The Clarkstown School Board announced Tuesday it will hold a special meeting on Monday, June 4 at 8:30 p.m. at Clarkstown South High School to vote on a contract to hire , currently the superintendent of the Sparta, NJ School District as the new district superintendent.
This is part of the notification released by the board.
"At this time the board plans to consider finalizing all terms and entering into a contract of employment with Dr. Thomas J. Morton as our new superintendent of schools. Dr.Morton will then be introduced to the community, who are encouraged to attend."
Board President Doug Katz said every board member was very pleased with Morton.
The prospective superintendent said he was told all board members were in favor of hiring him and he considered that “a good beginning.”
“I’m very excited about it number one,” said Morton. “It’s a great school district.”
When asked about the challenges of the job, Morton did refer to the friction that exists between the current board and superintendent.
The only challenge I see is making sure the board, I and the school district work together in a productive way,” he said. “That is to develop a cooperative spirit as a we move forward.”
Morton, who has been with the Sparta district for a decade, previously worked as the superintendent of the Allendale and Lafayette, NJ school districts. Morton said he thinks experience is one reason for his selection. He also said there are similarities between the districts which he described as having high achieving students and comparable demographics.
Morton said he will attend the June 4 meeting and is looking forward to meeting more member of the Clarkstown community. He said when he met with about 100 stakeholders as part of the interview process earlier this month he was impressed.
“It’s easy to see why it’s a quality school district,” he said.
Morton said the selection process was intensive.
“It was a long process,” he explained. “It all happened at the end very quickly.”
Morton earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and education from Bucknell University. He received his master’s and doctorate in education from Rutgers University. The Ringwood, NJ resident started working as a superintendent in 1985 previously in Lafayette and Allendale, NJ. Morton is a member of the executive committee of the American Association of School Administrators.
Morton said he is “retiring from New Jersey.” According to the Sparta Independent, Morton’s resignation was announced to the Sparta school board on Monday, May 21 with his final day being June 30. Morton is leaving in the midst of a five-year contract, which would have ended on June 30, 2015. His current annual salary is $235,207.
In 2010, Morton accepted a salary freeze for his current contract with Sparta. It kept his annual wages at the same level he was paid in the 2009-2010 school year. The contract included clauses for possible 2.5 percent increases for 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 if goals set by the board of education were met.
A majority of Clarkstown school board opposed renewing current Superintendent ’s contract. She will be leaving the district at the end of June for a position in Buffalo. Three new members will be joining the school board in early July.