School District Appointee Lacked Certification for Six-Figure Job


PATERSON, NJ – Grisell Hernandez, a retired principal, has changed her mind about taking an interim position as an assistant superintendent with Paterson Public Schools.

As it turns out, Hernandez did not have the state certification required for the job.

Hernandez was listed in the position, which pays between $140,000 and $167,000, on a school district organization chart dated November 4.

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In a November 28 interview about the revised administrative structure, state-appointed superintendent Donnie Evans said Hernandez had the certification required for the job and would serve on an interim basis until someone were picked for the position permanently.

But subsequently requested a copy of Hernandez’ certification under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

In response to the OPRA request, the district’s spokeswoman, Terry Corallo, issued a statement on Wednesday that said Hernandez “does not hold this specific certification. (I know Dr. Evans believed and stated otherwise).   We did not need to proceed in any further manner as Ms. Hernandez has already indicated that she is no longer interested in accepting this interim position.’’

District officials would not say when or why Hernandez declined the job. Hernandez could not be reached for comment. Even though Hernandez was listed in the assistant superintendent position on a chart issued a month ago, she had not yet started work, according to Coralllo.

 Corallo would not clarify why Evans previously said Hernandez had the certification.

The duties that would have been assigned to Hernandez are “being shared by several district leaders,’’ Corallo said.

The Board of Education on December 21 is scheduled to approve a $50,000 contract for a private company to conduct a search for candidates for the position.


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