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Contact: Peter Peretzman
For Release: June 6, 2001

State Board of Education Approves Appointment of New Assistant Commissioner for Finance; Longtime Assistant Commissioner Ellen Schechter to Leave Department of Education

The State Board of Education today approved the appointment of Peter E. Genovese III as Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Finance in the Department of Education. Mr. Genovese was the School Business Administrator in the Long Branch School District and is coming to the department for a one year period under the Government Employees Interchange Act of 1967. Mr. Genovese is replacing Thomas McMahon who is leaving the department to assume the post of Superintendent of Schools in Barnegat.

"I am extremely pleased to welcome Peter Genovese to the department," said Commissioner of Education Dr. Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. "He has impressive credentials as a business administrator in one of the state’s most successful Abbott districts and it is my hope that he will be a strong asset to us in the department as we strive to implement programs in whole school reform and preschool education for three-and four-year-old children in all of the Abbott districts."

Mr. Genovese served as the Business Administrator/Board Secretary for the Long Branch Board of Education beginning in 1998. He was responsible for the administration of a $57 million annual budget, all facilities and grounds, grants compliance, legal matters on behalf of the board, record retention and all other administrative responsibilities.

Commissioner Gagliardi also announced today that Ellen Schechter, assistant commissioner for Academic and Career Standards will be leaving the Department of Education on June 8. Ms. Schechter has been an assistant commissioner in the department since 1994.

"I am extremely sorry to see Ellen leave the department," said Dr. Gagliardi. "She has been at the forefront of the development of many of the department’s most important initiatives. Ellen provided significant leadership in the development of the Core Curriculum Content Standards, the implementation of charter school legislation, she authored the continuing education for teachers initiative and coordinated the creation of a Professional Teaching Standards Board that develops requirements for teachers to continually update their knowledge and skills. Ellen was also instrumental in implementing New Jersey’s Provisional Teacher’s Program, the nation’s first alternative route to teacher licensure.

"The people of New Jersey should know that every day that Ellen Schechter came to work in the department her only goal was to ensure that the children of the state received the highest quality education possible. Her dedication and commitment to the children will never be forgotten. We wish her well in her future endeavors."

Commissioner Gagliardi has named Jay Doolan acting Assistant Commissioner for Academic and Career Standards. Mr. Doolan is currently the Director of the Office of Standards and Professional Development.