Nine New Jersey public school employees earned more last year than the highest paid state worker and one even topped the highest paid authority leader. Close to 400 had base salaries higher than the governor’s.
As a rule, only state college and university presidents, administrators and some coaches earn more than the best compensated public school administrators; college salaries are only partly covered by tax dollars, with the rest covered by tuition.
Similarly, the highest paid New Jersey authority workers are also not completely subsidized by funds from the state budget. The NJ Transparency Center shows the best compensated state employee is Andrew Falzone, the state medical examiner, who gets an annual salary of $250,000. Kevin Corbett, executive director of New Jersey Transit, and Vincent Prieto, president and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, each receives an annual salary of $280,000.
Gov. Phil Murphy receives an annual salary of $175,000, the same as his cabinet members.
Only the base salary
According to the database of public school professional employees from the state Department of Education, 389 superintendents and other administrators had a higher salary than the governor in the 2017-2018 school year. That was only their base salary. Chief school administrators and some other high-ranking employees can also receive significant additional pay, including bonuses, not included in the salary database.
These were the 10 New Jersey public school employees with the highest annual salaries last year, as well as their degrees and experience in education as of October 2017, according to the DOE database:
1. Mark Finkelstein
Chief school administrator of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey in Middlesex County, $288,207. Finkelstein has a master’s degree and 26 years’ experience in education.
2. Leigh Byron
Chief school administrator of the Trenton STEM-to-Civics Charter School, $275,000. Byron has a doctorate and 39 total years’ experience.
3. Frank Gargiulo
Superintendent of Hudson County Vocational School District, $271,762. He has a master’s degree and 27 years’ experience.
4. James Doran
Director of human resources/personnel, Harrison School District, Hudson County, $266,746. Doran has a doctorate and 33 years’ experience.
5. Howard Lerner
Superintendent, Bergen County Vocational School District, $262,274. He has a doctorate and 23 years’ experience.
6. Diana Lobosco
Superintendent, Passaic County Vocational School District, $262,000. She has a master’s degree and 32 years’ experience.
7. Paschal Tennaro
Principal, North Bergen High School, Hudson County, $258,000. He has a master’s degree and 51 years’ experience.
8. Christopher Cerf
Superintendent, Newark School District, Essex County, $255,524. Cerf, a former state education commissioner, has a law degree and two years’ experience in education.
9. Joseph Sirangelo
Director of planning, research and evaluation, Hudson County Vocational, $253,386. He has a doctorate and 39 years’ experience.
10. Timothy Mantz
School business administrator, Pohatcong School District, $248,700. Mantz has a master’s degree and 13 years’ experience.
All professional school salaries are available in NJ Spotlight’s searchable database.