The voted Monday to approve a contract for Michael LaSusa to serve as superintendent of the , effective July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2016.
The 8-0 vote (Board Member Richard Connors was absent) means LaSusa's career in the district, which has already spanned more than 11 years, will continue, and the district will be led by who described as "a well-qualified, internal candidate."
LaSusa joined the district as a Spanish and social studies teacher in September 2001 at . By July 2004, he was promoted to dean of students and acting supervisor of social studies, and two years later, was promoted again to co-principal.
LaSusa became assistant superintendent of the district in July 2010, and in that role he has also served several other capacities, including district anti-bullying coordinator and affirmative action officer. He also serves as district testing coordinator for NJASK and HSPA.
The board also approved a $12,000 contract with West Hudson Associates for Dr. William Librera, the company's executive director, to provide mentoring during LaSusa's first year as superintendent. Labrera will also assist the district as they search for a qualified external candidate to take over as assistant superintendent.
Board Members Jill Weber and Steve Barna gave LaSusa their full support. Barna said the board had "nothing but the highest expectations" for LaSusa in his next role.
Belding gave a significant statement before the board's vote recommending LaSusa for the position.
"We expect that Mike's performance so far will be indicative of the job he will do as superintendent, and we feel strongly that he is the best choice for the job," he said.
Borough Councilman Vicky Fife was present at the school board meeting to give LaSusa her support. She has known LaSusa since he worked at Chatham High, where her two children attended and she formerly served as head of the PTO.
"I'm just so thrilled," Fife said. "I have been such a fan of his. ... He's just amazing, so heartfelt. I'm a huge fan."
Other attendees at the meeting, which was held at , applauded after the board's unanimous vote was recorded.
LaSusa's appointment is still pending approval by the Morris County executive superintendent. The contract outlines an annual salary of $167,500 per year.