After an executive session the board reconvened and voted to offer the position to Gaffney. She will start at $140,000 for the 2014-2015 school year. She is scheduled to receive a 2 percent increase in her second year and in her third year, Gaffney will be at the state-imposed cap of $145,000. Her contract runs through the end of June 2017. 

Board of Education President Lynn Gibson, who had recused herself from the selection committee, said Thursday that her first conversation with Gaffney was to inform her that she had be hired by the district.

“Her resume shows an exciting level of leadership and vision and I am looking forward to what she can bring to the district over the next three years,” said Gibson.

Gaffney earned her undergraduate degree in secondary education with a minor in communications from SUNY Oswego. She attended Rowan to work on her masters degree in educational leadership and went on to earn a doctorate in 2004 from Seton Hall in educational leadership management policy.

Gaffney is replacing Tom Baruffi in the superintendent’s position.

Baruffi was with the Linwood School District first as a principal and then as superintendent for 10 years. He retired effective June 30 and Robert Previti has been serving in an interim capacity since that date.

Linwood is the first of the Mainland districts to pen a contract with a new superintendent. All four districts – Linwood, Northfield, Somers Point and Mainland Regional had vacancies for their top administrator as the superintendents retired: Janice Fipp in Northfield, Baruffi in Linwood and Mainland, and Jeff Miller in Somers Point are all retired with Miller departing in June 2013 with Robert Previti serving as interim through June 30, 2014.  Previti is now the Mainland Regional interim.

Robert Garguilo is currently working in an interim capacity in Northfield. 

The governing bodies of all three cities adopted resolutions over the last few weeks to support studying the possibility of sharing the superintendent services across all of the Mainland districts.

Baruffi suggested to both the Linwood and the Mainland boards of education that they not continue the shared superintendent saying that it was a challenge and the new PAARC testing regime that will begin this school year will make it very difficult to share a superintendent. He also said the salary cap imposed by the state is another reason why sharing is not always the solution.

See links to related stories:

Mainland and Linwood Superintendent Tom Baruffi announces retirement

Mayors to discuss consolidation of superintendent positions

MRHS picks Previti for interim superintendent

Northfield Superintendent Janice Fipp announces retirement

Jeff Miller retires as Point superintendent 



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