Former Kinnelon Superintendent Takes Position in N.Y.
Jim Opiekun said New Jersey is a 'hostile work environment' for superintendents.
Former Kinnelon Public Schools Superintendent Jim Opiekun will be starting the school year with a new district for the first time in over a decade this September.
According to the Floral Park Dispatch, Opiekun was hired in July as the new superintendent of the Floral Park-Bellerose School District, a school district in Nassau County on Long Island.
Opiekun, who retired from Kinnelon in May before the high school commencement ceremony, said New Jersey is a difficult state to work as a superintendent in.
“I would say from a superintendent’s standpoint, the only good thing about being a superintendent in New Jersey is that you understand what it is to live in a hostile work environment and I just hope that I never created that for anybody else," he told the Floral Park Dispatch.
However, in the Kinnelon district specifically, Opiekun was proud of his accomplishments before he left. Included in them was boosting community opinions about the district after a $27 million building project and having several school district budgets be approved by voters. He also helped the district through challenging times when state aid was cut by more than $1 million two years ago.
Opiekun has been a superintendent for more than 24 years, having also served as a superintendent in the East Rutherford school district. In May, he said he was also pleased to have formed meaningful relationships with the Kinnelon community's residents and parents of students in the district.
"It sounds so cliche, but it's a big family," he said.