By a 6-1 vote, the Brick Township Board of Education has chosen the man who will succeed Dr. Philip Nicastro as the new administrative head of the K-12 school district.
Dr. Thomas Seidenberger, most recently the superintendent of the West Grove, Pa., school district now takes the reins of Brick’s one kindergarten, seven elementary, two middle and two high schools.
It is a key position, as Seidenberger will take final responsibility for approximately 11,600 students in the 12th largest district in the state.
Nicastro, who has served as superintendent since August 2000, plans to retire from the district and head to the private sector as a partner in the law firm of Strauss Esmay Associates.
Of some concern is the assertion by Frank Pannucci, the lone board member who voted against Seidenberger’s hire, that the process was a rushed affair. Pannucci stressed that his no vote was not meant personally, and gave Seidenberger a friendly handshake after the vote.
We certainly hope that such an important decision was made after careful contemplation. With a 31/2-year contract locked in, Seidenberger will need to work with the present and future boards in a cohesive manner for the good of the student body and faculty.
To that end, every other board member voiced their disagreements with Pannucci’s assertion that the process was done haphazardly. They did so either verbally or through their votes.
Board Vice President Dr. William Boyan detailed a thorough search process that led to the choice of Seidenberger. His references spoke of him in the highest regard as "bright, articulate and passionate about reform in education," Boyan said.
With the board’s overwhelming endorsement and Seidenber-ger’s impressive career credentials, which encompass 32 years in public education, it certainly seems reasonable to give the board the benefit of the doubt on its choice.
Whatever the opinion on the hiring process, Seidenberger is here to stay, and the community needs to offer its support and best wishes to him on a successful and prosperous tenure as Brick’s new educational leader.