Friday’s start to the Ramapo Indian Hills school year sees a change in leadership at the top of the district.
New interim Superintendent Dr. Ernest Palestis officially assumed his new role last week.
“I am really impressed with the district,” Palestis told Patch Thursday, after only a few days on the job. “I am really looking forward to this position, and to the new school year.”
Palestis is the second of two interims to lead the district after former Superintendent Dr. Lauren Schoen announced in February that she would be leaving the district to take a Superintendent position open in Mahwah.
Since Schoen left in May, RIH Curriculum Director Beverly MacKay had been acting as interim Superintendent.
MacKay stepped down last week, but not before thanking district board of education members at their last meeting.
She called briefly working as Superintendent an “unbelievable” experience, and said it, “was an honor to serve the district,” in that role.
With the arrival of Palestis, MacKay has re-assumed her role as Curriculum Director.
Palestis comes to the district with 24 years of experience as a Superintendent, most recently at Morris Plains, another regional high school district.
“There are a lot of similarities,” between the two regional districts, Palestis said. Coming to RIH, “seemed like a very good match.”
Palestis said he plans to talk about the district’s goals for the new school year at a board of education meeting next week, but that they will likely include the implementation of a number of initiatives, including the district’s one-to-one technology initiative, and the state’s new teacher evaluation system.
Over the past week, as he met with staff and prepared for the first day of school, Palestis said he got "very excited" for his new job.
“I like the level of innovation here.”