BOE selects West Hudson Associates to lead search for new superintendent

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — At its meeting on Monday, Aug. 20, the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education voted to appoint West Hudson Associates, a leading educational executive search firm, to lead the search for the school district’s next superintendent.

West Hudson Associates was selected after two rounds of Requests for Proposals to identify the best partner to help the board recruit a strong new superintendent who shares the core values of SOMSD and has the experience and skills necessary to lead the major facilities, curriculum and instruction, and integration work already underway.

William Librera, president of West Hudson Associates, will be the sole consultant from the firm working on SOMSD’s search. He has served as a search consultant for more than 20 years, both nationally and within the state of New Jersey. Librera is a former N.J. commissioner of education and served as principal of Columbia High School from 1980 to 1983, before serving as superintendent of four different school districts, including Montclair.

“Librera has longstanding personal ties to our community and recognizes the strengths, values and challenges unique to SOMSD,” the SOMSD stated in a press release. “His more than 40 years of educational experience in New Jersey give him a deep understanding of all facets of the role of superintendent, and he has an extensive network both within the state and nationally for recruitment and vetting. Dr. Librera has impressive references from other New Jersey school districts which have worked with him on superintendent searches.”

Following the meeting, the nonconflicted members of the board will meet with Librera to discuss finalization of the search plan and recruitment process, the plan for stakeholder and community input in the development of the leadership profile, as well as milestones and mechanisms for reporting to the community throughout the search process.

“Hiring a new superintendent is one of the most important responsibilities of a school board,” BOE President Elizabeth Baker said in the press statement. “The board is excited to have the assistance of an educational leader with the experience, caliber and network that Dr. Librera brings to this work, as well as his deep understanding of our community’s expectations and needs. We look forward to our meeting with Dr. Librera on Sept. 5 to plan the search process, and I will be reporting out to the community at our Sept. 17 board meeting. We look forward to the active participation of our community and staff in the process.”