MONROE – In an effort to provide a feeling of “home, belonging and consistency,” the Monroe Board of Education approved a renegotiated contract with Schools Superintendent Dori Alvich, which extends her contract through 2024.
“She’s been integral in academics, special education, and the arts,” Board President Steven Riback said. “So much is owed to her work and her team. This pandemic showed her leadership. … We felt after taking a look [at her contract], we felt it was good to give the district as well as Dr. Alvich a feeling of home, belonging and feeling of consistency, which the district needs and did not have over the past few years.”
Riback noted Alvich is not new to the district, having served 16 years. He said state statute allows for the board to renegotiate a superintendent contract after one year.
Board members Riback, Jill DeMaio, Kathy Kolupanowich, Andy Paluri, Rupa Siegel, and Paul Rutsky, who is Jamesburg representative on the board, voted “yes” for Alvich’s renegotiated contract at a meeting in August. Board members Michele Arminio, Adi Nikitinsky and Peter Tufano voted “no.”
Board member Ken Chiarella was not present at the meeting.
Alvich became the first female superintendent in the history of the Monroe Township School District when she was appointed superintendent on July 1, 2019. She previously served as assistant superintendent.
Rutsky said the district in Monroe has had a revolving door of superintendents over the past 6-10 years.
“The lesson I’ve learned is when we have a really good, qualified superintendent in place, you lock them down, extend their contract and let them do their job,” he said, noting the district in Jamesburg is looking for a new superintendent because the board did not extend their superintendent’s contract.
Paluri said the lack of consistent leadership has impacted the district.
“Providing consistency and providing stability in leadership is extremely important,” he said.
Siegel said over Alvich’s tenure she has implemented a “whole child” approach through social, emotional learning and professional development for staff, which served as a model for other districts to follow and implemented unified inclusive programs in the district, which were recognized by the Special Olympics organization.
Siegel noted Alvich has served as a mentor for most of the building principals in the district.
Some members on the board and members of the public did not disagree on Alvich’s service in the district, but shared concerns about the timing of her renegotiated contract. It was noted the district teachers do not have a negotiated contract.
Riback said the renegotiated contract extends Alvich’s contract from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2024, but does not increase Alvich’s initial salary.
Alvich will serve as superintendent through June 2024. Her annual salary will remain at $191,153 for the 2020-21 school year and the 2021-22 school year. It will increase to $195,454 for the 2022-2023 school year and $200,340 for the 2023-2024 school year.