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In March 2022, the principal of Wall High School, Principal Rose Sirchio, was placed on paid leave after an investigation into alleged improper behavior during a senior class trip to Disney World in Florida. According to the Mickey Blog, “three sources with knowledge of the incident claimed improper behavior took place, causing an investigation.” At the time the School Board placed Sirchio, as well as Wall Intermediate Principal Erin Embon, on paid leave. Sirchio was making $188,000 a year, plus a generous benefits package.
Fifteen months later Embon is principal of Wall Elementary School but Sirchio is still on paid leave. But now, per her contract with the district, the long-time high school principal will start making $200,763 a year, plus generous benefits.
The Star-Ledger reports that Sirchio has no comment on her raise or her continued status, although it has nothing to do with last year’s football scandal where six Wall High School football players pleaded guilty to bullying and hazing younger students (although the Athletic Director and coach were fired).
It is unclear if Wall Township intends to pursue tenure charges—Sirchio has tenure so can only be fired if the district files charges—or if she will be reinstated.
According to New Jersey’s tenure and evaluation law, the process for removing tenure is:
“If any tenured teacher, principal, assistant principal, or vice principal is rated ineffective or partially effective in two consecutive years according to the chart below, that employee may be charged with inefficiency. Tenure charges must be filed for teachers who earn consecutive ineffective ratings. The charges are filed by the superintendent with the local board of education. Within 30 days of the filing, the board of education shall forward the written charges to the Commissioner, unless the board determines that the evaluation process has not been followed. After permitting the employee an opportunity to submit a written response to the charges, the Commissioner shall refer the case to an arbitrator to determine potential loss of tenure.”