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Zoeller Resigns As Westwood Regional Superintendent

The Westwood Regional Board of Education voted to accept Zoeller's resignation effective April 25.

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, the superintendent of Westwood Regional Schools, resigned from his position effective April 25 via a letter to the school board. The board unanimously voted to accept his resignation at their meeting Thursday.

The board also voted to grant Zoeller a paid leave of absence from January 25 to April 24.

Board Member and former President Carol Mountain, who introduced the motion, said the board and Zoeller had come to a "mutual agreement" that he would resign his position.

Zoeller had been criticized by many for taking home a school-owned truck and generator for Hurricane Sandy, then leaving them there while away on vacation in Florida.

Several board members praised Zoeller for the work he did during his time in the district, noting that test scores rose, facilities and technology were upgraded and "excellent" administrators were hired during his time leading the district.

"We have to give him credit where credit is due," board Member Barbara Gregory said.

Westwood resident Gus Molina, who had previously urged the board to act on the issue before people forgot or stopped caring, thanked them for "doing the right thing."

"As a parent, I feel good about it," Molina said.

Many parents, teachers and other residents had called for Zoeller to resign. Westwood Education Association President Barry Albert said after the incident that the union had taken a vote of 222-19 of "no confidence" in Zoeller's ability to lead the district with integrity.

"I made a monumental error in judgment," Zoeller said at a previous meeting.

The board held several closed session meetings to discuss Zoeller, and ended up appointing Director of Elementary Education and Technology Rory McCourt as the acting superintendent last month. McCourt's appointment lasts through June 30.

Zoeller first joined the district as superintendent in 2006. The Board of Education approved new contracts with Zoeller in 2008 and again earlier last year. His new five-year contract had been scheduled to take affect after this school year.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

TopMom January 29, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Good Riddance!!!! Sadly, too late to undo the damage. Zoeller hurt alot of people over the years, old and young. We lost alot of good people that cannot be replaced, teachers, coaches, students, programs, opportunities, etc. For so many there will never be another chance, their moments and opportunities were stolen by this spineless, pathetic dictator of a Superintendent. Lets not forget the board who supported him and whenever he said "jump!", they would only respond, "how high!". Although, Westwood H.S. maybe can move on now with our new Superintendent, Rory McCourt and new Principal and Vice principal, finally some new good HONEST people there. But watch your backs newcomers because several in that sneaky, backstabbing board need to go too!! We need some all around QUALIFIED, UNBIAS, HONEST people appointed!
TownshipMom February 01, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Hey Forever,Do you know anything about the boy that got hit in the face at baseball practice? The rumor is he may lose his eye. Isn't to early for baseball?
jaybird February 01, 2013 at 06:49 PM
well said, you hit the ball on the head when you say "It's time for us as taxpayers to reconsider the Board of Education, in its entirety. They, after all, are responsible for the actions of the Superintendent."
Bus Stop Talk February 03, 2013 at 06:12 PM
The key this this sad affair is that no questions were really answered. How did they find out Zoeller took a generator? I suppose the paper just had a hunch and took a ride to Zoeller's house. Perhaps that's why they keep paying Zoeller - to keep him quiet.
Bus Stop Talk February 03, 2013 at 06:15 PM
WW Cardinal Parent, practice did start.

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