At quick meeting, Bayonne BOE approves Keansburg schools chief as new superintendent

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At an unusually quick special meeting that lasted less than 10 minutes, the Bayonne Board of Education voted to approve the current Keansburg schools chief as their new superintendent of schools.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Deemed an emergency meeting, the public session was called after the board could not agree on a plan that would name the district’s top administrators last week.

At the time included naming Assistant Superintendent Kenny Kopacz, also a freeholder, the acting superintendent.

However, the measure ended up being tabled, with Kopacz telling HCV that it wouldn’t have made sense to appoint an acting superintendent with no clarity on who Dr. Michael Wanko’s permanent replacement would be.

Wanko’s contract expires on June 30th and cannot be renewed due to state guidelines, so the board was therefore compelled to call another meeting this evening.

The process to hire a new superintendent of schools via a national search, which was announced in April, has been complicated by the fact that four of the number board trustees cannot vote on the matter due to conflicts of interest.

Those members are Board Vice President Denis Wilbeck, along with Trustees Ava Finnerty, Jodi Casais and Charles Ryan.

For this reason, Board President Joseph Broderick, Christopher Munoz, Maria Valado, Michael Alonso and Carol Cruden would all have to agree on a candidate.

However, the process did not seem complicated at tonight’s special meeting, where Keansberg Superintendent John Niesz was named the new Bayonne superintendent by a vote of 5-0(3), with Wilbeck, Finnerty and Ryan abstaining. Casais was absent.

The matter was decided with an up and down vote, with no one feeling the need to explain their rationale.