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Former Westwood schools chief who took generator home becomes Rochelle Park superintendent

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Geoffrey Zoeller, the Westwood Regional schools superintendent who resigned under pressure after taking a district generator home just before Hurricane Sandy hit, is set to be named the new schools chief for Rochelle Park tonight, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

UPDATE (Nov. 4): The Rochelle Park Board of Education unanimously gave Zoeller the job, beginning Dec. 1 through July 1, 2019, at a starting salary of $130,000. They cited many positive references, some of which they said were unsolicited. “Trust is earned. Respect is earned. And I’m going to earn it for you,” Zoeller told parents after the vote.

CLICK HERE for RPBOE AGENDA

Zoeller last year taught chemistry at Bergenfield High School before serving as a temporary administrator with the district.

He resigned from the Westwood district in January 2013 after seven years there amid the fallout from the generator incident the previous fall.

School board members said surveillance images showed Zoeller taking the generator home to Boonton before Sandy struck, cutting power to millions of homes and businesses on Oct. 29.

He left it there while he and his family went to Florida for the week, he said later. Although Zoeller originally said he needed the generator so he could work at home, he later apologized and returned the generator two weeks later.

The union representing Westwood Regional teachers took a vote of no-confidence soon after and Zoeller wasn’t reported seen in the district after that.

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