Westwood School Board Appoints McCourt as Acting Superintendent
No decision has been made about Superintendent Geoffrey Zoeller, who is under investigation by the board.
Rory McCourt will lead the Westwood Regional School District for the rest of the school year.
McCourt, the district's director of elementary education and technology, was officially appointed the acting superintendent by a unanimous vote from the school board during their meeting Thursday. McCourt, who had apparently already been filling the role, thanked the board.
"It truly is an extremely humbling experience," McCourt said.
McCourt's appointment lasts through June 30. His existing employment contract will remain in effect.
Superintendent Geoffrey Zoeller has been out for several weeks since the board announced they were investigating him for taking home a district-owned truck and generator for Hurricane Sandy, then leaving them there while away on vacation.
Several Westwood and Washington Township residents said they had confidence in McCourt's ability to run the district. Westwood Education Association President Barry Albert, who called for Zoeller to resign, praised McCourt for his "open door policy."
"Since Mr. McCourt has come into the district, he has worked together with everyone he came in contact with," Albert said.
Many borough and township residents have also called for Zoeller to step down.
"It's just a black eye for the towns," Westwood resident Gary Conklin said.
The board has not yet made a decision about Zoeller. Board President Carol Mountain said they had completed their investigation and were in a "discussion stage." The board will make an announcement once they reach a decision, she said.
Residents urged the board to act quickly.
"Time makes people forget," Westwood resident Gus Molina said.
The board approved a new five-year contract with Zoeller last June, which takes effect July 1 next year. The contract does include a stipulation allowing for it to be terminated under certain conditions, by state law.