PLAINFIELD, NJ — Tensions were already high going into last Tuesday's Plainfield Board of Education meeting, thanks to an agenda that included cuts in key staff positions, and moves to make some full-time jobs part-time with a loss of benefits.The meeting started over an hour late — it was after 10 p.m. — and was still going on as the clock turned to Wednesday. In the end, the Human Resources part of the agenda was tabled, and a special meeting will be conducted on Monday, June 29, at 8 p.m.
The majority of the HR items are still on the agenda, including the approval of an educational consultant due to the "need for a principal coach/consultant to provide administrative support in building leadership capacity for principals/vice principals, status schools and new principals."
If the aforementioned agenda item is approved, Dr. Maria Smith-Hosch would receive $500 per day, three days a week, not to exceed $45,000, to provide administrative support to principals and vice principals. The payments would be charged to a Professional Development line item.
Smith-Hosch's LinkedIn profile, as of press time, notes that she has been an Instructional Director at Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland since 2010, and is currently in that position. However, according to Maria Smith-Hosch v. Glenn L. Bramble, et al., she "applied for, interviewed for, and received via an offer letter dated August 7, 2017" to become the Director of Secondary Education as a part of the Dorchester County Board, one of four "cabinet" positions under Superintendent Dr. Diana Mitchell, who had been hired there in the summer of 2017. In May 2018, Dr. Smith-Hosch's immediate termination was called for. Mr. Arcelius Brickhouse, now employed by the Plainfield School District, is also mentioned in the Hosch v. Bramble suit.
Other items up for a vote on Monday include:
- The administrative appointment of Yolanda Koon as Acting School Business Administrator/Board Secretary at a prorated salary of $178,000. Koon replaced former BA Gary Ottman.
- The administrative appointment of Deitria Smith as Acting Principal of Cedarbrook School at a prorated salary of $137,360.
- Ninety positions that include teacher assistants, library assistants, security officers, a locker room assistant, and the Community Relations Liaison from full-time to part-time jobs; as part-time employees, they would lose their benefits.
- If approved, Deborah Celestand would receive $600 per day, three days a week, as a consultant to provide administrative support to assess, evaluate, and develop the ELA and Math curriculum.
The public will have an opportunity to speak.
The following is from a post on the Plainfield Education Association (PEA) Facebook page.
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