May 5, 2011



Dear Dr. Vitta,


It is with great pleasure that we present you with our evaluation of your performance for the 2010/2011 school year.


As in the past through your leadership and strong sense of fiscal responsibility, this year our district continued to provide a quality educational program for our students in spite of our budgetary challenges.  Thank you for the list of accomplishments you provided the Board in April.  It is impressive and reinforces so many of your contributions.  The following briefly highlights what you have achieved.





            In spite of the restrictions imposed by the State, you are to be commended for developing a budget for the 2011-2012 school year that was well below cap. The results of the recent budget vote indicate strong approval by the community for what you have done.  You continue to look for ways to curtail costs and have saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars during your tenure.  Donations and sponsorships from corporate partnerships, such as PNC Bank, are the direct result of the positive relationships you have forged. We continue to look for energy cost savings with the solar initiative well on its way.  Under your direction, the district received a substantial grant from the Samsung Corporation which will benefit our children for years to come.  We are confident that given your exceptional negotiating skills, further cost savings will be realized.  Currently, all of the bargaining unit contracts are up for renewal and strategies you shared with the board were instrumental in outlining specific issues for discussion. 





            Largely through your leadership, there was a smooth transition in music, art, library, guidance, technology, etc., even though the district suffered significant cutbacks due to budgetary limitations.  Some special education programs and classes have been reorganized, prioritized and are currently effective and efficient.  New elementary report cards were piloted and are now in place.  Your willingness to go into classrooms and teach lessons continues to be well received and reinforces your credibility as an instructional leader.  Under the direction of Dr. Grefe, a new writing program was implemented, the K-5 world language program was redesigned and the I&RS program was fine tuned.  Meaningful professional development opportunities provided support for these initiatives.  We look forward to hearing an evaluation of these programs at the end of the school year.  In addition, an expanded mathematics and redesigned Spanish program at the middle school are slated to begin in the fall.  Our after school programs continued with your  Pay for Play plan at Copeland Middle School and PTA assistance in some of the elementary schools.  The Board is in favor of these programs with quarterly evaluations provided due to the fiscal climate and is awaiting your recommendation for how it will be structured next year.





            Communication has definitely been energized in our district due to the collaborative efforts of the district administration, technology department and Board Communications Committee.  With the reduction in force that our district experienced, your reallocation of responsibilities has been a tremendous help in this endeavor.  Your open lines of communication with military families and the Commander at Picatinny Arsenal ensure that their needs are met.  You continue to explore partnerships with community organizations and businesses, such as PNC Bank. Although not this year because it is an every other year occurrence, the realtor and senior citizen events that you initiated have helped keep citizens informed.  Your willingness to attend PTA meetings and your monthly meetings with the PTA Presidents have been extremely effective in communicating correct information and clarifying rumors that exist.





            The condition of our facilities is exceptional.  Under your leadership, there has been substantial improvement, both physically and aesthetically.  Our buildings are now well maintained and “environmentally friendly.”  As stated in your action plan, the Board anticipates that possible redistricting and space utilization studies need to be considered in the near future to address district needs.





            Due to budgetary constraints and State of New Jersey mandates, our district experienced significant reductions in staff as well as many job reassignments.  Our board was concerned that the collaborative spirit that this district had experienced under your leadership would deteriorate.  However, that did not happen due largely to your strong interpersonal skills and boundless efforts.



            Aside from the district goals, the Board recognizes your sincere concern for people, as you have led this district with an “open heart.”  An example of this is how you were relentless in trying to secure positions for so many of our staff members who lost their positions due to reduction in force.  On numerous occasions, parents have sent letters to the Board thanking you for being approachable and for your willingness to do what was right for their children. 

            Gary, it is with deep gratitude and appreciation that our Board accepts your resignation for reasons of retirement, effective January 1, 2012.   During your tenure with us, your personal and professional commitment to excellence has been remarkable.  Aside from your professional responsibilities, your personal donations to our district and your willingness to take a wage freeze for the 2010-2011 school year have not gone unnoticed.  We value your offer to come back to our district for a few times a week “gratis,” immediately following your retirement to help with the transition, but we have since found out that the State of New Jersey will not allow this.  However, all of this is a true testament to your genuine concern of always doing what is best for our district. 

            In accordance with State regulations, all terms and conditions of your three-year contract remain the same for the 2011-2012 school year and will be prorated to reflect the date of your retirement.  We look forward to working with you during the next seven months as we continue our pursuit of educational excellence.






Susan Salny, Vice President


for the Rockaway Township Board of Education

Frank Giarratano, Joseph Jackson, Robert Kurland, Susan Salny and Fred West