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Brower Reinstated as Lacey Schools Superintendent

Embattled superintendent will return to Lacey district Tuesday

Sandra Brower (Patch File Photo)
Sandra Brower (Patch File Photo)
Sandra Brower was reinstated as the Lacey school district's superintendent Monday night in a unanimous vote.

Brower will retake the superintendent's position Tuesday morning and will be entitled to receive back pay from the time she was suspended, school officials said. Brower's salary is $167,500 per year.

No members of the public spoke during the meeting.

Brower had been suspended since May when she was charged with failing to immediately report a teacher's possible sexual assault of a 4-year-old special needs student while she was Wall Township's assistant superintendent. 

But in January, all charges were dropped against Brower, leaving the status of her employment contract with Lacey - which does not end until July 1, 2016 - in limbo.

"This was not an easy task, but there was absolutely no choice to us," said board member Donna McAvoy, before the vote took place. "There was a contract, so we honor the contract by law, that’s what we do."

Board member Maureen Tirella, an attorney and former assistant prosecutor in Ocean County, said after charges were dropped against Brower a subcommittee met to look at various options.

"Upon looking at all the choices, we had a superintendent who’s very qualified," said Tirella. "All the charges were dropped, and the only reason that she was put out of her position was because of that indictment. So for us it was an easy choice to bring her back."

"Trust and respect is what makes our district go," said Eric J. Schubiger, who was not able to vote on reinstating Brower due to his wife being employed as a teacher in the district.

Board members Bruce Carney, Shawn Giordano, Tirella and McAvoy all voted in favor of reinstating Brower. The remaining three board members, under state law, could not vote due to conflicts.

While Brower is returning to serve out her contract, she may only have a limited amount of time in the Lacey district. In July, the school board preemptively voted against renewing her contract beyond its expiration.
Nicholas Cage the II February 25, 2014 at 11:41 PM
Go ahead ask any cop , no way you can ever be involved in a rape of a child and rat your way out of of jail time . Never going to happen .i don't need to know any facts of any story to see through that theory .
dawn February 25, 2014 at 11:51 PM
As I Stated....read the story ,get your facts straight before you comment...you don't even know the charges..your comments are inappropriate on this forum....do you even own homes in Lacey that you pay taxes on....we pay her salary....So don't even bother commenting anymore,if you aren't a home owner....
Nicholas Cage the II February 26, 2014 at 12:13 AM
Let me see the headlines read "Lacey super intendent reinstated after sexual assult charges cleared ",and you and many other people were surmising that" she sang like a song bird because they just dont drop those charges"how are my comment inappropriate when they were only a rebuttal to what you were hinting. As a mater of fact I sold my home and moved away because that town is in very bad shape in many more ways then one . I don't need dopers breaking in my home when I'm at work . Only read the patch to remind myself that I made a wise decision years ago .
dawn February 26, 2014 at 12:17 AM
Well you are dead on about lacey...I agree with alot of that...Been here forever for the most part and its changed and not for the better....Good for you for exiting when you had the chance....
Nicholas Cage the II February 26, 2014 at 12:26 AM
It's a shame because I went to school there my whole life and it was a beautiful town with next to no heroin problem when I was I attending . I went back to visit a few times and that's When it really opened my eyes of to how horrible things had become outside looking in was heart breaking . All I'm meant was I doubt she could say anything to talk her way out of that situation.cchances are the lack of evidence would never allow 12 of her peers to find her guilty, so courts avoid trial and she pleaded out to something much less serious an offense . Good luck lacey township . You can still turn the negative around
dawn February 26, 2014 at 12:41 AM
It's everything you said and more...It is sad...I graduated 87 and it wasn't like this...Heroine effected my family and we are lucky to have hopefully gotten thru that...you have no idea...pretty hard to turn this town around now...scarey with a young teenager and a younger daughter...you made the right choice...hope your town is better....and the taxes here are climbing....must have been an eye opener to visit and see the changes...you are on the outside looking in,so you can see clearer....at least they seem to be cracking down on the heroine and making more arrest with the new chief...lacey has more issues than that though....that one is a Hugh one though....hopefully you are right,and the negative will turn around...kinda stuck here at the moment...you were smart to see that coming and exit stage left....
Nicholas Cage the II February 26, 2014 at 01:32 AM
All I can say is ,to everyone if you have children I'd get them out of there quickly while they're young . Run for the hills ! drugs and crime are everywhere but drugs are not infested everywhere .If you chose to stay talk to the children while they are very young . Point out the very obvious drug abusers around town . Watch the drug addictions tv show s and specials on herion ,coke , Rx . Burn it in their brain what drugs will do . While they are still young and impressionable . Seems like you got to take away from their innocent childhood and make em grow up quick to inform them about adult issues . If you wait you might not be able to tell them anything .in Lacey now a days they got the chips stacked against them . Sad because it wasn't like that .
dawn February 26, 2014 at 07:20 AM
I know and I wish I went south a long time ago when we had the opportunity....I do everything you say and more. Very sad they have too grow up that way I agree...They aren't growing up like we did...The town is about to host the big Red night out tomorrow,as my neighbors are burying their son....Yep you guessed it,another sad ending...They are losing the war on drugs...just say no isn't working like it did with us...
Clementine Snide February 26, 2014 at 07:37 AM
@niggalas: The child in question was not assaulted, it was an allegation that Dr. Brower dismissed, breaking the law, then allegedly tried to cover up in an elaborate scheme. Whereby I appreciate your zeal, your facts are a teeny bit off. You have some very strong thoughts on this subject, and seem to have a deep passion. Be sure to back those passions with facts, or people will tear your argument down, no matter the valid points. ;-) Here's the rub, good people, the charges were dropped because a second Grand Jury turned in a No Bill directive. No, she was not exonerated, but as long as her lawyers and the MC Prosecutor are playing footsie and keeping the public in the dark about "new evidence", we will never know the WHY. Resultant, the BOE had NO CHOICE in the reinstatement. Let me rephrase, the choices they had were, as far as I can see, (1) reinstatement; (2) buying her out; or (3) trying to find some sort of magical loophole in the contract. Once the charges were dropped, there was no legal reason for termination. The hands of the BOE were effectively tied by the letter of the law. Are there moral issues at hand? Undoubtedly, but until they are provable in a court of law, there isn't a thing to be done. With that in mind back in June, the BOE pre-emptively voted to not rehire at the termination of the contract. Which is smart. In the meantime, however, Dr. Brower is here to stay. Perhaps (although I doubt it) she will recognize the thin ice upon which she is skating (and the fact that so many people are standing by with hair dryers), and quietly, thoughtfully and without arrogance and retribution, she will buckle down and serve the students of Lacey and not herself. I have no love for Dr. Brower. But I also have to stand and say that the BOE cannot be judge, jury and executioner in a case of "we don't like her anymore". It's illegal and would amount to a lawsuit against Lacey. She will be scrutinized closely, I'm sure. She's rustled too many jimmies to get away with sneezing without a tissue at this point.
Nicholas Cage the II February 26, 2014 at 09:10 AM
Snide I'm not sure what to believe in this fiasco all. I was just going by the headline that was in NJ .com 12 hours ago that stated " superintendent reinstated after Sex Assault charge cleared . Wether or not she really really tried to cover anything up that's now in Gods hands to decide the consequence . You say to look at it with facts but the truth is, I know without the discovery of the case in hand ill never have facts . Certainly not but reading media coverage or by taking these comments with more then a grain of salt. That's why from the get go I claimed I was uneducated on the topic but was almost completely certain that she didn't provide info on anyone to trade for less time or less a charge . I'm sure her lawyers had a leg to stand on to stand on from a lack of evidence , in or to play footsie as you put it ,there must be major holes in the case . Or the prosecutor would have buried her. That was the only certainty I had . As for Brower I hear the complaints she's mean , a bully and doesn't know how to treat people . I reminds me of Morgan Freeman's Movie "Lean on me "about the principle that no one wanted. Sent to a failing school that was drug and violence ridden . Well that's the type of personlality that the Patterson school needed in the movie based on real life events . Maybe that's the same type of person it will take to whip lacey back into shape. In the end if she happens to stick around I hope she can have a similar outcome . GOOD LLUCK LACEY!you can still win this one .
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:42 AM
I have been attending Lacey Township Council Meetings for over 30 years and School Board Meeting for the past few years. One thing is true about Lacey politics; the real concern around town is not REALLY, what is being discussed. Are we really talking about Dr. Brower the person or the change she will bring?
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:42 AM
IN MY OPINION; the real reason we are talking about Dr. Brower is fear. What is really at stake once she comes back? There are natural fears of an outsider.
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:42 AM
Remember, there may have been a little bit of nepotism factoring into the selection process for staffing the district over the past thirty years.
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:43 AM
A few years back we had a Superintendant who built beautiful school buildings over his thirty year career. This school district was the reason, why many people moved to Lacey. But then, with the outrage over our ratings falling, he retired. The residents of Lacey spoke out and demanded the replacement Superintendent must be from out of town. In my opinion, Dr. Clark would have been an excellent candidate for the position. However, the residence were demanding a new direction, we wanted an outsider. Dr. Clark was being groomed for the Superintendent position. The perfect candidate for protecting the status quo.
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:43 AM
The BOE hired Dr. Brower as the new Superintendent. She came to work with mandate to significantly change directions. We now have a “D” Rating. Dr. Brower sat thru a year of meetings being told about problems. The she started to make changes. Wow did that really upset the status quo!
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:43 AM
My conspiracy theory is the BOE is buckling to the district workers. With Dr. Clark as Superintendent instead of Dr. Brower the status quo is protected. This is what this controversy is really about.
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:44 AM
Listen to what disgruntle district workers and families say about Dr. Brower; she is mean, she is a bully, she gets a lot of negative press, she doesn’t play by our rules, low morale with the workers, etc. I say thank you Dr. Brower, keep up the good work.
Tim February 26, 2014 at 09:44 AM
Lacey Taxpayers, we have hit a “D” Rating, change is has to come. Parents, for you kids sake support the positive change. Tax Payers demand accountability. We need serious change with a new School Board Administrator and School Board Attorney. Let’s clean house.
Resident February 26, 2014 at 10:11 AM
I find it funny that all of these people reading this article, commenting on about how Brower shouldn't be back and all of the non sense, but all of you that have all the time in the world to sit on here and have everything bad to say about her,but not one person had any guts to go to the meeting and stand up and say something. It just shows that being hidden behind a username on a website everyone has the balls to say something, but when it actually comes down to it, no one has the courage to say it infront of the public. Clark deserves that spot more than anyone, good job Lacey Township, good luck to the students.
Tim February 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM
@ Resident - I was at the meeting and saw it was going to have a favorable outcome. Dr. Brower was to be reinstated. Why would I get up and complain?
Resident February 26, 2014 at 10:32 AM
@Tim- At the high school fall banquet in 2013, she got up and said these exact words, " Our students are athletes, and that's just cool." Children that are ten years old have better vocabulary than that. She's back to make everyone miserable and then she'll be out again. She doesn't deserve this position, you wait and see.
Tim February 26, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Either way, the Lacey Tax Payer and students will pay the price. We have a net result of graduating students not prepared for life. Those students who do succeed, are the result of parents who are compensating for the short coming in their formal education. It is time for accountability. Dr. Clark and her 22 administrators plus support staff is running on auto pilot. More of the same, you know status quo. If this is really about the children, then the joy ride needs to end. We have to get off this down hill fall.
Joe Stewart February 26, 2014 at 11:02 AM
This was a legal decision where the board had no choice. If they would not have re-instated her she would have sued the town and it would have cost us all a lot more money. The only thing that we can do is hold her to the fire by going to the board meeting and demanding certain things. Hopefully in two years, the board will appoint Dr. Vanessa Clark, which is what the idiots should have done in the first place. We need to get the people off the board who have been there for years and replace them with people that actually have kids in the schools. Bruce, its time to retire from the board.
Leo February 26, 2014 at 11:21 AM
What positive change has Dr Clark come up with while Dr Brower was gone? D Rating plus sliding the the state rankings and the BOE is saying what? NOTHING
MuffPusher February 28, 2014 at 06:46 PM
@Niggalas cage hahah i see your still a jackass, Your comments never cease to amaze me yet your stupidity is on a whole other level. I hope you Grow up sometime KID.
Nicholas Cage the II March 01, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Smh @ muff pusher lol I clicked on your name . Turns out you use to be Dave smith . The clown that I shut down months ago because you were talking circles and contradicting yourself , so I exposed you . And now you have been exposed twice by me . Your still BUT HURT after all these months. Well change your tampon not your name . You and that idiot CAN aren't smart enough to come at me .
MuffPusher March 03, 2014 at 03:26 PM
HAH your funny i changes my name to best represent the people on this patch (Talk to my muff) and furthermore you have a big mouth and all you spew is garbage lol, We all know you can't get it up anymore so you have to go on here to make yourself feel superior. Well i have news for you Little boy, What you say means nothing and me taking the time out of my day to even write your ignorant ass is stupid on my part because you cant argue with a complete and total idiot like yourself, You make it sound like your so high and mighty hahah you are just a common troll that has nothing nice to say so how about this go back under your bridge TROLL!
Nicholas Cage the II March 03, 2014 at 07:48 PM
Muff pusher you a idiot. Anyone that clicks your name and checks your previous comments would agree "traffic stop leads to marijauna arrest " you made a complete fool of yourself and I wasn't the only one saying that in the post . Go back and check . Yo might see different now . Lets be real your still BUT HURT Over that exchange of words we had and that's so lame !Get over it buddy you not the only one I put in there place on here. You say troll this and that but call it ,calling people out when they say stupid shit . Mainly pertaining to racist comments , weed related topics ,herion posts, and snitches . Guess your trolling 2 : )you say can't get it up ??? I bet I'm not much older then you just a lot wiser., And thanks but my wang stands up fine .
grace March 07, 2014 at 05:24 PM
omg where is proud????
Joey Joe March 08, 2014 at 03:43 PM
@Grace - Trust me, he is in here someplace...but under a different name... Perhaps "Leo" or one of the Mortimer's that post on the patch of late... who knows, but I just got a feelin !!! :-)

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