Librera Named Athletic Director in Chatham School District; Alexis Resigns High School Post to Become Watchung Hills Principal
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 • 7:10am
CHATHAM,NJ—William Librera, the former head basketball coach in Madison High School, was appointed Monday by the Board of Education of the School District of the Chathams as athletic director and supervisor of health and physical education for the district.
Librera, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University, also taught mathematics and served as an assistant boys’ lacrosse coach in Madison. Previous to that, he taught for five years at Morris Central High School in Chester.
The board authorized a contract for the new athletic director extending from July 1 of this year through June 30 of next year.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Michael LaSusa noted Librera went through an extensive series of interviews with school personnel at all levels and was among several candidates considered.
Librera is the son of former New Jersey Education Commissioner William Librera who recently served as a consultant to the Chatham district in preparing LaSusa to assume the post of superintendent of schools next month and in searching for a new assistant superintendent.
Karen Chase was named in March to take over the assistant superintendent post being vacated by LaSusa.
Board President Thomas K. Belding said Monday, however, the consultant position and the search for athletic director were conducted separately and the younger Librera applied and went through the same interview process as every other candidate.
In another action, the school body accepted the resignation of George Alexis as assistant principal at Chatham High School, effective July 20.
Alexis will become the principal of Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren Township, from which he graduated.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Dennis Fyffe also announced that Lafayette School Vice Principal Bryan Fleming had accepted a position as principal of the Mountain Lakes Middle School.
He said it was a tribute to the caliber of the Chathams district that its staff members are sought after for higher positions in a number of school districts throughout the area.
In another action, the education body gave its consent to an open campus at Chatham High School next year for members of the incoming senior class.
The open campus privilege allows seniors to leave the high school campus during the day for lunch and other activities. Board approval of the open campus concept must be given every year.
High school principal Darren J. Groh introduced the officers of the incoming senior class who said the open campus concept gave seniors a sense of responsibility and prepared them for life on college campuses after high school.
The class officers assured board members that they took very seriously their responsibility to make sure their classmates behaved maturely under the policy. They also said both Chatham police and school officials had made it clear to students at the school the penalties they faced if they behaved irresponsibly.
Last year, after a few students were found to be drinking alcohol prior to a pep rally at the high school, the open campus privilege was suspended.
After hearing the presentation by the class officers, Fyffe also gave his endorsement to the open campus for the incoming senior class.
In other actions, the board also voted to approve a number of teaching and extra-curricular positions in the district.
Among these were three coaches for the high school fencing team, Christopher Palmer, T. Woody Kongsamut and Conor Mason.
School Business Administrator Peter Daquila explained fencing previously had been completely funded by parents. However, last November, district parents asked the board to contribute to the funding of the sport.
Belding noted the board had agreed to fund $10,000 of the total cost of the program with parents picking up the remaining $16,000.
Mason’s salary will be completely parent-funded, Belding said.
He added because fencing team members practice and participate in matches with three different swords simultaneously a third coach is needed.
In response to a question by board member Steve Barna, the board president said the fencing allotments maintain staffing equity among all sports, but the school body would be doing an overall review of the policy once the new athletic director has had a chance to settle into his position.
The board also accepted the following donations to the district:
- $1,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Greg Hammer to be used to purchase materials to enhance the music program at the Milton Avenue School.
- $5,150 from the Chatham Education Foundation for the purchase of a set of netbooks and a case to store them at Washington Avenue School.
- $20,000 from the Southern Boulevard School Parent Teacher Organization for a number of items included netbook lockers, picnic tables, iron benches, an adult wheelchair, a thermometer, a kiln, six digital cameras for the third grade, a Tumblebook subscription, kindergarten mathematics materials, 12 sets of basic skills books and basic skills keys.
- $8,000 from the Chatham High School Pep Club to be used toward the total cost of refinishing the schools A and B gymnasium floors.
- $5,000 from the Chatham Booster Club to be used toward the cost of parent-funded women’s golf at the high school for the 2011-2012 school year.
- $390 from the Lafayette School Parent Teacher Organization to purchase ceramic planters to help with the beautification of the front entrance of the school. The environmental club will help maintain the planters with seasonal plants.
The school board also approved extension of the school day at Lafayette for the 2012-2013 school year to 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. due to a significant increase in enrollment.