Llano Leaves Trenton to Become Head of Vineland School | New
TRENTON – Alfonso Llano is heading for greener pastures.
The Trenton School Principal, appointed last November, is taking over as Superintendent of Vineland Public Schools for retired Mary Gruccio as the School Principal’s Carousel continues in the capital.
Trenton Public Schools have not had a permanent leader since the August 2019 resignation of Fred McDowell, who only worked here for two years before leaving.
The New Jersey School Boards Association was assisting Trenton public schools in their search for a permanent superintendent.
Llano begins with the district on July 1, as first reported by the Daily Journal. The five-year deal earns him $ 206,000, with annual increases of 2.5%.
Llano took over from Acting Superintendent Ronald Lee on November 1 and helped guide the district through distance learning as it sought a permanent school principal.
The news of his departure comes as Trenton prepares to reopen schools before in-person teaching resumes on May 3.
A judge on Thursday ordered teachers to return to the building, ending an illegal labor strike.
Teachers were expected in the building on April 19; This date was pushed back to April 22 to allow step-by-step tours of a handful of the 20 buildings in the district to observe preparations for COVID-19.
School officials said they spent $ 12 million to make the buildings safe for teachers and students. This included equipping offices with plexiglass screens and purchasing 1,500 air purifiers for each classroom.
Playing his decision close to the vest, Llano gave no impression that he intended to leave the neighborhood when he led the mayor and the media on a tour of Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School more early this month.
Gusciora said he was surprised to receive a phone call from board chairman Addie Daniels-Lane confirming Llano’s departure.
Llano could not be reached for comment on Friday, but told the Vineland board of directors it was his “lifelong dream” to run a school system.
“It has been a lifelong dream to be able to connect with a community like Vineland which is committed to the education of its students, which has a wonderfully engaged and supportive school board, also has an engaged teaching community.” , did he declare. according to the Daily Journal.
Gusciora called Llano a “breath of fresh air” and said he was doing an “amazing job” as head of the Trenton school district.
He was thought to be on the “shortlist” of candidates for the opening of the permanent superintendent of Trenton, the mayor said, but apparently couldn’t take the risk of not getting the job.
“I think he took the safe bet,” Gusciora said. “I would have been happy if he had [stayed]. He respects the teachers and he put us on the right track. Trenton is a difficult school district to govern. There are a lot of competing interests. “
As the Trenton School Board searches for a new superintendent, the teachers’ union is clamoring for a role in the hiring process.
“After a revolving door of superintendents, one would hope that the school board would consider bringing all parties to the table to ensure they select the right candidate for a change,” said Talithea Duncan, president of Trenton Education. Association, in a recent press release. “The students, families and staff of Trenton deserve a superintendent who truly understands the needs of our community. We need a superintendent who is willing to work with us and who is committed to doing so for the long term.
The Trenton School Board has employed nine superintendents since 2010, six of whom have served in “acting” or “acting” roles.
Former Superintendent Rodney Lofton resigned in 2010 after two audit reports revealed budget mismanagement in the district’s spending practices.
Acting Superintendent of Schools, Raymond Broach, occupied the fort for nearly two years after Lofton resigned.
Superintendent Francisco Durán replaced Broach in 2012. He piloted the ship until his sudden resignation in 2015.
Acting Superintendent of Schools Lucy Feria replaced Durán in October 2015, but she ended up resigning about 15 months later.
Acting Superintendent of Schools Lissa Johnson held the post for a few days in January 2017 until he was replaced by Acting Superintendent of Schools Nelson Ribon.
McDowell took the reins in July 2017 as the permanent district chief, but resigned abruptly on August 30, 2019.
Acting Superintendent Lee led the district from September 2019 until October 31, 2020, when he officially stepped down for personal “family” reasons and handed over the keys to Llano.
The school board is to interview superintendent candidates in an executive session on May 4.
Duncan, the president of the teachers’ union, says the Trenton school board did not include TEA in the candidate interview process that began this spring.
“Excluding us from the process is short-sighted and disrespectful,” Duncan said this month. “The last time we were invited to participate in the process, the board hired Dr. James Lytle, an eight-year hired superintendent. Perhaps the board should consider the value of including us in the talks. “
Lytle was superintendent from 1998-2006 and was replaced by Lofton.