Dr. Schiff Shockingly Retires


courtesy of Katherine Shaughnessy

Dr. Schiff doing work at his desk where he’s been leading the district since 2011.

Nick Holt, Staff writer

In a surprise announcement, BOE President Judith Haas made a motion to accept the resignation of School Superintendent Dr. Jorden Schiff during the Hillsborough Township’s Board of Education meeting that was held on September 16, 2019.

Once the announcement was made, some members on the BOE commented on how Dr. Schiff, during his eight years as Superintendent of the Hillsborough School District, made many improvements to the district, and how he will be missed.

I reached out to Board Member Jean Trujillo, who has not always agreed with some of Dr. Schiff’s proposals, to ask what her reaction to his retirement was. She wanted to be sure that I made it clear that her opinions are solely her own and do not express the views or opinions of the Hillsborough Township School Board.

“I was surprised to learn of Dr. Schiff’s retirement from the district,” Trujillo said. “Upon further reflection of my comments from the dais at the Monday, September 16, 2019, board meeting, I think what I am most upset about and yes, ashamed of, is my own inaction in not publicly supporting the superintendent when he was being criticized on the radio, social media and in an anonymously circulated petition.”

“Dr. Schiff and I did not always agree on issues, but he did not deserve this poor treatment,” Trujillo continued. “Nobody does. I referred to mental stress because this is a stressful, uncertain time for many people in the community. I want to take this opportunity to encourage students to speak with their guidance counselor or trusted adult because you should know that you are not alone in how you feel. Take the first step and ask for help.”

What Trujillo was referencing to was a campaign that was promoted on social media by people who wanted to make it public their lack of confidence in how Dr. Schiff was doing his job. It is considered by many people, to be one of the reasons Dr. Schiff retired so suddenly.

Dr. Lorranie Soisson, BOE Vice President, also spoke at the meeting once the announcement was made public. During her comments, she listed Dr. Schiff’s accomplishments, including the following; there has been an increased number of AP classes offered at the high school as well as an increase in the number of students taking them; Mandarin Chinese was added as a World Language and is being taught in the elementary schools starting in 1st grade; American Sign Language was added at the high school; and perhaps the biggest accomplishment of his time in Hillsborough, the introduction of 1 to 1 technology (laptops).

During his time in Hillsborough, which began on Jan. 1, 2011, having come from Readington Township as their Superintendent, it is clear that Dr. Schiff made a large impact on this District.

While Dr. Schiff begins his retirement following his last day as Hillsborough’s Superintendent on October 1, 2019, he expressed how he had no “specific” plans on how he would be spending his time. Dr. Schiff did state however that his wife and family are looking forward to spending time together.

When asked about his thoughts about how the District will manage once he leaves, Schiff shared much optimism, stating “Dr. Antunes, Assistant Superintendent, has been appointed the Acting Superintendent as of 10/1. Her experience, commitment, and dedication to the students and staff of Hillsborough will serve the district well.”

Dr. Antunes definitely has big shoes to fill, but with the praise from Dr. Schiff, she is sure to make her name known as the new Superintendent.