Teaneck NJ Board of Ed drops suspension proposal for superintendent | #Education


TEANECK — After a two-hour closed session, the Teaneck Board of Education announced they were “looking forward to working with Dr. Irving,” and did not vote on a proposed suspension.

Board President Sebastian Rodriguez announced the decision, but did not elaborate on the decision or the reason for two special meetings in eight days. The board had tabled a motion to suspend Superintendent Christopher Irving at a special meeting last week.

The board first heard from 24 speakers during the first public hour of the Wednesday’s meeting, virtually all in support of Irving. 

Among those speaking in support of Irving were Bergen County NAACP President Junius “Jeff” Carter, Bergen/Passaic President of the National Coalition of Black Women Paula Madison-Ryner, and Passaic Councilman Terrence Love.

Resident Daryl Greene made his objections to the board’s proposed suspension known by playing “Back Stabbers” by the O’Jays on his cell phone to end his three-minute talk.

“How can you change your mind in 12 months after you gave him a sweetheart deal?” Greene asked. “How can we trust a board that would make a decision like that?”

The meeting was then called into closed session for “no more than two hours” by Rodriguez.

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Irving, 38, had already completed a two-year contract with the district, and had finished the first year of his second five-year contract. His current contract calls for 2% annual salary increases without performance conditions, taking his salary/benefit package from $253,421 the first year to $272,780 in the fifth year.

If Irving had been suspended, the board would have continued to pay his salary as well as that of any interim assigned to the post.

He was considered an unconventional choice by some when he was hired in July 2018 after the school board rejected a first round of candidates. Irving had no teacher experience. Instead, he headed the Passaic County Workforce Development Board and was director of the Ceceilyn Miller Institute for Leadership and Diversity in America.

Irving was serving as interim executive Passaic County superintendent of schools when he was hired by Teaneck. He previously served eight years on Paterson’s Board of Education, most of them as president.

Irving has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ramapo College, a master’s in public policy and international affairs from William Paterson University and a doctorate in education leadership and administration from Seton Hall University.

He was appointed a commissioner of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools last November. The Philadelphia-based organization accredits schools in 39 states and 112 countries

The Teaneck School District serves 3,720 students in eight buildings from pre-K to Grade 12.

Marsha Stoltz is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: stoltz@northjersey.com

Twitter: @marsha_stoltz

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