NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The superintendent of schools will serve another five years at the helm of the city’s public schools and receive a nearly $20,000 pay raise, according to a school board resolution.
Under the measure, Dr. Aubrey Johnson will be the New Brunswick Public School District’s Superintendent until June 30, 2022 and earn a $196,000 annual salary.
His renewal will also incorporate “a merit bonus of 15 percent of his annual salary for the 2017-2018 school year,” said Board Secretary Richard Jannarone. Each year of the contract will feature a merit bonus, Jannarone added.
The resolution was approved in a 7-0 vote by the New Brunswick Board of Education at their October 17 meeting. Board member Patricia Sadowski abstained, while board member Jennifer Shukaitis was absent.
Technically, the school board had to rescind Johnson’s current contract, which would’ve expired June 30, 2018, and approve a new one which was effective July 1, 2017, explained Board Attorney George F. Hendricks.
“That’s what the law says,” Hendricks explained. “You can’t have a contract starting in the middle of any year. It has to go from July 1 to June 30 of a given year.”
Since the contract was approved retroactively, Johnson will be earning back pay for the time since July 1 that he was earning the previous contract’s salary level.
Johnson began his tenure as the New Brunswick superintendent on July 1, 2015 and earned at $177,500 annual salary, which included a 15 percent merit bonus.
He replaced outgoing Superintendent Richard Kaplan, who was retiring after more than a decade on the job.
Before coming to New Brunswick, Johnson was an assistant superintendent in Paterson, where he was involved with partial control of the school district being given to local officials.
Dr. Dale Caldwell, president of the New Brunswick school board, spoke highly of Johnson before the board voted on the measure.
“I would say that the culture Johnson has created, the child-centered culture, the collaboration, the focus on excellence, is something that I value, and I’ve not seen at this level in the time I’ve been here,” Caldwell said.
Johnson, after the board voted to renew his contract, said he was delighted and that there was a lot of be proud of in New Brunswick, although he deferred credit for those achievements to the students, teachers and faculty, who he said were all integral in making those accomplishments a reality.