PATERSON, NJ - The Paterson Board of Education kicked off its 2019 session at their reorganization meeting Thursday by welcoming back three incumbent members, Manny Martinez, Nakima Redmon and Oshin Castillo, as well as newcomers Robinson Rondon and Eddy Olivares.

Rondon and Olivares were certified as the victors for the two hard fought one-year unexpired terms two weeks after voters went to the polls. 

Several dignitaries were on hand to administer the oath of office to the members of the board who are beginning their terms including Passaic County Surrogate Bernice Toledo, State Senator Nelli Pou, Passaic Mayor Hector Lora and Judge Latoyia Jenkins.  

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With the Board members sworn in Oshin Castillo was elected by a vote of 6-3 to continue serving as the body’s President while Nakima Redmon will maintain her position as Vice President. Dr. Jonathan Hodges and newcomers Rondon and Olivares provided the opposing votes.

After the vote, the Board honored outgoing member Vince Arrington. Arrington has indicated his intention to seek election back to the Board in this November’s elections.

“We’re looking forward to moving the district forward,” Castillo said.  In 2018, the State Board of Education voted to return to local control of schools, a process that’s expected to take two-years to complete.  “We’re looking forward to continuing the process. It’s great to be in a leadership position to oversee the hard work of returning to local control” she continued. 

Speaking of other district initiatives on the docket for 2019, Castillo mentioned the launch of the Newcomers High School program aimed at providing students who recently immigrated to the United States with native language instruction.  Additionally, hubs are being launched in every ward in the city to provide access to the internet. 

“There are a lot of great initiatives coming in 2019. We’re excited to keep serving,” Castillo concluded.


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