MontClairVoyant: Naming of Interim Evokes Superintendents From Ancient Times

Tonight’s the night! Who will the Board of Education announce as interim schools superintendent at its special meeting this evening, August 15?

Lotta Turnover

The BOE referred to this mystery person as a male, so could it be 2015-17 interim Ronald Bolandi? If not, other possibilities include Deputy Dawg, Wile E. Coyote, Bugs Bunny, Beetle Bailey, and Mike Pence.

This is not a joking matter. Bolandi was pretty good — didn’t talk in education jargon, skeptical about the time-wasting PARCC tests, actively opposed the major threat of a proposed charter school, etc. Comment?


His History

Well, we’ll see. All I know is that someone will be Montclair’s fifth superintendent since 2015 — and that’s 2015 AD, not 2015 BC, when kids were transported to school on yellow chariots and chariot aides had to hang on tight.


What about August 15’s planned post-meeting reception to honor departing superintendent Kendra Johnson? Nice gesture, sure, but she decided to leave mid-contract. And is this reception on Montclair taxpayers’ dime?

Party for Partial Term

The reception will only cost 10 cents? Go ahead then, and add a generous 20% tip if food is brought in from the outside.

A 12-cent party is good, but the super Montclair Jazz Festival was much better. Anyway, you mentioned 2015 BC. What was our school district’s situation around that time, when Montclair High was a wooden hut with a thatched roof?

The Old Daze

That hut partly collapsed, and it took a long time for the 2019-to-2018 (BC) superintendent to get it fixed. She did order temporary classrooms for the Imhotep Annex parking lot, figuring trailers would be invented in a millennium or two.

What about the 2018-to-2017 (BC) interim superintendent?

Reelin’ in the Years

She was from Teaneck — reachable from Montclair back then via the Garden State Dirtway. Tolls were only 12 cents, so a BOE member didn’t pay it one day to fund a future superintendent’s farewell reception.

The 2017-2015 (BC) interim superintendent?

Male Interlude

He admirably traveled to ancient Trenton to testify against a proposed charter school. History indicates his chariot was a hybrid — pulled by horse and kangaroo.

And the 2015-2012 (BC) superintendent?

Time in a Battle

She favored punitive yearly and quarterly exams so much that Forest Street became For-Test Street, after which giddy Pearson executives danced to the music of Cardi BC.

Getting back to current times, when do you think a permanent superintendent gets named?

Desperately Seeking Super

The person picked will already have been given a name at birth.

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.


  1. Dave,
    I can’t say I care who the next interim super is. Today’s news that I do care about is the 2 Representatives that we’re not allowed to visit Israel.

    Last time I checked, the Democrats controlled the House. They seem to be rolling over on this…which really explains why they won’t win in 2020. They have the same backbones as their Republican colleagues.

    What a swamp! I will write-in my dogs at the next Federal election.

  2. Thank you for the comment, Frank! Yes, in the great scheme of things, the new interim superintendent will not be as consequential as the next “permanent” one the Board of Education chooses.

    I agree it’s outrageous that, “thanks” to Trump and Netanyahu, congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are not allowed to visit Israel. And I also agree that the response of many Democrats to this and other Trump outrages is often not strong enough.

    I still think and hope the Dems have a chance to win in 2020, despite all the voter suppression and propaganda and such the Republicans will throw out there. Write-in your dogs? Ha! 🙂 You could rename them Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren…

  3. I agree the Democrats have a real talent for suppressing voter turnout. They have lost votes here. The visas will be issued. What people will remember is Warren and Pelosi saying it was shameful intolerance. It has nothing to do with intolerance. It has everything to do with power. The silly Dems.
    I’m most disappointed in Warren. She is doing the slow drift to the center.
    My dogs are looking good as the campaign goes along…and they are younger than Biden.

  4. “I agree the Democrats have a real talent for suppressing voter turnout” — clever turn of phrase, Frank. 🙂 I suppose the Democrats “suppress” turnout among those voters who are not enthusiastic about certain Democratic candidates and their policy positions, but of course Republicans have done/are doing the actual suppressing (with punitive ID laws, closing polling places in some areas where many people of color live, making low-income former felons in Florida pay up money they can’t afford before voting after a state referendum gave them the right to vote, etc.). The Democrats democratically want more people to vote, and that of course helps them.

    Elizabeth Warren still seems like a mostly progressive candidate to me, but she is obviously somewhat to the right of Bernie Sanders — “we need to reform the worse excesses of capitalism” vs. “let’s try for more democratic socialism.”

    LOL — glad your dogs are younger than Biden! 🙂 And I’m sure they’re more impressive on the campaign trail (or any trail).

  5. Yes, I turned the phrase because the Democrats you defend whine and always blame someone else. If there is a democratic dog whistle, this is it. The dog ate my homework!
    This generation of Democrats Willa always be known as the one that lost an election to candidate like Trump. That’s not vote manipulation – that is the milk carton face of political incompetence.

    Excuses, but the Beltway always figure out a way to use for their gain. Political Capitalists.

    In this latest episode, they will simply increase the campaign contribution requirements for the beltway lobbyists. That’s why you hear the Senators talking about a House issue – a House they view as the great unwashed. This is money in the coffers.

    “Trails” was good. This comparison might have more legs than I thought.

  6. “‘Trails’ was good. This comparison might have more legs than I thought” — ha! 🙂

    I agree there was a lot of Democratic incompetence that led to Trump’s 2016 election, but there were also other reasons for the result. Voter suppression, Russian interference, and who knows what else. And many mainstream Democratic politicians are indeed corporate-influenced — “Republican lite” in various ways — but still better than the complicit/spineless GOPers of today who have fallen down the Trump rabbit hole.

  7. It does make it more difficult to aspire when the leadership doesn’t.

    Anyway, what do you think of the new interim superintendent choice?

  8. True, Frank.

    The new interim superintendent’s résumé seems fine — he’s done a lot during his career. I just hope it doesn’t take anywhere near three years to find a new “permanent” superintendent (as was the case between Penny MacCormack leaving in 2015 and Dr. Johnson being named in 2018).

    What do you think of the new interim?

  9. I think he will submit a 2020-21 budget with the max increase, propose a capital plan of $15MM, pushback hard on any charter school proposal, leave the Pre-k expansion to his successor, and then walk off into the sunset on 6/30/20 (without the send-off reception).

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