After two exhaustive searches, the has selected a new superintendent.
The board of education offered the job Tuesday night to Berlin Township School District Superintendent Brian Betze, who subsequently accepted the offer.
Board President Don Mishler said the hire is still somewhat unofficial until the board formally approves it at their May meeting.
Betze himself broke the news in a letter to the Berlin School District community Tuesday, in which he wrote, “A once in a lifetime chance unexpectedly fell in my lap and is a professional opportunity I could not pass up.”
Reached for comment Thursday, Betze described Moorestown as a “very prestigious, well-respected” district, and sounded excited at the prospect of taking a major step forward in his career.
Betze comes from a district with just two schools (John F. Kennedy Elementary and Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School) and 750 students to Moorestown’s six schools and nearly 4,000 students. But he did not sound daunted by the change.
“Professionally, I’m ready to move on and accept a bigger challenge,” he said.
Betze, a Marlton resident, spent nine years as superintendent at Berlin, preceded by stints as a middle school principal in Cherry Hill, Washington Township (Morris County) and Shamong, as well as supervisor of special education and curriculum in Linwood. He began his career in education more than 25 years ago as a high school art teacher in Bethlehem, PA.
“I still consider myself a teacher and always will,” he said, explaining his efforts, as an administrator, to maintain a connection to the classroom.
In a statement, Mishler lauded Betze’s “distinguished record as an educational change agent,” who guided Berlin to “earn national recognition for student achievement, educational excellence, and technology innovation.”
According to Betze, Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School was named one of the “New Jersey Schools to Watch” by the state in 2009, and the district received multiple awards from Renaissance Learning (an educational software and hardware company) for its curriculum.
In his letter to the Berlin community, Betze wrote, “During my interview process for my new position, I proudly told the Moorestown Board of Education my goal will be to make their teachers as good as my teachers in Berlin Township.”
Mishler said Betze was not one of the candidates considered , which collapsed when .
Betze’s name came up after he heard about the opening at a Camden County superintendents’ roundtable discussion and submitted his application.
Mishler said there’s still some red tape to be cut before Betze’s hire is official, including the negotiation of a contract, which must be approved by the board, the county executive superintendent, and the state.
“Betze’s success in this district will depend on all the stakeholders coming together and working for the common good,” said Mishler.
Betze hopes to start at Moorestown by July 1. Superintendent John Bach will end his five-year tenure at the end of the school year.
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