Last night eight members of the Hopatcong's Board of Education unanimously voted to hire Arthur DiBenedetto as the new superintendent with a starting salary of $174,689. DiBenedetto previously served as the superintendent of Vernon schools but retired last April three years into his five year contract. His time at Vernon was surrounded with a lot of controversy.
Nancy LoPresti, former assistant principal of Vernon Township High School, received a $250,000 settlement after claiming DiBenedetto created a hostile work environment. According to the New Jersey Herald, one year prior to the settlement LoPresti and several other district administrators accused the 68-year-old of having "explosive temper tantrums", rampant use of profanity, cronyism in his hiring decisions, and several instances of interfering with legally required medical testing of students suspected of drug abuse."
In addition to these accusations, DiBenedetto received a vote of no-confidence from the Vernon teacher's union and allegedly allowed a student who researched bomb making information on a school computer to come back to school without notifying school staff or properly vetting the student.
He's previously worked as superintendent of Sussex-Wantage, Union Township, Long Hill, Netcong, and Stanhope. According to the New Jersey Herald, Stanhope School District chose not to renew DiBenedetto's contract back in 2009 because of "an anger management problem and personality issues."
Hopefully Hopatcong has a different experience than Vernon School District as DiBenedetto's contract with them is set to run through 2023.
Read the NJHerald.com story here.