PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education appointed Dr. LeRoy Seitz as interim superintendent.
Seitz was appointed effective December 1 through June 30, 2016, or sooner pending release from his current contract, at the rate of $682.00 per day, subject to the terms and conditions of his contract. (Click here to view contract).
Upon approving Dr. Seitz’s contract, the crowd full of teachers and parents, cheered loudly. Seitz is replacing Former Superintendent Scott Rixford, who took a 30-day medical leave of absence on September 4. Dr. Nancy Gigante has been acting Superintendent.
At the Board of Education meeting held on Thursday, September 24, 2015, the members of the Board of Education passed a resolution accepting the resignation of Scott Rixford, effective January 26, 2016. The resolution states that it “Further approves the related agreement with Mr. Rixford in accordance with the terms and conditions therein, which the Board President is authorized on behalf of the Board.”
Board President Fran Orthwein stated “The Board of Education welcomes Dr. Seitz back to Parsippany. Dr. Seitz brings many years of experience as a Superintendent and proven leadership to our District. We look forward to working with him to serve the children of Parsippany.”
“I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Seitz while I was on the Board of Education he is an exceptional Superintendent. I’m very confident that he will get the school district back on track to perform at the highest academic standards. I welcome him back and wish him the best, said Dr. Louis Valori, Councilman and former Board of Education member.
“I am happy see the Dr. Seitz will be returning to the Parsippany School District. Dr. Seitz did a lot for the district until he was pushed out the door by Christie’s Salary Cap requirements. Back in 2010, The Board of Education realized that Dr. Seitz was a huge asset to the Parsippany School District and at the time, did what was in the best interest of the town. Unfortunately, that decision created a great deal of controversy and he retired Since his departure, the district has not been able to secure a quality leader. Regrettably, at the time I can say I was happy to see Dr. Seitz leave. However, when the district began to fall apart, I realized I was wrong and the board of education members at the time knew that good leaders were hard to come by. If one were to look at what we would have paid Dr. Seitz with his new contract verses what the District has paid Mr. Rixford and his expanded executive staff that he created to ease his workload, I can only assume that the district would have saved a lot of money if Dr. Seitz remained in the district. Hopefully Dr. Seitz can restore order and rebuild the bridges between the teachers and the administration that have seemed to deteriorate in the past year and a half. I wish him the best of luck and I am confident that he is the right person who can restore order in the district,” stated Andy Sadowski, a parent of student at Intervale School.
Seitz, who was originally hired by the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education in 2006, received statewide attention in November 2010 after Governor Chris Christie introduced a pay cap for superintendents as part of a campaign to reduce state and school districts’ costs. During a town hall meeting, Christie dubbed Seitz “the poster boy for greed“ after learning the Parsippany school board had negotiated and approved a contract for the superintendent that exceeded the pay cap, which was not yet in effect.
Seitz’s base salary was $192,000 in 2006, which later ballooned up to $212,000 by the 2010-2011 school year.
Christie threatened to withhold up to $3.6 million in state aid payments to Parsippany-Troy Hills School District if the board refused to reduce Seitz’s salary.
The board eventually relented, cutting Seitz’s salary from $212,000 to then then-cap of $175,000. Seitz in 2013 requested an administrative hearing on the move and, later that year, an Administrative Law Judge dismissed his appeal, ruling that he had to repay the district $17,597 in overpayments.
At that time, Board member Anthony Mancuso said Seitz has been “an outstanding leader and superintendent.”
Dr. Seitz ended his controversial tenure as superintendent of the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District as of May 15, 2013.
Seitz then took over the helm of Franklin Board of Education, as Interim Superintendent, on March 29, 2014. Seitz was also making $682.00 per day.