NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An Assistant Superintendent in the City of Paterson will be the next New Brunswick Schools Superintendent, according to several sources.
Earlier this year, rumors swirled in both the Silk City and the Hub City that Aubrey Johnson was a finalist for the position being vacated by New Brunswick Superintendent Richard Kaplan.
As we reported previously, the New Brunswick Board of Education retained the firm of former Department of Education Commissioner William Librera, to guide it through the job search process.
The firm did not respond to a request to confirm Johnson’s hiring, nor did Kaplan, who has held the job for ten years.
The Board of Education is scheduled to meet on April 21 at 7pm in New Brunswick High School, even though it is Election Day. The agenda for the meeting has not yet been made public.
Johnson currently makes a $150,000 annual salary working for the Paterson Public School District, and has been with that employer since October 1995. He did not respond to a voicemail message left at his office.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Johnson hails from Teaneck and it’s not clear if he would relocate for the New Brunswick job.
Johnson is married to Christine Johnson, a principal at Paterson’s Dale Avenue School. She was protested in September after failing to notify authorities in an incident where a child was given to a complete stranger last year, according to PatersonPress.com’s Joe Malinconico.
According to his most recent financial disclosure form, he also runs a private pre-K school called “Johnson’s Academy” in Queens, NY.
The Johnsons are close allies of Donnie Evans, the Paterson district’s state-appointed Superintendent. Evans was appointed to the job by then-Governor Jon Corzine in 2009.
In January 2012, Johnson was promoted from the position of Director of Assessment, Planning and Evaluation to the role of Assistant Superintendent by Evans, the state-appointed Superintendent of the district.
Eight months later, Johnson was put in charge of the district’s “Innovation Zone” program, an initiative “designed to accelerate improvements in student achievement and non-academic outcomes.”
“For the 2012-2013 school year, the Innovation Zone was re-conceptualized and re-organized to include the district’s six elementary priority schools, fourteen focus elementary schools, and four focus high schools, each of which implements the Regional Achivement Center Approach,” reads a report.
Under Evans leadership, and with Aubrey Johnson in a key role, the administration of Governor Chris Christie restored partial control of the school district to local officials after more than two decades of state control.
Most recently, Johnson has made headlines with a new plan for an all-boys school designed to improve the performance of African-American and Latino students, according to a report on PatersonPress.com.
The single-gender program would start with about 60 students in grades three through five and then expand into its own elementary school, according to the report.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.