Mendham's New Superintendent Hits Ground Running
Sal Constantino takes the reigns, looks for a new business administrator and push the progress made by his predecessor.
Sal Constantino lights up when he talks about his children.
But for Constantino, the new superintendent in Mendham Township, it means all children in his care, not only the four he shares with wife Karen, 10-year-old Sal, twin eight-year-old girls Ashley and Samantha and three-year-old Derek.
The former Fredon School District Superintendent on his way to take over for Kris Harrison in Mendham Township School district is someone who comes across instantly as a person dedicated to putting children first.
"I come from a small district and I like to be very hands on. Everyone knows me there and they know my family," Constantino said.
Fredon is a small district that tops off at the sixth grade, but it was in that district that Constantino learned personalized attention is a large part of not only academic excellence, but of overall student growth.
"I had good staff that were all pulling in the same direction," Constantino said.
While Constantino was not looking to leave Fredon, he said that the opportunity to take on a K-8 in a community such as Mendham was one that did not come along every day.
"I think it is a good match for me professionally because I can leave my district in good shape and personally I think it will be good for my kids to go through the school system without me there," Constantino said.
The new super also is aware of the progress Kris Harrison made in Mendham and is by no means planning to let up off the gas.
"I spoke to Kris and I know what he accomplished here and I think I am in a good position to continue making those improvements and continue the success that they have had," Constantino said. "And Kris was great and I have his number if I have any questions."
The willingness to listen, according to Constantino, is one of his strengths.
"There are a lot of intelligent people in this community, on staff at the schools and on the board who have a lot of insight. I am going to be spending a large part of my initial months here listening," Constantino said. "My door is always open and I plan on hearing what everyone has to say."
Jeff Brauner, one of the members of the Mendham Township Board of Education responsible for hiring Constantino said the process was an interesting one.
"We had several very talented candidates," Brauner said. "But felt that Sal was the most qualified candidate to take over and continue the fantastic progress that Kris had made over four years."
According to Brauner, Constantino's experience as a successful superintendent came into play when hiring.
"We were very pleased to be able to hire a person who had previous superintendent experience," Brauner said. "This was a big factor in the final decision."
As for Constantino, one of the first thing on his list is the hiring of a new business administrator.
"We are in the process of doing that right now," Constantino said. "We should have someone soon so we are set for the beginning of the school year."