Sparta resident Richard Tomko has been appointed to a state task force on public school staff shortages.
Tomko has been superintendent of the Belleville Public Schools District since 2015.
Gov. Phil Murphy appointed 23 people to the task force, which will provide recommendations aimed at increasing the number of teachers and support staff for grades K-12.
“Educators play an invaluable role in shaping the lives of their students and ultimately molding our country’s future,” Murphy said. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we must recognize the impact that teacher shortages in our state and across the nation will have on our economy, the arts and our civil society.
“My administration remains steadfast in our commitment to identifying solutions to address this shortage, and I am confident that this task force will offer the unique perspectives and experience that this moment requires.”
The task force also will look at best practices and innovative ways to recruit and retain school staff and ways to increase the pipeline of teachers and educational support candidates.
Its initial recommendations are expected by Jan. 31.
The task force will be chaired by Dennis Zeveloff, a chief policy adviser to the governor. Members include school administrators, school board representatives, an assistant principal, teachers, a paraprofessional, representatives of education-related associations and people recommended by legislative leaders.
Tomko has spent 24 years as a school administrator and has been a superintendent for the past 12 years.