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Ramapo-Indian Hills Superintendent Taking Job in Mahwah

Mahwah has been looking for a permanent Superintendent since 2011

After nearly two years of searching for a permanent Superintendent, the Mahwah school district has found one. Current Ramapo-Indian Hills Superintendent C. Lauren Schoen is stepping down to take the superintendent job in Mahwah.

In a letter to Ramapo students and parents dated Feb. 5, Schoen announced that she had submitted her resignation in order to accept the position in Mahwah.

Her last day at Ramapo Indian Hills will be May 15, she said.

Schoen was hired at RIH in 2009 at a salary of $197,500 and her contract was set to expire this summer, according to a northjersey.com report.

Mahwah officials declined to comment on the details of her contract in the township, the report said, but did say Schoen would likely be introduced officially in Mahwah at Wednesday night's Board of Education meeting.

According to state guidelines, which took effect in February 2011, superintendent salaries were capped "at $155,000 for districts with 1,501-3,000 students and $165,000 for those with 3,001-6,500 students," according to the website.

There are approximately 2,308 students enrolled in the Ramapo-Indian Hills School District and 3,436 students in the Mahwah district, according to the website.

Mahwah has been looking for a permanent Superintendent since 2011, when the cap prompted Dr. Charles Montesano to retire. Interim Superintendent Dr. Karen Lake has been in the district since.

In her letter to students and parents, Schoen said she enjoyed her four years at RIH.

"My four years in Ramapo Indian Hills have been both enjoyable and rewarding," she wrote. "I consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity to serve as your superintendent. The best aspect of my time in Ramapo Indian Hills has been the opportunity to work with dedicated staff members, motivated students, supportive parents and board of education members who are truly interested in what is best for our district and our students. I will take with me many fond memories."

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Jonathan N. Marcus February 06, 2013 at 05:39 PM
deer07430: While I can't speak from inside knowledge, school districts all across NJ are having the same issue. As is noted in the article, when the new salary guidelines were passed in 2011, it caused a huge shift of Superintendents due to the fact that (for many of them) the new guidelines would be cutting their salaries by anywhere from 25% to 50%. Many of them either retired or left NJ to take jobs in other states which do not have the salary limitations NJ has. The result is that the "more seasoned" individuals who could serve as a Superintendent are not doing so in NJ as the pay is significantly lower. Districts have then been left with having to search for qualified individuals from the pool that remains. In the case of Mahwah, because our school enrollment size is greater than many surrounding towns, we can pay more which many be an incentive to some. While we do not know if that was an incentive in this instance, the facts do show that Superintendent Schoen would have made less money staying in RIH due to their being a smaller district. Like you, I wish Superintendent Schoen all the best and I also want to thank Interim Superintendent Lake for all that she did.
hsr February 06, 2013 at 07:18 PM
No deer, the pay is less in NJ than the pay in NY is what I heard.
Regenbogen February 06, 2013 at 10:16 PM
I understand that many superintendents from NJ are now working in NY, collecting NJ pensions. Please, correct me if I am wrong.
Jonathan N. Marcus February 06, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Regenbogen: You are absolutely correct! In fact, many superintendents who retired from their positions in NJ in order to preserve their pensions and then took jobs out of state are actually making MORE money than they were making originally because they are collecting on their pension and getting paid by the new school district. It should be noted that the salary cap remains subject to legal challenge. It every legal challenge brought thus far, the courts in NJ have upheld the legality of the cap. However, it is now being brought to the NJ State Supreme Court to see if they will hear the challenge. It will likely be many months before the Court decides if it will hear the case. My personal opinion is that the Court refuses to take it and the cap remains in place. Even if the Court were to take the case, I believe the cap would be upheld.
himan February 07, 2013 at 03:44 AM
where are the rest of the comments???

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