NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A resident of the city's Sixth Ward is leaving her position with the Paterson school system for a higher-paying position in New Brunswick's schools.
Marnie McKoy becomes the first major Paterson school official to follow Aubrey Johnson from the Silk City to the Hub City. Johnson was named New Brunswick's first new Superintendent in a decade, and took office in July.
McKoy will earn $157,000 as the district's new Director of Human Resources starting November 2.
"In this role, McKoy’s primary responsibilities will include district-wide personnel management, as well as overseeing all hiring processes inclusive of recruitment, selection and retention of highly-qualified personnel," reads a press release issued by the district's public relations firm.
She earned $137,000 as Paterson Public Schools' "executive director of accountability" and $140,00–plus a $1,000-a-month stipend– as its "acting chief Human Capital officer."
The "acting" part of McKoy's previous job title was added only after a journalist asked if she had required credentials for the one title, and was told she did not.
As PatersonPress.com reported in 2012:
The city schools superintendent changed the job title of one of his Cabinet members this week as media inquiries focused on the fact that she lacked a credential required for the original position.
For the past two weeks, Paterson Public Schools’ website had listed Marnie McKoy as the district’s “interim chief human capital officer.” But one of the requirements for the job is that the officer have a state administrative certificate and city education officials this week acknowledged that McKoy does not have that certificate…
“[Superintendent] Evans corrected the title to be ‘Acting’ – there is a difference and the certificate is not required,” [a school district spokeswoman] said.
In what may amount to a similar situation, the New Brunswick Board of Education recently overhauled the job description for the very position McKoy is getting, "effective immediatly," at their August 18 board meeting.
The vague resolution adopted by the board provides no details about the substance of the changes, and uses strange language, saying the job description "needed to be approved."
"WHERAS, the job description for the position of Director of Human Resources needed to be approved in order to adequately describe this position," reads one of the three clauses in the resolution.
"The New Brunswick Board of Education hereby approves the job description for the position of Director of Human Resources effective immediately."
It is not yet clear how McKoy's credentials would have stacked up to the prior job description.
“Our district is extremely fortunate that we'll have someone of Mrs. McKoy's abilities and professional experience working in support of our students," Johnson is quoted as saying in the press release.
“In addition to her exceptional qualifications, we have the added benefit that as a New Brunswick resident, she's already extremely familiar with this community."
The release says that the selection process "was managed by a panel that included district administrators, plus a meet-and-greet with board of education members."
McKoy and her husband, Vaughn McKoy, a former Rutgers football player and the former head of New Jersey's Division of Criminal Justice, have lived in New Brunswick since the 1990's.
Her husband was raised in Paterson and is the author of "Playing Up: One Man's Rise From Public Housing to Public Service Through Mentorship." Earlier this year, he donated 5,000 copies of the book to the Paterson school district.
Marnie McKoy also studied at Rutgers, where she graduated from Douglass College with a degree in English, before earning a master's degree in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University.
For two and a half years, from 1999 to 2001, Marnie McKoy served on the Board of Trustees for the Greater Brunswick Charter School.
At the same time, she began working at the Pingry School, a private school in Martinsville. After five years there, and another five as the "Head of School" at Link Community School in Newark, McKoy took her first job in Paterson.
In August 2009, she became the CEO and Principal of the Community Charter School of Paterson, a K-5 school with 600 students and 80 staff, before moving on to work for Paterson Public School two years later under state-appointed Superintendent Donnie Evans.
She is presently a trustee on the Rutgers Community Health Foundation and "Schools We Can."
Editor's Note: The author of this article previously worked with PatersonPress.com.
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 and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.