UPDATE: Clarkstown School Board Ready To Approve Superintendent Contract

Dr. Thomas Morton led the Sparta, NJ district for 10 years.


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.  

Sam May 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM
If he was making $235 thousand in Jersey he must be looking to make more especially since Governor Christie has capped salaries there at $175 thousand. So the big question is how much are we paying him and is it more than we were paying Dr. Keller-Coogan?
Sigmund Freud May 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Sam, did you intentionally disrespect Dr. Keller-Cogan by misspelling her last name or was it a typo?
NewCityParent2012 May 30, 2012 at 03:29 PM
"Best of luck to the new Super....Bye Bye Doug, Donna and Phil...don't let the door hit you in the tush on the way out..."
Sam May 30, 2012 at 06:43 PM
No not at all just a mistake typing. She didn't take a raise for years. She was a class act. I am sorry to see her go. I hope that this new guy gets better treatment than she did. What they did to her was awful. I heard they were trying to fire her when she was at her mother's funeral. That just makes me sick. Well those people are not on the board anymore - and they got what they deserved.
Sigmund Freud May 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Thanks for replying, Sam. Yes, she was a class act for sure. The hate directed at her especially during her mom's funeral was despicable. Doug Katz, Donna Ehrenberg & Phil Degaetano will soon be gone but not the hurt they caused so many people. We are moving ahead but the ugly past will never be forgotten. I don't know how they thought for even one second that what they did was justified.
Concerned May 30, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Hey Clarkstown check out the stories about your new super....He is a great Actor! http://www.nj.com/forums/sparta/index.ssf?initial=true
Really? June 01, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Very Mature.....I can't imagine any Super wanting to work in our district given the inability of this vocal community to let things go and focus on the KIDS!! I wish him luck....and hope for the best.....but I am not optimistic.
Get Real June 04, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Good luck with Morton. Sparta had a blue ribbon school district before this clown took over. Now, our school system is the laughing stock of northern NJ.


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