PATERSON — A social studies teacher who also coached intramural soccer was arrested at School 27 in Paterson on Monday after he was indicted in Arizona on sex charges involving a minor, city education officials said.
The teacher, Joshua Valvano, was suspended without pay, according to school district spokeswoman Terry Corallo. The charges against Valvano do not involve his students in Paterson, officials said. He has taught in Paterson since February 2012, according to payroll records.
Paterson’s security director James Smith said the allegations against Valvano “are sexual in nature involving a minor.” Authorities in Maricopa County in Arizona, which issued the extradition warrant for Valvano, could not be reached for comment.
“The safety of our children is our top priority and we are fully cooperating with law enforcement in New Jersey and Arizona,” said Corallo in a written statement.
Parents from School 27 and Don Bosco Technical Institute received letters and phone messages from Paterson superintendent Eileen Shafer alerting them to Valvano’s arrest on Monday. Students whom Valvano previously taught at School 27 had graduated to Don Bosco.
“Superintendent Shafer is concerned for all of the Paterson school children who may have come in contact with this person,” said the phone message to families. “Any parent or guardian who has any information regarding any alleged improper activity by Mr. Valvano should report it to your school principal immediately.”
Valvano was called to the School 27 principal’s office on Monday, where a police officer from Florham Park in Morris County arrested him, Smith said. “This way nothing was done in front of the children,” he said.
The president of the Paterson teachers’ union could not be reached for comment.