Ravally Named Schools Chief; 5-Year Contract Starts July 1

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John A. Ravally speaks after he was appointed the district’s new schools Superintendent at the May 7 Board of Education meeting.

John A. Ravally was unanimously approved as the district’s new schools Superintendent at the Board of Education’s May 7 meeting.

Ravally, currently the superintendent in the Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head school districts, will start his new post on July 1. His contract with Franklin runs through June 30, 2020.

After his appointment, Ravally thanked the board and said he was “truly excited about learning more about the strengths of Franklin Township schools.”

Accompanied by his wife and one of his two daughters, Ravally said, “We truly are, as a family, excited about this opportunity.”

Ravally said he would be holding a series of “meet and greet” meetings over the summer to “hear about the wonderful things that are happening, and how we can build on those strengths.”

Ravally will replace interim school Superintendent Lee Seitz, who the board hired after the resignation last year of Edward Seto.

Board president Ed Potosnak said the board had “a number of high quality” candidates in the two rounds of interviews it conducted over the past 14 months.

Potosnak said the position attracted about 40 candidates.

“It has been a very deliberative process,” he said.

Ravally, Potosnak said, is a “great fit for the district.”

“I’m quite sure that tomorrow, in his current district, there are going to be some sad faces,” Potosnak said.

Ravally will be paid the maximum of $177,500 a year, plus merit bonuses. He will receive three days of personal leave, 12 sick days, 22 vacation days and 14 holidays per year, and be entitled to tuition remission, Potosnak said.

Ravally currently serves as superintendent in Point Pleasant Beach – which has an elementary and a high school – and Bay Head, which has an elementary school and sends its high school students to Point Beach.

The Point Beach school district has a shared services agreement with Bay Head, through which Ravally is paid.

Prior to his appointment, Ravally, a Point Pleasant resident, said that he was looking forward to the challenges posed by moving from a small school district to a larger one.

“I have great experience because I come from a small district,” he said. “When you’re in a small district, you have hands-on experience with everything, because you’re wearing all the hats.”

That was especially true in Bay Head, Ravally said, where he is the school’s only administrator.

Ravally also served as a school Superintendent/Principal in the Lavallette school district.

Ravally said he expected there would be some “challenges” in learning that he does not have to be as “hands-on” in Franklin.

“I’m somebody who works with people well,” he said. “My idea is not to come here and change how a person might be doing something.”

He said that because he’s had experience in every facet of running a district, he might be able to impart what he’s learned to another administrator, or, he said, that administrator might have a better idea of how to do something than he.

The school district is in the beginning phases of construction connected to the $85 million referendum passed last year. Ravally said he has experience in dealing with referenda in the districts in which he’s worked, including referenda of $3.9 million in Lavallette, $10 million for the Point Beach high school, and $2.9 million and $4.5 million in Bay Head.

“I’m really excited about Franklin Township’s referendum,” he said. “I think that it’s a great opportunity.”

The district’s planned realignment – through which two middle schools will be created and another elementary school built – “is a good plan, it’s educationally sound,” he said.

Ravally said one of the reasons he was compelled to apply for the position is the challenge posed by the complexity of a large district such as Franklin.

Also, he said, he was impressed by the fact that township voters approved two large referenda within a relatively short time of each other.

“They’ve shown a huge commitment to education,” he said of the voters.

“The cultural diversity to me, was also a draw,” he said. “That’s an exciting thing.”

Township schools “have a lot of potential, if you ask me,” Ravally said.

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