Dr. Antunes Appointed as Interim Superintendent


Courtesy of Milan Rose

Dr. Lisa Antunes assumed the role of acting superintendent following the resignation of Dr. Jorden Schiff.

Emily Chu, Op-Ed Editor

On Sept. 16, the announcement of Dr. Jorden Schiff’s retirement not only set a tone of turmoil and tension for the next two hours of the Board meeting, but also added to the growing unease among Hillsborough residents as budget cuts and teacher contracts continue to be a hotly debated topic.

As of Oct. 1, previous Acting Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Lisa Antunes, has stepped up as the interim superintendent in place of Dr. Schiff until a permanent replacement is found. Dr. Antunes has been with the district as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction since 2005 and has since made a lasting impact, taking up the daunting task of leading Hillsborough’s education in the right direction.

“As the assistant superintendent, I have always been quite engaged behind the scenes in the operational decision-making process,” Dr. Antunes said. “However, taking on the responsibilities of the acting superintendent has moved me to the forefront of community engagement.”

It has been no easy task stepping into the position at such a crucial time. In the midst of a transitional period in terms of controversial new policies, Dr. Antunes is thankfully not alone.

“There are challenges to transitioning to this new position,” Dr. Antunes said. “However, I have been fortunate to have a team of professionals who are willing to collaborate and work to resolve any unanticipated issues that may arise.”

One major challenge has been the proposal for the new referendum. After the overwhelming defeat of the referendum in March due to a majority objection to the inevitable rise in taxes that it brings, Dr. Antunes and her team have continued to work hard in an effort to get it passed.

“The focus has been on settling the contract with the Hillsborough Education Association and the December 10 referendum that will address essential infrastructure issues targeting repairs, renovations, security, and indoor air quality concerns throughout all nine buildings,” Dr. Antunes said.

While Dr. Antunes may lack the experience as superintendent and has remained relatively behind the scenes, she holds a personal stake in improving the district and educational system. First and foremost she is a mother of two and wants a quality education for both her own kids and the all the kids at Hillsborough Township schools.

“During my tenure here, I became a mom of two incredible, beautiful, funny boys who are now in sixth grade and fourth grade,” Dr. Antunes said. 

When asked about whether she was planning on applying for the position once her term as interim is over, Dr. Antunes has expressed that still hasn’t decided whether she will be pursuing the position or not. However, it seems Dr. Antunes is already thinking ahead in terms of her future here in Hillsborough.

“If I become the next proud superintendent of HTPS, I hope to continue our work toward excellence in a collaborative manner and provide an opportunity for greater student voice at the district level,” Dr. Antunes said.

While the future of the referendum and the superintendent position remains unclear, Dr. Antunes has nothing short of a positive outlook for Hillsborough.