Middletown Board of Education Approves New Hires

The Middletown Board of Education hired five new faculty and staff members.

The Middletown Township Board of Education said farewell to two staff members and approved five new hires Monday night during their special voting meeting.

Patricia Keating who has been a part of the Middletown Township School District since 1991 will be retiring effective September 1.

Anne Facendo, the former Principal of Thompson Middle School has resigned from her position for personal reasons. Her release date has not yet been determined.

Erin Dorrian was hired as the new secretary for Middletown Village. She will begin her position on September 3 and her salary is a pro-rated at $29,970.

Eric Hoblitzell will begin this September as a special education teacher for Middletown High School North. His certification is teacher of students with Disabilities (CEAS). The position carries a $63,580 salary.

Mara Hussey will teach social studies at Middletown High School North beginning September with a salary of $63,580. Her certification is in Social Studies.

Thomas Rooney was hired as the new Middletown High School South Social Studies teacher. He will begin once he is released from his present employment. His salary is a pro-rated salary of $64,875.

Rebecca Walker will begin in September as the new Middletown High School South English Teacher with a salary of $52,070. Her certification is in English (CEAS).

The Board unanimously approved these positions. 

The next Middletown Township Board of Education voting meeting will take place next Tuesday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Middletown High School North library. 

Eric Steinway August 14, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Rather interesting Middletown, per usual. The hired teacher Rebecca Walker happens to be the curriculum of instructors daughter. There are obviously many reasons why this illustrates the term "nepotism" (which is no stranger to the vocabulary of Middletown). There were a total of seven candidates that were highly qualified for this job when I personally interviewed. Although I have a total of 3 years experience, the young lady next to me had eight in another district and was not only a resident, but an alumni, and another girl I spoke to had four plus a masters of arts; however, a step 1 "no experience" teacher was hired because she shares the same last name as mommy. Great Job Middletown! We love how much you care about the students and how little you care about politics--looks like Dr. George is just "really" improving things. And they you wonder why students make speeches at graduation about the in-just outcomes of events.
NJarhead August 14, 2012 at 01:44 PM
If that's true, then that's a shame. I remember taking a few "Chiefs Tests" when I got out of the service. They are expensive and when I learned that the respective department already knew who was getting the position, I stopped taking them. Apparently, they used the proceeds from the test applicants to pay for the new hire to go to the academy. Yet another sham/shame.
Eric Steinway August 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Sadly it is true . The purpose of my post is to make the residents of this town aware of what occurs and to shed light that their tax money is not always spent on the most qualified teachers but the teachers that have connections. Its a shame that the amount of money in taxes that town pays goes to hiring 4 administrators per building and inexperienced teachers who have connections. I'm curious to know why the town members allow this. As previously stated I am lucky bc I was hired in northern nj about 3 weeks ago, but what about the polite young lady with 8 yrs experience or the other teacher with 4 yrs plus a masters ? Imagine learning that a rookie family member got it? Why does our society allow this kind of nepotism? I am also curious to hear from the community members...why do you all pay such high taxes when your children may not necessarily be getting the best education based on such a system? Time to re elect board members of this place
NJarhead August 14, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I'm not sure what the process for review is, but it would seem to me that the board be obligated to justify the hiring (why this one and not that one), but I am sure. Personally, I think that sucks you had to take a job up north if you live here.
Bill E.D. Williams August 14, 2012 at 02:38 PM
All Board of Ed are nepotistic to the point of being sickening. Ask the one being hired as a "secretary" how she got the job.
Bill E.D. Williams August 14, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Furthermore why do we have to pay taxes when we have no one in school? There should be a way to let towns know if you are utilizing the school system any longer and you should not have to fund it beyond the years you had children attending them.
NJarhead August 14, 2012 at 02:44 PM
The paying of taxes and having those monies used for schools regardless of whether or not you have kids in the district is something that I DO agree with. I don't have any children in the district myself either, but I consider a contribution worth my obligation. I can only imagine all of the issues should those w/o kids not be required to pay the taxes.
Eric Steinway August 14, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I dont mind the commute but i am saddened to see politics in a town i just moved too. What happened to education neing anout students? This is why i am a male teacher earning less than 50000 a year because i believe in our future shouldn't they?; I just hope that town residents read the patch and those family members hired illustrating nepotism does not go in vain. Middletown is beautiful and the residents deserve a great school district with experienced teachers not family members of the board or administration. The last article I read about how the senior president made a speech at graduation actually deserves praise ... Sad how an 18 yr old child can see the flaws of school politics , that child should not only run for the board in the future but should be praised. As for the board and or superintendent , I think much had to change in the personal department
J Bas August 14, 2012 at 05:34 PM
As a long time resident and parent of a recent Middletown HSN school graduate I am not surprised of the antics exposed by Mr. Steinway. I have a second child that was to enter High School this year but instead we chose to place her in private school. The experience we had with my first child during his time in the high school was not acceptable. This school system is loaded with nepotism and inept administrators. I will admit I we did encounter some very good teachers over the years, but that was the exception not the norm. The BOE is responsible for the largest portion of the Town's annual tax revenue and while they seem to be nice people they basically rubber stamp agenda items that are agreed to in private sessions without any public oversight. They then hold mock board votes during the public portions after allowing for public discussion. I will shortly be moving from this town since I no longer have any children in its school system and refuse to continue to pay real estate taxes that are higher than the average person's annual mortgage payment. My parting advice is to take a hard look at the qualifications of the BOE members, these people are spending your hard earned dollars and some have been there a very long time. Incumbency does not equal competency.
jerseyswamps August 14, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Eric, if Mommy's little girl turns out to be a dud, then what? Any chance at all she'll receive poor evaluations and then let go after a few years? Of course not. Board of Ed. members and school administrators are all in bed together. There are many ways they "help" each other. Of course it is always for the children. Challenge any decision and you are against children. Any wonder why teacher unions and school administrators are not well respected?
marylou August 14, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Eric,I'm not saying I agree that Ms.Walker should have been hired if there were others who were more qualified.But,what many people want is someone who will work for less money.I may be wrong,but teachers with more experience and master's degrees earn more than those just out of college,correct?Some people feel that they get more:"bang for the buck" with a less experience new teacher and that having an advanced degree doesn't make someone a better teacher.
marylou August 14, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I have a son who graduated from MHSN in '03,and I have nothng but praise for the teachers he had from kintergarten until graduation.I certainly don't agree with the BOE hiring this teacher because she knows someone,however.
xrsizer4u August 14, 2012 at 10:50 PM
MaryLou, With todays unemployment rate in NJ, most "experienced and well-qualified" teachers that are out of work, certainly may consider a lower paying job. Were they offered a lower salary and declined? If all the unhappy residents voted, I would think there would finally be a change! Our Gov. seems to be making some headway. Just dont ask him a question, he may bite your head of!
07748 August 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Teachers are not hired under the civil service system, while police officers and other municipal employees are. If the governor gets his way and "reforms" civil service, what he really means is to eliminate it, the nepotism in town and throughout NJ will be much more widespread.
DrWinstonOBoogie August 15, 2012 at 02:19 AM
@EricSteinway, - As an "English Teacher" you should know the correct use of "in-justice" and "too." Looks like the Administration at South were wise not to hire you!
Bill E.D. Williams August 15, 2012 at 09:21 AM
Then you pay my share, Egghead!
NJarhead August 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM
"Egghead?" Wow, you're pretty mature. Actually, no my whiny little friend. You continue to pay your share and, I'm sure, whine about it.
Jerry A. Trick August 15, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Jerry A. Trick August 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Why is a teacher with three years experience looking for a job? Aren’t teachers tenured after three years and one day? And why is a teacher with eight years experience looking for a job. Surely she must be tenured in her current district. If I was on the interview committee that would send up a red flag and I would probably contact the district where they worked and find out why they were leaving. Perhaps they accused their bosses of unsubstantiated impropriety in the media. If you think for a moment that this wasn’t the best qualified candidate for the job then you are not aware of the constant scrutiny that the Board of Education is under to keep the process of hiring as transparent as possible. I believe there were two English teaching positions to be filled. Why wasn’t the person who complained above not hired for the other position? Who, other than yourself, do you blame for not being hired for that position Eric? I agree with the good Doctor OBoogie above. I think that someone who is so bitter that they would lodge a public, slanderous, poorly worded and factually inaccurate accusation against the people responsible for the hiring, in a district that he clearly wants to work in, shows incredibly poor judgment. What is a “curriculum of instructors” anyway? Obviously the correct choice was made in this instance. Good luck in your job search Eric. I wouldn't put your post above in your resume.
NJarhead August 15, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Jerry A. Trick wrote: "...slanderous, poorly worded and factually innacurate accusation...." while previously posting, "Perhaps they accused their bosses of unsubstantiated impropriety in the media." Okay then Jerry A. Hypocrite.
Middletown Resident August 16, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Ms. Walker was chosen because she was the best candidate for the job. After the initial interview, the stronger candidates are called back to perform a demo lesson in front of students and administrators and from there, the administration from that point makes a decision from seeing these candidates teach, who would be the best fit into their school system. Students provide feedback as well on which candidate taught them the best. I've gone through this interview process myself in Middletown, and unfortunately I was not selected, but I'm not being bitter and throwing out any sort of excuse on why I was not selected, where the truth is that for the Middletown school system, one of the other candidates was better fit to teach within the school that I was. It's sad to see that so many people in today's world can't recognize their own faults and weaknesses so that they might address them and improve themselves, but rather attack others who have succeeded where they have failed. The amount of years teaching experience should not be the deciding factor if you should receive the job or not. I know teachers with numerous years of experience that are just bad teachers. Being a candidate that has 3 or 8 years of teaching experience, lives in the township, went to school in the township, has an advanced degree should not be the main determining factors. It should be the quality of teaching that the interviewers and students can see and experience.
Middletown Resident August 16, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Having more experience does not make you a better teacher than someone with less experience. I have seen and had plenty of teachers with years and years of experience, that were awful teachers. How are young teacher's fresh out of college supposed to get a job if schools are hiring solely based on years of experience. The truth is that Ms. Walker is a better teacher that these other candidates that applied. It also brings up the question of if they are such wonderful teachers, why did their previous district get rid of them. Ms. Walker's family member within the district had no role with the interviewing or selection process, and the fact that Ms. Walker was related to this employee was more of an obstacle than a benefit to Ms. Walker. The administrators saw a great teaching, and the students within the demo lesson experienced a great teacher and told the administration exactly what they thought about each lesson. The school system is not as dumb and incompetent as you lead yourselves to believe, in order to make yourselves feel better. They recognize what hiring Ms. Walker would look like to the public and the potential backlash that would come with it, but they went through with it anyway, because the education of the students takes a higher precedence than the whining, complaining and conspiracy theories that bitter, ignorant, unqualified Middletown residents love to divulge themselves in. Not hiring Ms. Walker because of who her mother is, would be just a discriminatory.
Middletown Resident August 16, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Our school administration is not corrupt as many would believe They chose Ms. Walker because she was the best candidate to work at Middletown High School South, and the Board of Ed. approved her for the very same reason. The candidates not chosen who are whining, feeling pitiful for themselves and throwing out excuses to make themselves feel better, should grow up, take a look in the mirror and figure out how they can make themselves a better teacher, because clearly they weren't good enough to be selected in Middletown.
mhssalum August 16, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Well, good luck getting a job now that your full name is used on this comment and is presumably Google-able. Perhaps you wouldn't make these comments if you worked with Ms. Walker on a one-on-one basis, or actually attended one of the schools Mrs. Walker worked at throughout her time in Middletown.
RD August 16, 2012 at 07:38 PM
It is unclear if the allegations are factually true, but we would all benefit if the Middletown Board of Education responded to the allegations, including a description of the process for complaints about the hiring process and the procedures for ensuring that nepotism is avoided. It would also be enlightening to see an update on staffing vs budget for the upcoming year, with comparisons of student enrollment, teacher and total headcount and $ vs. prior year (2011-12) and ten years ago (2002-03).
KS August 16, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I had a similar observation. Also, I am still trying to decipher Mr. Steinway's comment in which he identified Ms. Walker as "the curriculum of instructors daughter". What is a "curriculum of instructor"? Did Mr. Steinway mean to say "Director of Curriculum" instead of "curriculum of instructor"? When I look at the Administrators and Principals page of the school district's web site, I can only see two District Directors of Curriculum, and they are Marjorie Caruso for Math and Science and Charlene O'Hagan for Humanities. The only administrator that I can find with the surname of Walker is Mary Ellen Walker, the Director of Operations. Is Mary Ellen Walker the mother of Rebecca Walker?
RD August 16, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I emailed the Board of Education members listed on: http://www.middletownk12.org/boe_members/members.html asking for a response.
jerseyswamps August 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM
This is the first we have heard from someone called "Middletown Resident". Click on the name and check her history. I wonder, who is this person?
JJ August 17, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Is it possible that they would have had to pay the other candidates more than $52k/ year because they were so qualified??? Is it possible that your personality during the interview was much less impressive than Ms. Walker's? Should an exceptional candidate be overlooked just because mom is a teacher in same district?? Maybe she will excel BECAUSE her mother is a middletown teacher and has taught her well and will be able to navigate the waters in Middletown better because her mother can pass down all the info she has gained over the years. Sometimes there is a synergy when mother and daughter, father and son work side by side....
K-Paul August 22, 2012 at 02:57 AM
A little bit of nepotism might not be a bad thing; it suggests stability and continuity. Mr. Steinway, a few questions: First, you have three years of experience; were you offered a fourth year, and tenure, at your current school? Second, do you think a woman with a masters and four years of experience likes being referred to as a girl? Finally, do you smell that smoke? It's your bridges burning.


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