PATERSON, NJ  – The inaugural meeting of the All City Education Council was convened on Wednesday under the leadership of Paterson Public Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer, according to a statement.

The meeting, the statement read, represented the first time in the history of Paterson Public Schools that leaders from the school district sat down with charter school leaders to explore opportunities to work more cooperatively. 

Saying that everyone represented on the All City Education Council shares the goal of getting the most out of Paterson’s students, Shafer added that the meeting was “an important first step to developing a more cooperative climate among the different schools so that we can all serve Paterson’s students and their families better.

Sign Up for Paterson Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

The discussion covered a variety of topics from improving communications between district and charter schools when closing due to inclement weather to sharing ideas for professional development opportunities for staff and administrators, the statement read.

“The meeting was unbelievably great,” said Nihat Guvercin of iLearn Schools, Inc. “This was a turning point in charter schools and district school relations. 

Among those who attended were:

Robert Guarasci, Community Charter School of Paterson

Curtis Palmore, Community Charter School of Paterson

Nihat Guvercin, iLearn Schools, Inc.

Christina Scano, John P. Holland Charter School

Michelle Petriello, John P. Holland Charter School

Riza Gurcanli, Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology

Regina Lauricella, Philip's Academy Charter School of Paterson


In addition to Superintendent Shafer, other officials from Paterson Public Schools in attendance were:

Susana Peron, Deputy Superintendent of Schools

Lisa Vainieri-Marshall, Director of Student Assignment Services

Sandra Diodonet, Assistant Superintendent of Schools

Maria Santa, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Schools

David Cozart, Jr., Assistant Superintendent of Schools

Eliza Rodriguez, Interim Executive Supervisor to the Superintendent for Special Projects


Theodore Best, Jr., who is working for the state as a Highly Skilled Professional as the district transitions to local control, also attended the meeting.