Essex County News

Meet Kendra Johnson, Montclair's First African-American Superintendent

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MONTCLAIR, NJ - Kendra V. Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., has been selected as Montclair’s permanent Superintendent of schools after an extensive search, the Montclair Board of Education announced at a special meeting on April 11. She is the district’s first permanent superintendent in three years, and the first African-American superintendent in its 144-year history.

Johnson, who currently serves as the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Curriculum and Instruction, will begin her tenure as Superintendent on May 1.

Johnson holds both her Doctor of Education and Juris Doctor degrees and is a former teacher, principal, and Title 1
officer, as well as having been the Chief Academic Officer in districts in Washington State and
New Jersey. 

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According to published reports, she obtained her Doctor of Urban Education Leadership and Social Policy (Ed.D.) from Morgan State University, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Baltimore School of Law, a Master's degree from Johns Hopkins University, and bachelor's degree from Lincoln University.  

According to her bio, Johnson has served as Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Curriculum & Instruction Montclair Public Schools August from 2016-Present and Chief Academic Officer in the Trenton Public Schools from 2014-2015.

Johnson also served as Chief Academic & Innovation Officer in the Kent (WA) School District from 2013-2014 and as Instructional Director of Prince George’s County MD Public Schools from 2012-2013. She also served as the Director, Coordinator Title 1, Principal, Assistant to Area Assistant Superintendent, Assistant Principal Baltimore County Public Schools from 2003-2013.

She is also no stranger to the classroom, having taught Middle School in Baltimore Co. Schools from 1998-2003 and Baltimore City Schools from 1996-1998. 

According to her bio, while Johnson is a licensed attorney in the states of Maryland and New Jersey, she considers herself a career educator, having served in various capacities for over two decades in public education.

She stated that she has expertise in the areas of school reform and transformation and school improvement. Furthermore, she provided legal advocacy for the parents of students with disabilities and those facing inequitable disciplinary consequences. To that end, she maintains that she sees herself as a visionary leader in urban education because she is convinced that education is the vehicle by which many underserved student groups will realize social mobility.

In the nearly two years that Johnson has been with the district, she has led the Equity, Curriculum and Instruction Department with responsibility for Title I, II, III and IV budgeting and planning as well as budgeting and planning for the entire department. She oversees the District’s Evaluation Advisory Committee, has been developing and supervising textbook review and purchases to replace outdated materials, and provides information on curriculum and teaching to the PTA as requested.

In addition Dr. Johnson, in collaboration with the district’s educators, has worked on the district’s revision of curriculum to meet new student learning standards, as well as on curriculum writing and professional development. She has formed a SAIL committee and is developing a plan for making the program more robust and transparent. Johnson regularly attends community meetings, school performances and events, and speaks to student groups at their invitation to discuss topics of concern to them.

At the Board meeting, Board President Laura Hertzog shared comments from Dr. Johnson’s former colleagues, who noted that “Dr. Johnson is highly professional and very collaborative. She finds creative solutions, brings all to the table and seeks input from all stakeholders. She is a systems thinker and a strong educational leader who is passionate about education and giving kids the best.”

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May 24, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 24

Theft of Bicycle - A South Orange resident reported that sometime between 5:45 a.m. and 1:20 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, actor(s) unknown stole his black & white Gary Fisher mountain bike, which had been locked and secured to the bicycle rack under the main train station.

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Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

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May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

Maplewood and South Orange Events for Memorial Day Weekend - and What's Closed

May 24, 2018

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - There is a lot going on in the two towns this Memorial Day weekend, as well as some closures on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

SATURDAY, MAY 26

The Maplewood Community Pool opens at noon for the 2018 season. (The South Orange Community Pool is opening June 2, details here.)

Downtown After Sundown presents "Jazz on ...

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For those who wish to join the pool, registration can be done in person at the Recreation Department (574 Valley St.) on weekdays from 9 a.m. to ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, May 24, 6:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Steve Sandberg and Zach Brock to Perform at ...

Arts & Entertainment

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Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sun, May 27, 11:00 AM

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Memorial Day Colloquy: What We Honor and How We ...

Other

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

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Domestic Violence Prevention Advocates SOFIA Honors Local Leaders During Annual Gala

May 24, 2018

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Founder Cynthia Walker and the gala committee of Chaz Moore, Kelly Moore, Lisa Boyd and Ida Walker pulled out all stops incorporating the color of purple throughout the venue for ...

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The prolonged deadlock between the board and the teachers’ union has lasted nearly a year has been bad for teacher morale and was beginning to take a toll on students, particularly at ...

A.J. Perri Helping Veterans in Need - Again

May 24, 2018

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As part of the A.J. Perri Cares Program, a lucky New Jersey veteran and their family will receive air conditioning/heating relief this summer.

"They fought for our country, and their families sacrificed," said ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

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The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Rocky Marciano, Jr. Unveils Rocky Marciano Wine at Par 440 on May 31

May 24, 2018

A Champion’s Commitment. The Taste of Excellence.

The wine will be unveiled at an invitation only event at PAR 440 Restaurant and Lounge in Short Hills, NJ, attended by Rocky Marciano, Jr.   

PAR 440 is the perfect venue for hosting the unveiling of the wine. The restaurant built by Mario LaVecchia, is decidedly modern with old school charm, and features amazing ...

Township of Maplewood: Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss Proposals for Pedestrian Safety Improvements and Traffic Flow Changes

A public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road, in the Great Hall, to present and discuss proposals for pedestrian safety improvements and traffic flow changes, including making Maplewood Avenue one-way from Baker Street to Lenox Place and reversing the direction of the NJT lot. Your presence is encouraged to apprise you of ...

Porchlight Post - Shedding Light On These Old Homes

You bought a new house (congratulations!) and its your first night in the new house. You get cozy and settle in for the night. Your husband wakes up early for work and then so do the kids. Its 5:30 a.m., and your hardwood floors creak so loudly it sounds like someone was trying to break-in. How did you not notice this before you moved in?

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