Superintendent Dr. Thomas A. Gorman

Each day, students go to classes and interact with teachers. These interactions are fruitful and supportive as students learn the different subjects being taught. 

Behind the scenes, however, are many other adults who support the educational needs of students. Students and parents may or may not come in contact with these individuals on a daily basis, but, like the stage crew in a Broadway production, these individuals are integral to making a school system successful. These adults are in the district every day, helping faculty and administrators provide an exciting and fruitful educational environment. 

The Montville Township Public Schools District comprises seven schools and a Board of Education Office. Each building is staffed, not only with faculty and administrators, but with highly trained support staff. 

One of the most visible and integral of our support staff are the Administrative Assistants who answer the phones and handle virtually all questions about procedures and the coordination of movements throughout the day. As with all educators, each day for our Administrative Assistants is both the same and different… everyday. Many times, their answers are routine to questions about procedures or who can best resolve an issue, but these professionals are also prepared for the unexpected. They are trained to coordinate the appropriate responders to assist with any situation.  

Irene Repola, who has spent all eleven of her years in MTPS as Hilldale’s Administrative Assistant, recently told me she loves the kids, parents, and teachers. She enjoys when she can help a parent or child, and she likes that she feels appreciated.  

“I get the most satisfaction when a child comes into the main office and smiles. That makes me happy,” Repola noted.

Another integral team in the educational community is the maintenance staff. These highly specialized individuals make certain the schools are operating smoothly on a daily basis. The MTPS maintenance crew arrives before dawn. During inclement weather, in particular, they confirm that the roads are safe for the buses to operate and the schools are accessible. Everyday this team’s dedicated service ensures that HVAC systems are operating properly so the buildings are heated or cooled appropriately before the arrival of students. After the start of their early day, the maintenance team then proceeds to fix, build, and maintain anything that needs addressing for the remainder of the day.  

Michael Leone, Assistant Facilities Manager, has worked at MTPS for eight years and is amazed at how safe, clean, and beautiful the Montville Township Public schools are. Because he is constantly moving throughout the day from job to job, the day goes by quickly. He enjoys accomplishing these tasks because he knows it directly affects the kids.  

“I work with a great bunch of guys who get things done. Knowing that everything we do directly impacts the students makes me smile everyday,” Leone said.

Additionally, for over ten years, Clifton Walton has worked in several of the district’s buildings as a custodian. He likes meeting different people, finds his job very interesting, and is touched by how the faculty and staff make him a part of the school family.  

Throughout the day and night, the custodians are constantly on the go. During their shift, they make certain the classrooms are clean and the whiteboards are wiped and ready for the next day’s lesson. They are constantly on call for the unexpected spill or assistance that a staff member may need. The custodians get to know the students, become one of the main components of the school team, and can be relied upon at a moment’s notice.  

When reflecting upon what he enjoys most about his job, Walton said, “The little kids make me laugh. When that happens I have flashbacks of my youth and it brings me joy.” 

Another important member of the district’s support staff, who students regularly interact with, are our team of caring paraprofessionals. In some cases, when a child has an Individualized Education Plan, they may require a paraprofessional to assist them in the classroom with their educational or physical needs. Paraprofessionals are educational professionals who are assigned to a particular student and work with them to help them achieve success on a daily basis.  

At Robert R. Lazar Middle School, Cathryn Alecci is following her childhood dream of working in a school. She has been a paraprofessional there for twelve years and makes a difference everyday in children’s lives.  

To make learning fun, Alecci said, “I am not afraid to interact and get a little bit silly with the students. I love being with them.” Her favorite quote is by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Substitute teachers step in when a teacher is unable to come to work. Substitutes are typically notified the night before about their assignment, but can also pick-up a job the same morning. Either way, the role of the substitute is vital. They continue the lessons of the day and help to keep each school running smoothly.

Entering his 18th year as a sub at MTHS, Fred Decter loves working with the high school students because they are on the verge of becoming adults and it provides an opportunity for him to hear their perspectives on life and the future.

Decter recently noted, “The staff and students are absolutely wonderful! Students are friendly, cooperative, and always do the work they have been assigned by their regular teacher.”  

Gary Schaechter, a sub for five years, agreed, “From the first day that I walked into the building, the administration, faculty, and students were all welcoming. They all have made me feel part of something special.” 

Another substitute, Jo-Ann Slater, believes that, “Substitute teaching is an opportunity to creatively exchange ideas with students leading to the culmination of their chosen individual life path.”

The staff mentioned above, and hundreds of other behind the scenes professionals, together with the faculty, supervisors, directors, and administrators, provide the basis for a great school district. They create an educational environment that supports learning and produces well-rounded students who have the skills to succeed and are ready to make a positive impact upon the world after graduation.  

And, like the stage crew of a Broadway production, whose behind the scenes work helps to make a great production, the members of the MTPS support staff experience great joy from the accomplishment of students.   

Both behind the scenes and front and center in each classroom, Montville Township Public Schools employs over 600 educational professionals who provide approximately 3,500 students, in grades preK through 12, with innovative curriculum, extracurricular activities, meaningful competitions, and daily opportunities that strengthen critical thinking and build memories, character, and friendships that will last a lifetime.