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Upper Freehold Regional School District opens search for new superintendent

A search for a new superintendent of schools in the Upper Freehold Regional School District is underway following the retirement of an educator who served the district for more than a decade.

Richard Fitzpatrick retired as superintendent after the district’s Board of Education voted to accept his letter of retirement on Oct. 3. Fitzpatrick’s retirement was effective on Sept. 30.

Fitzpatrick’s retirement concluded 11 years of service to Upper Freehold Regional that began when he joined the district in 2007. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma and had been on medical leave since that time.

As a result of Fitzpatrick’s absence, Mark Guterl, the district’s assistant superintendent, was appointed by the board in May to serve as acting superintendent for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year. Guterl has continued to serve as acting superintendent as the board conducts a search for Fitzpatrick’s successor.

“Dr. Fitzpatrick has worked tirelessly over the past decade to enhance, improve and make our district ‘the very best district in America,’ ” Guterl said. “Many have personal stories of how Dr. Fitzpatrick has influenced our lives as parents, community members, students, teachers or administrators.

“Those stories and lessons will continue to make a difference in our lives. He has also remained steadfast in his message that all decisions must be based on the best interest of kids.

“From the day he started in our district, he focused his attention on what was best for our students,” he continued. “He continues to be a passionate advocate for our students and always refers to them as ‘his kids.’

“As a leader, Dr. Fitzpatrick worked tirelessly to improve the district in every way possible. He attended virtually every activity and absolutely loved being our superintendent. He will be missed by everyone, because he has had a deep impact on everyone’s lives.

“Fortunately, he still visits the district on occasion, which we know means the world to him. He is forever loved and honored for all he has done for our students, staff and community,” Guterl said.

The board has not indicated when a new superintendent may be hired.

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