School board uses community feedback to find Cranbury School’s next chief administrator

Two community feedback forums have been completed and an online survey is underway as the search process continues by the Cranbury Township School Board for a new Cranbury School Chief Administrator.

During the week of March 26, community feedback forums were held on March 21 and 22. A community survey to gauge the importance of various leadership qualities sought in a new chief administrator and director also remains open until March 25, which will then close at noon. that day on the Cranbury School website.

Firm Strategic Educational Advantage (SEA) is working with the school board to complete the search for the next chief administrator and principal to replace Susan Genco, who currently holds the position and retires effective September 1.

“We recognized a few things early on. We had to act quickly, even if Susan Genco does not leave until September. The delay in finding someone, onboarding them and ensuring a smooth transition meant we had to act pretty quickly,” said Lindsay McDowell, chair of the school board’s personnel committee at the March 22 community forum.

The school is also losing vice principal Michele Waldron, who is also retiring on September 1.

McDowell added that the strategy is to focus on the role of chief administrator of the school first and if they can hire that person quickly, the next chief administrator of the school would have the opportunity to guide the school board in terms of who would be the next second in command.

“Hence the need to act quickly,” he said.

The forums and the survey conducted are intended to help the school board reflect on the characteristics and profile of a candidate who would best correspond to the Cranbury school.

“We wanted experts who have done this before, so we brought in Strategic Educational Advantage to help us with this process,” McDowell added. “The other thing that is important to us is giving voice to the community and giving people a chance through the survey and forums like this to help guide us and reflect on the profile of the candidate. that we are trying to find.”

Michael Kuchar of Strategic Educational Advantage said they ask several general questions when seeking feedback.

These questions are: What do you see as the strengths of the Cranbury school and community? What challenges do you see (weaknesses and areas for growth) for Cranbury School and the challenges for the next superintendent? What specific characteristics would you like to see in the next superintendent?

“I think one of the greatest things about the Cranbury School District for me and my three children is that there is something for every child and every interest. The school does a great job of programming for different students,” said resident Cassie Shea. “I would like this to continue. The challenge I see when you’re in a K-8 district and what worries me is collaboration. I would be curious to know how the new principal of the school would collaborate and come up with ideas.

Cranbury resident Penny Ftikas said anyone stepping in as the school’s new chief administrator must enjoy the overall experience of a Cranbury family coming to stay and making lifelong connections in the community.

“…While understanding that the student body is changing and the needs of the community are changing. These changes and developments need to be thoughtful and really insightful,” she said. “Constantly having enough foresight to see what will protect that sense of community that can sometimes get in the way, it’s important that the next person is willing to roll up their sleeves and do it right.”

Strategic Educational Advantage will profile and actively recruit individuals for the profile and actively screen all applicants for the position.

Each candidate will be scored on how they relate to the profile, whether they meet and exceed the characteristics, whether they have great potential for improvement, or whether they fall short of the qualifications.

“We expect a minimum of 40 people in a search from there we bring the 40 to the council. It’s up to the school board to decide how many candidates they want to interview,” Kuchar said. “Understand that research must be completely confidential. People will not apply or withdraw their names if they are public.

To complete the survey and for the latest message updates, visit

Brandon D. James