10 months after taking over in an interim role, the Jersey City Board of Education named Franklin Walker the district’s new full-time superintendent of schools at last night’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The measure to appoint Walker as the head of the public schools retroactively from November 1st of this year through June 30th, 2023 passed unanimously (6-0(3)).
Trustees LeKendrick Shaw, Gina Verdibello, and Gevonder DuPree abstained on the contract due to having family members working in the district.
Immediately following the vote, Walker received a standing ovation from the staff and trustees on hand.
“This essentially rights the wrongs of the past and places the JCBOE under the helm of a much revered, local Jersey City son of the soil who has served the district for over 45 years,” Board President Sudhan Thomas told HCV.
“Mr Walker’s compassion, knowledge, and over five decades of experience places the district on a path to a greater tomorrow and a promising future for the 30,000 students of the JCPS and 6,000 employees of the JCBOE.”
Walker was placed in an acting role following the board voting to oust Dr. Marcia Lyles back in February, though that needed to be rectified with several subsequent votes that ultimately placed Lyles on administrative leave.
This marks things coming full circle for Walker, who had served as interim superintendent from 2011 into 2012 before the board approved a contract for Lyles.
According to letters obtained by HCV, both New Jersey Education Commissioner Dr. Lamont Repollet and Interim Executive County Superintendent signed off on the Jersey City BOE voting on Walker’s contract.
The letter from Repollet, sent to Thomas on December 13th, indicates that Lyles had resigned on October 14th of this year.
She had filed a hostile work environment lawsuit just two days before the board voted her out as superintendent.
According to Thomas, that litigation has been resolved and that the district did not buy out her contract, though the particulars were not available in online court documents or on the Jersey City BOE website.