For the past three years has been operating under the direction first of interim Superintendent Dr. Maria Nuccetelli and then Dr. Jeffrey Feifer but come September will once again have a permanent leader at the top. On Wednesday night, the introduced the final candidate - Middletown Township Principal Anne Facendo.
"We received 27 resumes that were reviewed in March," Board President Dorothy Watson-Nichols explained. "Eight were interviewed towards the end of April, which was narrowed down to three for a second round during the week of May 7. We had planned to bring two candidates to meet with the public but it was appearant we had one truly outstanding candidate."
Prior to becoming 's principal, Facendo served as the prime responsibility in the district was to ensure that the humanities curriculum was effectively taught in Middletown’s 17 schools. She was also supervising the Humanities Department at High School South.
"I've taught every grade level from preK to high school," Facendo said. "Thompson Middle was a school in need of No Child Left Behind improvement and needed a focus to make a great school shine."
Thompson Middle School with a rigorous curriculum and technology infused programming has grown to become 99% proficienct in Literacy and Language Arts, 98% proficienct in Science and 96% proficienct in Mathematics, according to Facendo.
"What surprises me the most with Oradell, considering where you are, who you are is that I think your can go up," Facendo said. "You've got the basics of what you need; sometimes it's just making minor tweaks in places. I'm not going to be Pollyanna and say things will change over night, but you have to set a plan and eventually will get there."
Among some of her goals for OPS is to help foster a greater relationship between parents and teachers, find alternatives to creating smaller classroom sizes (such as training student teachers to run a classroom), and have a more technology infused curriculum.
"My first plan though is to come in and get to know the teachers, their teaching styles, the curriculum and identify any gaps," Facendo said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity and can't wait to start."
Facendo has over 21 years of experience as a classroom teacher in Lakewood and Red Bank. She served as literacy coach at when she was hired to lead as its principal in 2006. Facendo spent at in Middletown before moving up to the middle school post.
Based on Gov. Christie's Superintendent Salary Cap, Facendo could earn up to $145,000 as the OPS Superintendent although an official contract has not been offered yet.
Residents who wish to forward any questions that they have of Facendo can do so by emailing the Oradell Board of Education.