Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Steve Gallon III is New Superintendent

The promise of big news was fulfilled Tuesday when the Board of Education approved Steve Gallon III as the next schools superintendent.

Gallon will begin a four-year term July 1 at a salary of $198,000, with other contract details to be negotiated.

Before the vote, three board members who visited the Miami-Dade school district effusively testified that Gallon, the winner among 30 candidates and five finalists, possessed qualities hardly ever seen before in a chief school administrator in Plainfield. The meeting reached a crescendo when Gallon himself was introduced and took the microphone to give the kind of hope that the district has been longing for.

Gallon alluded to being a finalist for another superintendent position, but said he chose Plainfield instead.

“I want to be here,” Gallon said.

Among his credentials, Gallon survived growing up in Liberty City, one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods, and went on to achieve high recognition as an educator, motivational speaker, author and exemplar of success against all odds.

Board member Wilma Campbell described hearing person after person in the high-powered Miami-Dade district giving credit to Gallon for his work. While Plainfield has 13 schools in about six square miles, Campbell said Gallon was in charge of 29 schools in a 60-mile radius.

Board member Christian Estevez and Board President Patricia Barksdale also gave praise to Gallon for what they heard from his colleagues on the site visit, the final step in deciding to choose him.

William Foley, who retired about a year ago as Westfield’s schools superintendent, was present Tuesday and will serve as Gallon’s mentor as he takes on the Plainfield superintendent’s role. Gallon will also work with Interim Superintendent Garnell Bailey in coming months to achieve a smooth transition.

Among the issues Gallon will face as chief school administrator will be improvement of student performance, possible loss of state funding and addressing the deficits identified in the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum, or NJQSAC report, that found the district lacking in four of five performance areas.

To learn more about Steve Gallon III, click here.

Brandon Lausch of the Courier News should have a news story Wednesday on the superintendent outcome.

In a fit of overstimulation or something, this writer went out with no pen, notebook or camera and so was unable to give blow-by-blow documentation of the event. Interestingly, Dr. Gallon cited the Plainfield Plaintalker as a news source, causing this writer to blush.

--Bernice Paglia

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:54 PM  
Anonymous Ms. Vee said...

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9:41 PM  
Anonymous SassyV said...

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10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya made a horrible decisiom with dat superintendent

9:53 AM  

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