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Robert Zywicki, the superintendent of Mt. Olive School district has resigned after a long and cantankerous battle with the school board and assorted lawyers. He had been superintendent since 2018 and was making $238,000 a year plus benefits when this past October the school board voted to put him on paid leave “until further notice.” Zywicki promptly filed a tort notice that he would be suing board members Antoine Gayles and William Robinson for $5.13 million each. In a resignation letter reported today by Advance Media, Zywicki said those board members have “personal grudges” against him.
“I will no longer fight for a job that has been spoiled for me. I will no longer watch this Board waste of hundreds of thousands of dollars of the taxpayers’ hard earned dollars paying legal fees to Mr. [Marc] Zitomer,” Mt. Olive’s attorney. “I will simply move on, because my physical health and my mental well being can no longer tolerate the toxic and hostile environment perpetuated by the majority of this Board.”
(Marc Zitomer previously worked as the school board attorney in Lakewood before that district hired Michael Inzelbuch.)
NJ Education Report reported in November that Zywicki had been moonlighting at Kean University, teaching evening courses in the university education department. His classes technically didn’t interfere with his duties at Mt. Olive. But one of his responsibilities was supervising student teachers in the Office of Clinical Teacher Placement, which does happen during the daytime. So Zywicki had the student teachers placed in Mt. Olive so he could do both jobs at the same time.
It is unclear if this arrangement (halted when Kean administrators found out) led to Zywicki’s paid leave. But in March the Mt. Olive school board filed tenure charges against him and stopped paying him. The violations they cite include that “Zywicki pressured a school board architect to donate $100,000 to help fund a new football field scoreboard and pay for the gift by secretly inflating his regular fees paid by the district.” Also, he was “double-dipping” by simultaneously working at Rutgers University.
Zywicki’s lawsuit against the two board members is still active.