Commissioner of Education Endorses Firing of Manalapan HS Principal
The State Commissioner of Education has ordered the dismissal of Jeff Simon from his tenured position as principal of Manalapan High School.
New Jersey State Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf has ruled that former Manalapan High School Principal Jeff Simon be removed from his tenured position.
The Freehold Regional High School District originally filed tenure charges against Simon in February 2012 for violating district policies including mishandling student activity funds and cash from the school play and football games. The charges also included the violation of district fire drill policy.
For an in depth breakdown of the tenure charges filed against Simon by the district, click here.
Cerf upheld the former ruling of Administrative Law Judge Donald J. Stein, issued on Jan. 22, which called for Simon’s removal. Stein upheld two of the three tenure charges against Simon and concluded that Simon’s testimony was not credible. Cerf rejected Stein’s dismissal of the third charge, which states that Simon is unfit to serve as principal, stating that it is imposed as a penalty when the first two charges are upheld, which indicate Simon's inadequacy as principal.
The State Commissioner of Education said that he was satisfied with the judge’s account of the testimony from the nine day hearing; Cerf said the recitation was “both accurate and thorough” and that he finds Stein’s “conclusions as to the truth of the District’s allegations and the characterization of [Simon’s] behavior as unbecoming conduct to be fully supported by the record and consistent with applicable law.”
Cerf ruled that Simon “is not fit to discharge the duties and functions of his position as principal at Manalapan High School and he, therefore, cannot entertain the prospect of [his] return to the district and the resultant potential for the perpetration of a disruptive educational environment.”
According to the Asbury Park Press, Simon’s attorney Stuart Moskovitz intends on appealing the decision because he said he does not feel the hearing was fair. Moskovitz has until March 21 to file an appeal.