John Lornez Leaving Ridgewood High School? – New Schools Superintendent Selected?

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm

As previously reported by a Ridgewood Blog correspondent, a “for sale” sign is now prominently displayed in front of Ridgewood High School principal John Lorenz’s home.

Today, unofficial reports are that Mr. Lorenz will indeed be leaving Ridgewood High School following the end of this semester. Reportedly, Mr. Lorenz was disappointed with the fact that he did not receive due consideration for the open Schools Superintendent position, and will return with his family to the Chicago Illinois area this summer.

In other BOE news, it is rumored that Board members have finally selected a new Schools Superintendent. The candidate is reportedly currently serving as a Schools Superintendent in another Northern New Jersey school district. He/she is said to be well known to many Ridgewood residents.

Stay tuned . . .


  1. Yes, there is indeed a “FOR SALE” sign in front of Jack Lorenz’ house that was not there last week. I also heard the rumor today from a good source that Jack is indeed resigning. This is a terrible blow to RHS. However, I am not sure that a man of Jack Lorenz’ character would expect to be made Superintendent after only a 2 year tenure in the Ridgewood School district, unless this was his purpose for coming here originally? I think he is great and am not saying he would not have been qualified, but I think there is more to this story than we know right now. With Peg Loonam leaving RHS for a principal postions at Orchard, it looks like staff are fleeing the HS?

    There are certainly too many changes of personnel in Ridgewood over the last few years and no continuity for our kids.

  2. you keep voting for these people so you get what you asked for …stupid is as stupid does

  3. I voted and campaigned for Maskin and Lois, but they obviously did not prevail in this election. Jack Lorenz is his own man and I am not sure that the Board was happy with someone who was a “doer” and not a puppet for them.

  4. I remember hearing too many questionable conversations about the administration at the high school. We have had three Principals in the last 10 years where most High Schools have consistency for over 10 years.

    Its time we demand accountability from our BOE to hire a qualified Superintendent to provide consistency in leadership.

  5. Our new chief administrator is rumored to be Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D., who is now superintendent of the Glen Ridge Public School System in Essex County, NJ.

    Dr. Fishbein resides on Stevens Avenue in the Village.

  6. If this is true I will be very sad. Then I’ll be really pissed at our BOE. Can’t they do anything right?????

  7. If this is the same Jack Lorenz, it appears that he has done this before in Illinois:



  8. HE lives in town with kids in the system.

    At least its someone from town that knows what the problems are.

  9. Our town loves hiring from within…it is a bad practice in that it disallows freedom of thought and just encourages the party line. Lorenz may have been great – I do not know the man, but the district would do better by hiring qualified administrators from good districts instead of grooming people who follow the party line. Take a look at past and future hirings – was/is the community being given well rounded people to run the schools?

  10. Hmmm…we hired a principal who got a degree in vocational ed from a fourth rate school, ran a school in Chicago that failed to make AYP, brutally bullied a parent within his first month on the job at RHS, and felt entitled to be superintendent after being in Ridgewood LESS than two years.

    And now he is leaving? Gonna cry me a river.

  11. Just poking around on the Glen Ridge website, it looks like they have Everyday Math, and that they encourage math teachers to write their own curriculum.

    Well, maybe those experiments have gotten old, and he’ll want to come to Ridgewood and do something new.

    Here’s an idea–how about a solid, tried and true curriculum already written by curriculum experts, leaving teachers to teach. What a concept.

    I sure wouldn’t want my doctor to invent all his own medicine.

  12. Anyone know why Fishbein is leaving Glen Ridge to come here?

  13. They must get this stuff out of the “Idiots Guide to Writing Messages from a Superintendent.”


    Welcome to the Glen Ridge Public School District and its proud tradition of excellence in academic and co-curricular activities. The Glen Ridge Public School district is comprised of four schools. Forest Avenue School and Linden Avenue School houses students grades Pre-K through 2; Ridgewood Avenue School houses students Grades 3-6 and Glen Ridge High School houses our middle school program grades 7 & 8 and the high school grades 9 through 12. Our schools are very successful and fare extremely well in state and national rankings. We are fortunate in our district to have motivated students, a supportive community, and a highly skilled and dedicated staff. Our student score well above the average and all state and national standardized tests; our community provides time and extra financial assistance to improve facilities, offer enrichment to our students and supplement materials for classrooms; our teaching, administrative and support staff are committed to our tradition of excellence in instruction, program and facilities. The school district has been successful in placing almost 97% of our students into post-secondary education, yet we constantly strive to improve. We are continuously updating our curricula and technology. We take pride in our ability to communicate with the community through many different avenues. For example, this award winning web-site is entirely produced by our students. I hope you find this web-site helpful. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me or the person in our district who can directly answer your question.

  14. He knows the problems in town and is leaving …

  15. I found the following online from a Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)article, March, 2000 by Christie Hart:

    “Principal at North resigns. Lorenz leaving school after only two years.

    Jack Lorenz arrived at Naperville North High School less than two years ago charged up about taking a good school and making it better. The community was practically giddy to be getting him from New York. He was an innovator, a motivator and exactly the kind of guy parents and teachers wanted in the Naperville North principal’s office. They just expected him to stay more than two years. Lorenz, though, will be leaving North at the end of the school year to become principal at Highland Park High School. He submitted his letter of resignation Wednesday.” and, this:

    From: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) | Date: 5/20/2000

    “Naperville North High School Principal Jack Lorenz is leaving Naperville Unit District 203 for Highland Park after only two years and in spite of the $25,000 early out penalty in his contract.

    Some probably figure he is leaving for more money. Some may think he used his post in Naperville as a stepping stone.”

    Is this the same Jack Lorenz??

  16. RE:
    “Its time we demand accountability from our BOE to hire a qualified Superintendent to provide consistency in leadership.
    – Maroon Pride

    “If this is true I will be very sad. Then I’ll be really pissed at our BOE. Can’t they do anything right?????
    – Anonymous 4:16PM

    So it wasn’t time to do something prior to this (like during the last BOE election)?
    So you weren’t “pissed” enough at our BOE before this?

    BOE fails the students…
    BOE fails the parents…
    BOE fails the community…
    BOE fails to achieve superior academic results in the school system.

    Yet, you keep hiring the same people and those cut from the same cloth…
    and you keep getting the same results…
    and NOW you’re going to get upset REAL SOON if one more thing happens (and you REALLY MEAN IT this time!)

    What did Einstein say about this behavior?

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein

    Guess he was smarter than the majority of the residents of Ridgewood…
    You people make me wonder about your IQ…

  17. Fishbein having lived here should be aware of the dysfunction of the Cottage Place anti-elite, pro reformist, feminist, mind numbing socialist agenda.

    If he isn’t, then he is an idiot. If he is, then why would he want this job? As a resident would he have the mettle to right the ship? The steps necessary go broad and deep into the ranks of tenured, comfortable administrators and pedagogy. Are they hiring a change agent? Don’t think so. More like they are hiring someone who will scratch their backs while they scratch his.

    Opportunity lost it seems to me.

  18. I also hear that Brian Bolger Head of HR, quit, too bad the BOE paid for his PhD too. These people should have to work for 3-4 yrs after their PhD. or pay back some of the $$ paid by taxpayers so they can better themselves and then they leave.

  19. When Porter left 2 years ago, Fishbein said he would never want the Supt job in Ridgewood, so what has changed?

  20. Facebook Photos May Get H.S. Students Suspended
    Many Questioning Whether District as Leg To Stand On Reporting
    Sean Hennessey GLEN RIDGE, N.J. (CBS) ― Should schools be allowed to punish students for photos they post on the Internet?

    That question is raising controversy in one New Jersey community.

    They wore black t-shirts and jeans at Glen Ridge High School in silent protest for what might happen to students caught drinking away from campus.

    “Everyone was just drinking and having a god time. It wasn’t out of control,” one student said.

    But some of the pictures ended up on Facebook.com, the popular communications Web site, and now students pictured drinking may be suspended from their sports teams for violating the rules.

    “In co-curricular activity students are responsible for their behavior at the time because these activities are a right not a privilege,” said Dr. Dan Fishbein, superintendent of Glen Ridge schools.

    Some wonder if the school is within its rights.

    “It raises some legal questions in terms of can the school actually get kids in trouble for things they did completely independent at the school on their spare time,” student Dan Bolson said.

    Those who accept the rules feel the pictures and the illegal activities captured on camera were obtained unfairly.

    “A lot of people are upset because they have no right to violate privacy like that because it was a parent who came to the school about it,” student Tiffany Bizub said.

    Added student Emma Delors: “I just believe it’s kind of unfair treatment. I don’t think we’re any different than any other school out there.”

    But the superintendent says Facebook was not used as a tool against students but that school bosses will try and use this as a teaching example.

    “There has been a lot of coverage of student athletes who wanted to go to a college on scholarship but they were taken away based on their Facebook photo,” Fishbein said.

    The Facebook photos will be examined by the school and if warranted, punishment will be handed out. In the meantime, this incident serves as a reminder to students to be careful what they put on the Internet.

    Most of the students involved say they have already taken photos off their Facebook pages because they don’t want to risk being suspended.

  21. Glen Ridge teacher files wrongful termination lawsuit
    by Philip Read

    Thursday October 25, 2007, 5:50 PM
    An English teacher at Glen Ridge High School has filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the district, asserting he wasn’t taken seriously when he reported a student’s threat scribbled on a returned written assignment.

    Charles Markham Townsend contends that after the student wrote on April 9 that he “should be shot in the leg,” he was compelled to attend a meeting where he was verbally attacked by the student’s parents.

    Townsend’s civil suit, filed Sept. 20 in Superior Court in Newark, says the district failed to protect his safety, allowed the student to remain in his class, and subjected him to unjust discipline, by putting a written reprimand in his employment file and compelling him to submit to a psychological evaluation.

    “Our position is that…he’s just a normal human being who has been threatened and reacted in the normal way a human being would act when threatened,” Townsend’s attorney, Pablo Blanco of South Orange, said.

    The lawsuit, which also names Superintendent Daniel Fishbein and seeks a jury trial, accuses the district of defamation for statements at board meetings and in a monthly staff newsletter that allegedly questioned Townsend’s mental stability and demeaned his professional reputation. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

    Fishbein said he had seen the lawsuit but could not comment on pending litigation. The school board’s attorney, Anthony P. Sciarrillo, could not be reached for comment.

  22. 10:48

    I thought Jean-Paul Sartre said that…

  23. 4:03 are you sure Bulger received a PhD?

    Check again, I bet it was an EdD, a/ka/ phony doctorate.

  24. Please don’t tell me Fishbein is a nozy nanny. I’m going to puke if he pulls crap like this here.

    This is America, damn it! And I’ll take care of my own kids. Don’t need him to do that for me.

  25. 11:53

    You are right AGAIN. EdD.
    But still we paid for it, and now he’s jumping ship with some of the other rats.

  26. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    Quote is by Benjamin Franklin.

    Einstein copied (10:48). If Mr. Being and Nothingness said it too, then so did he (9:52 AM).

  27. Hey, 11:55, it already happened here! Last year a parent went to the HS with facebook pics of RHS girls’ lacrosse players drinking. There were suspensions from the team but some people thought the punishments were not harsh enough. There is definitely already a student behavior code or something like that which concerns students’ behavior off campus. So this kind of stuff is already here.

  28. 9:52 AM –
    Well, it is widely attributed to Einstein (but that proves nothing…)
    He may have said it (quoting Franklin?) OR people may just be attributing it to him.

    I stand corrected that, as 8:23 PM stated, it is likely Franklin who said the quote first in modern times and may have originated it, however, there is sourcing that originates it as a Chinese Proverb (so Franklin may have been quoting it):
    Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome.
    ~Chinese Proverb

    (Although these Proverbs are at times hard to prove original source.)

    REGARDLESS… the thought and its relevance to the Ridgewood voters, the BOE and the failed math program remain…

    However, Jean Paul Sartre DID SAY (among many other things)…

    “A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.”

    “It is only in our decisions that we are important.”

    …and also offered his views on constructivist math:

    Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.

    …and his thoughts on the uninformed who support it:

    “I hate victims who respect their executioners.”

    and finally he also said…

    “We do not judge the people we love.”

  29. 3:50 I never minded that rats left the ship. There are still more rats to go. Maybe if we threw some cheese overboard they’d chase it.

  30. I’ll provide the cheese.

  31. Maybe Glen Ridge will match our board’s offer and he’ll stay in Glen Ridge.

  32. What makes you think Glen Ridge wants to keep him? In Ridgewood we rarely hire anyone that’s really wanted elsewhere. We hire the disposable. We are the willing recipients of the “pass the trash” public school business model. The only difference with us is that we are willing to pay them MORE. Hahahahaha

  33. I believe Fishbein will NOT join our Boe….

  34. Least we forget that the Super. works for the BOE, until he gets tenure, only then can he speak out against their stupid judgement calls.

    By that time its too late and he’ll just be one of the boys on the BOE.

  35. OK, 10:37 PM (10:48 AM) and 8:23 PM and 9:52 AM,

    Just to mix it up a bit more…

    According to WikiQuote (and other sources) the “insanity” quote (Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.)
    is from Rita Mae Brown in her book: Sudden Death, Bantam Books, New York, 1983, p. 68.

    They also state “Note: This same quote has also been variously attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and an old Chinese proverb

    Rita Mae Brown (WikiQuote)

    So there it is…
    Another hat in the ring.

    Again, this does not really prove anything definitively… I’m not sure that this was the first instance of the phrase, but she DID write it in her book, so it is the only documented use that I have seen tied to an “original” source… but is it the FIRST use?

    Not that it really matters.. As 10:37 PM (10:48 AM) said:
    REGARDLESS… the thought and its relevance to the Ridgewood voters, the BOE and the failed math program remain…“.
    This remains true.

  36. Supers don’t get tenure. They have a contract. Mr. Fishbein is taking quite a risk with him being a resident here. It’s a job where it is unavoidable to piss people off. If it’s business as usual and he uses lies as the rest of them in that building do, then he’s toast with the public. I say “lies” because on a weekly basis, members of this Cottage Place club provide ample examples. The latest being how the high school cupola screw up occurred and what they HAD planned to do about it. They just lie, lie, lie. Welcome Mr. Fishbein to the liars club. Think of it as “Survivor Ridgewood.” There can only be one winner and it won’t be you. Don’t say you weren’t warned. I just warned you.

  37. This is great: attacking an educational professional (& Ridgewood resident, to boot) for a doing a job that hasn’t been offered to him, and which he hasn’t accepted.

    Can we have a trial *before* pronouncing a guilty verdict?

  38. 12:58 said “attacking an educational professional (& Ridgewood resident,”

    Did I miss something? Where is the attack exactly? I don’t see that the poster called Fishbein a liar.

  39. Did I miss something? Where is the attack exactly?

    As the kids say today — “like, duh”. Are you “playing ignorant”, or is this your real job?

    Let’s go to the videotape:

    11:26 — “Fishbein having lived here should be aware of the dysfunction of the Cottage Place anti-elite, pro reformist, feminist, mind numbing socialist agenda. If he isn’t, then he is an idiot. If he is, then why would he want this job? (Kind of a no-win situation, don’t ya think?

    11:26 (continued) — “Are they hiring a change agent? Don’t think so. More like they are hiring someone who will scratch their backs while they scratch his.” (Yeah, let’s pass judgment about a guy NOW, before they offer him the job and he accepts it.)

    1:01 — “What makes you think Glen Ridge wants to keep him? In Ridgewood we rarely hire anyone that’s really wanted elsewhere. We hire the disposable. We are the willing recipients of the ‘pass the trash’ public school business model.” (Don’t ya just love the beauty of trashing someone’s professional by calling it, literallu, “trash”?)

    11:35 — “They just lie, lie, lie. Welcome Mr. Fishbein to the liars club. Think of it as ‘Survivor Ridgewood.’ There can only be one winner and it won’t be you. Don’t say you weren’t warned. I just warned you.” (Thanks for the warning, Mr Guilt-By-Association. Or maybe it’s Mr Guilt-By-Predestination, since Fishbein hasn’t yet accepted the job that he hasn’t been offered.)

    1:29 — “By that time its too late and he’ll just be one of the boys on the BOE.” (He being Mr Fishbein, who hasn’t yet accepted a job he hasn’t been offered.)

  40. Personally, I think they are hard pressed to find anyone to take the job of superintendent given the downward spiraling of the district. A lot of people are jumping ship. As for Fishbein accepting the position, I think the board attorney might have something to do with the hold up. Didn’t know that he turned down the job once before; maybe the dollars are there now.

  41. 4:04:

    Mark my words: the second that Assistant Superintendent in charge of Curriculum Regina Botsford joins the rats who are jumping off the sinking ship, it will right itself and begin to float like a cork once again.

    Smart candidates are waiting for her to call it quits before showing any interest.

  42. Thanks, 5:14 — we haven’t had a nonsensical “Blame Regina” (TM) post here in over 36 hours.

    The idea that superintendent candidates around the country are waiting for Botsford to resign before deciding to take a the Ridgewood position is utterly ridiculous.

    You haven’t been too closely involved with superintendents or job search processes, have you? Mark my words: you have no clue what you’re talking about.

  43. Fishbein will be good for the town but (sadly) he will NOT take the job

  44. 9:28:

    Candidates generally are not waiting for Ms. Botsford to resign, it’s true. But the superintendent candidates that Ridgewood really needs to apply for the job are waiting, as well they should. Ms. Botsford, having long enjoyed the strong support of Ms. Brogan, most or all others on the BOE, and the HSA/Federated crowd, is the 800 pound gorilla in the school district that a new superintendent would have no choice but to deal with, and on her terms. Smart candidates don’t find such circumstances appealing, particularly since so much work needs to be done early on to undo the damage that Ms. Botsford has so willfully inflicted. Can’t you see the poison pill that Ridgewood has ingested by retaining Ms. Botsford’s services?

  45. But the superintendent candidates that Ridgewood really needs to apply for the job are waiting, as well they should.

    And how do you know this? Have you spoken to *any* of these candidates?

  46. 10:01, why are you so hell-bent about disproving the fact that qualified and attractive superintendent candidates exist, who so thoroughly dread playing in a sandbox that Regina Botsford continues to occupy, that they refuse to identify themselves to the district until they are certain of her departure?

  47. 11:52 – Because I prefer debate that’s based on facts, not unsubstantiated conjecture tossed about by 5:15/8:18.

    Now, do you have any facts about the thought process of potential superintendent candidates? Or do you just have wacky theories?

  48. I knew two superintendent candidates. One was very qualified, but felt Ridgewood wasn’t offering enough money.

    The other didn’t have any experience as a Superintendent, but was a very successful Principal who all the necessary degrees. He was looked over for lack of experience, but would have been great.

    John Lorenz and Dr. Brown, both would have been accepted by parents because they have good reputations within the district, were passed over.

    So, it’s not the candidates that are the problem, it’s the folks doing the hiring. They are obviously looking for something very specific in a Superintendent.

    Hopefully that answers 12:15PM questions.

  49. 12:15 – the type of debate you prefer is quite confining, particularly given the nature of this forum. To what shall we attribute such stiffness on your part?

  50. 12:52 — It confirms my hypotheses that the presence Regina Botsford has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with candidates pursuing the Ridgewood superintendent position. (btw, I agree that Lorenz & Brown would’ve been fine choices).

    12:54 — Very illuminating that you describe *facts* with terms like “confining” and “stiffness”. As a great man once said: you will know the truth, & the truth will set you free.

  51. 12:15 – You state that you prefer facts over conjecture but then imply without any proof that a poster is making wacky theories. Actions speak louder than words.

  52. 1:47pm – There seems to be something wrong with the current administrations ability to hire and retain talented employees.

    For that you should hold Ms. Botsford and the current BOE responsible.

  53. 1:54 – The burden of proof is on 5:14 to supply proof that candidates are shying away from Ridgewood schools because of the current director of curriculum.

    Until then, I maintain that 5:14’s theory are “wacky” based on my years of experience working with superintendents and Boards of Education. I have *never* heard a superintendent talk about the attractiveness of a school district being driven by a subordinate who reports to the superintendent. I have *never* heard a Board of Ed member say that they are having trouble attracting a candidate due to a subordinate who will end up reporting to the candidate.

    Instead, when discussing the attractiveness of a school district for superintendent candidates, I generally hear candidates talk about:
    1) academic performance of the district,
    2) the support from the community, including the ability of a district to pass school budgets in April, and
    3) the unity (or lack thereof) within a Board of Ed.

    5:14’s claim are at odds with this experience, and they are at odds with the BOE’s attempt to hire Dr Brooks (when at least 3 other candidates showed interest in the position, despite Botsford supposedly odious presence).

    So until 5:14 can provide evidence (i.e. facts, not conjecture) to support his/her claim, I will continue to call the theory wacky.

  54. 1:47 – There are facts. Then there are reasonable inferences based on the facts. Then there is analysis based on the facts and the reasonable inferences. Then there are conclusions.

    Your conclusion is that nobody in the pool of qualified and attractive potential candidates for Ridgewood’s superintendent position finds Regina Botsford’s continued presence here a sufficient deterrent to justify a decision to withhold their resume for consideration by the district’s administration and BOE.

    As support for this conclusion, you cite a single fact: You are personally unaware of any such candidate existing in nature.

    Surely that single fact is not strong enough to elevate your conclusion to the level of “truth”.

    Regina Botsford’s record is well-documented. Any candidate worth hiring would want to know the skinny on our Assistant Super in Charge of Curriculum, if not before their resume is submitted, then at least shortly thereafter. Why is it so obvious to you that a candidate, after having had Ridgewood mentioned to them by their recruiter, or learning about Ridgewood’s years-long and utterly futile search for a non-Temporary Superintendent, would not do a Google search to get a rough cut of information on this and other background information, and based on what they find, give Ridgewood at least a temporary pass?

    For my money, I want access to that subset of qualified superintendent candidates who are not only determined to hit the ground running, so as to make their mark early, but also have the foresight to conclude that Regina Botsford represents an insurmountable obstacle to that goal. The only way to make Ridgewood attractive to such candidates is to give Regina Botsford an immediate and public “heave ho”.

  55. 3:40pm

    I am no fan of Botsford, but you are wrong. If the money and opportunity are right, you don’t care who is working for you.

  56. Who holds the power to firing
    Ms. Botsford? Could a new super come in and do that? Is it the Board? I am just wondering how that works…

  57. Surely that single fact is not strong enough to elevate your conclusion to the level of “truth”.

    It is one more fact than 5:14 has been able to offer. And I’m not the one with the burden of proof in this debate.

    Just one fact. That’s all I’m asking for. Name at least one prospect who has decided not to pursue the leadership role in a high-profile district like Ridgewood due to the presence of a director of curriculum.

    Otherwise, 5:14’s “Blame It On Botsford” theory remains wacky.

  58. Burden of proof, Charlie? You’ve been watching too many law movies.

  59. It’s simple folks… A superintendent candidate would see how much money Regina Botsford earns for doing VERY LITTLE and not be interested in the job. Why should he/she work tirelessly, constantly putting out fires started by Botsford and get paid a couple tens of thousands more than her. The offered salary isn’t worth the daily headache to put up with Botsford’s ineptitude. Reality check… Regina is a huge red flag for any candidate to take seriously. If the number two person on the admin. totem pole consistantly passes the buck and CANNOT MAKE ANY DECISION about math curricula except to ‘partner with a local university’ at the tune of 20 grand set aside in the budget, noone in their right mind could consider effectively righting this lost ship unless they fired Regina. Tricky situation for anyone stepping up to the plate. I hope whomever it is hits THE RB right out of the park!

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