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Edison schools superintendent will step aside after contract ends next year

Richard O’Malley

EDISON — After almost a decade overseeing the fifth largest district in the state, Edison Public Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley announced he will step aside when his contract ends in 16 months.

“When I began in Edison, my son was nine years old; now he’s 19 years old and in college,” he said. “My youngest [child] was three. Those who know me know that my wife and my kids are my life … all they have known for this period of time is Edison.”

O’Malley said for the past six months he has given a lot of thought to the decision.

“I have enjoyed my time in Edison and it’s time to move on and seek opportunities that I have missed,” he said. “It is sad, but all good things come to an end.”

O’Malley said a superintendent stays in the role an average of two-and-a-half years.

“I’m the longest serving superintendent in the top 10 largest school districts in New Jersey,” he said.

O’Malley said he will notify the Board of Education he will not seek another contract at the conclusion of his current contract set to expire on June 30, 2019.

The resignation will grant the board 16 months to begin succession planning regarding the next superintendent to lead the Edison schools and allow O’Malley to begin the process of reviewing opportunities in both the private and public sectors in a professional manner.

“My announcement affords transparency for the next stage of my life,” he said. “I have had a great run over the past nine years in Edison and I would like to end my term here on a high note with the successes that the school district is currently at and with professionalism that the community deserves.”

O’Malley said the Edison School District and community have been great to him and his family.

“The success that we have achieved over the years in taking this school from the challenges it faced in 2010 to the success it has today in being one of the most recognizable successful school districts in the nation has been an awesome experience,” he said.

O’Malley said SAT scores have been the highest in both high schools since he came into the district, there are more Advanced Placement classes offered and more new courses in art, music and dance and under his tenure, and the district created the first science and engineering academy.

He said after he moves on, he wants to see Edison continue on the path of academic excellence with a value of the arts and respect of the diversity in the district to remain at the forefront.

“The diversity of Edison is its greatest strength,” he said. “I think the greatest gift and legacy I could leave is putting diversity at the forefront in the decisions made.”

During the next 16 months, O’Malley said he will remain committed to ensure Edison’s academic achievements continue to soar and he will be focused on the issue of school security to ensure that the staff and students are safe and in an optimum learning environment.

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@newspapermediagroup.com.

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