A Tale of Two Superintendents

Something is rotten in Trenton. And it has to do with the politicization of the selection of school superintendents.

If you remember, almost three years ago, Chris Christie imposed a cap on the salary of school district superintendents. He unilaterally decreed that (with a few exceptions for size of district and performance) no superintendent should earn more than the $175,000 annual salary that is received by the governor. At a taxpayer-funded political rally in Washington Township in November, 2010, Christie gloated as he told the audience that Parsippany superintendent Lee Seitz would have to take a pay cut from a then-recently negotiated salary of $216,000. As a result, Seitz decided to leave, and take a job out of state. One wonders how much the Parsippany district had to spend in its search for a replacement.

By contrast, Christie’s hand-picked superintendent for the Camden school district, Paymon Rouhanifard, starts off at a salary above the cap, almost as what Seitz negotiated, $210,000.

Here’s a comparison of Seitz and Rouhanifard







Relevant Experience

School Principal – 7 years

Asst. Superintendent – 1.5 years

Superintendent – 18 years

President – Hunterdon County Association of School Administrators – 4 years

Teacher – 2 years


Superintendent of Schools – NJ and PA

Secondary Principal – NJ and PA

Two year provisional granted immediately.


Child Assault Prevention Administrator of the Year

Star School – NJ DoE

National Blue Ribbon School – US DoE



Doctor of Eduation – Penn

Master of Education – Lehigh

Economics and Political Science – UNC – Chapel Hill 

Field as specified on LinkedIn Profile

Education Management

Investment Management

Below the fold: Video of Christie gloating at Seitz’s salary cut. Move the video slider to the 2:10 mark.

Comments (6)

  1. deciminyan (Post author)

    i asked Tom Moran about the salary cap during his live chat. Here’s his response:

  2. Jersey Jazzman

    Terrific stuff!

  3. brendanod

    I always like to point out is this: Can you imagine what a CEO would pay himself if tasked with the same responsibilities and had the experience and educational qualifications that Mr. Seitz has?

    What do you think a CEO with over 20 years experience with a doctorate degree, charged with managing multi million dollar budgets, managing a workforce in the hundreds to thousands of college educated professionals (and an equal number of support staff) would demand in the private sector?  Probably 20 or 30 times the 216k Seitz had negotiated.

    Obviously that is completely unrealistic for the public sector but the reality is that qualified superintendents are managing huge budgets, managing lots of employees, and (not to mention) charged with educating our children.  It is a huge job.  A town’s test scores and graduation rates also have huge implications towards a town’s reputation (and perception) towards its ability to raise & collect taxes.  The job is huge in so many facets.

    Can we just raise the governor’s salary to a million dollars and end this nonsense so the governor can be the highest paid public employee?  It’s a huge job too.

  4. wsautter

    Here’s something to remember when our chubby little friend in Trenton speaks about the Governor’s pay being less than of school superintendents.

    A $95,000 entertainment allowance

    Free housing at the Governor’s Mansion

    A summer home at the shore

    Car and driver service

    Security service

    Helicopter service

    And from what I can see, lots of free meals !http://teachersdontsuck.blogspot.com/http://wsautter.com/  


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