PATERSON,NJ- Winning the Board over with his proclamation that he is “evidence- based” and “data-driven,” in his decision making, Vincent Arrington was selected to fill the vacancy created by Dr. Christopher Irving’s January departure from the Board of Education.
The election came during a special meeting on Wednesday with the final vote in support of Arrington being 7-1. Only long-time Board member Dr. Jonathan Hodges, who supported activist Corey L. Teague, cast a dissenting vote.
Arrington, a PhD student with a concentration in technology, and the holder of two Masters degrees, one each from Rutgers University and Nyack College, is a lifelong Paterson resident, graduated from local schools, and has 25 years experience in IT and Project Management.
Armed with a detailed PowerPoint presentation, Arrington immediately showed off his technology skills, and backed up his assertion that he is “passionate about education” and a “lifelong learner.”
While seven individuals had expressed interest in the position and submitted letters to Acting Superintendent Eileen Shafer for consideration, only four: Arrington, Corey L. Teague, Stacey Coleman, and Mosley Uddin, chose to appear before the Board.
The final vote came following interviews with the four candidates, a closed executive session, and public comment, after which the field was narrowed to two candidates: Arrington and Teague, who served on the Board previously, and has been perhaps the most outspoken of the candidates in his desire to fill Irving’s spot.
Board President Oshin Castillo said that the Board wants to “move all of our schools into the 21st century,” while Commissioners Joel Ramirez and Kenneth Simmons both referenced a “botched” $2 million software purchase that they believe could have been avoided by having a tech-savvy member on the Board.
Complimenting each of the candidates Commissioner Flavio Rivera would go on to add that Arrington was what “we need in the district at this moment,” giving one more indication that it was the candidate’s professional background that swayed the votes.
In addition to helping to update the District’s technology, Arrington, as a Commissioner, will be part of several challenging issues such as selecting a permanent superintendent and transitioning the Paterson Schools back to local control.
Arrington was sworn in immediately and will complete Irving’s term, which ends in January 2019.