Harrington Park School Board Shakes Up Leadership Amid Parent Pushback

In a recently convened Harrington Park School Board meeting, the most noteworthy event was the public dispute over the selection of the Superintendent for the upcoming academic year. This controversy overshadowed a series of critical administrative decisions and appointments, including the approval of a $15.3 million budget for the 2023-2024 school year.

During the meeting, a selection of community members presented a petition signed by 349 parents voicing support for the current Superintendent, Jessica Nitzberg. The petition questioned the need for a change in the position and voiced concern about perceived opacity in the superintendent search process.

Despite these public objections, the Board held firm, stating the decision was final and they must “move forward.” Additionally, they responded to criticism about the method of board members’ appointment and the frequent absence of Board Vice President Matthew Lehmann. It was made clear that the selection of the Superintendent would continue, sparking dissatisfaction among the parents who had rallied in support of Ms. Nitzberg.

While the superintendent selection process took center stage, the meeting was also ripe with numerous administrative decisions and appointments. Bryan Jursca, the Business Administrator, was designated several key responsibilities for the upcoming academic year, including Asbestos Program Manager, Custodian of Government Records, and Public Employer Management Representative, among others.

Notably, the Board approved the 2023-2024 final budget, with a total General Fund of $15,324,154, and a Budget Tax Levy of $13,473,770. They also approved the participation in the New Jersey Cooperative Bidding Program, the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey Cooperative Pricing System, and the appointment of various vendors for the 2023-24 school year.

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