Jersey City BOE approves resolution naming Dr. Norma Fernandez interim superintendent

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The Jersey City Board of Education approved a resolution naming Dr. Norma Fernandez, the district’s deputy superintendent, their interim superintendent following the retirement of Franklin Walker.

Jersey City Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Norma Fernandez. Screenshot via YouTube.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The vote came at last night’s special meeting just after 8 p.m., with Trustee Noemi Velazquez making a motion for Fernandez, which was seconded by Vice President Gina Verdibello.

The measure passed 8-0(1), with Trustee Paula Jones-Watson abstaining. Her term as the acting schools chief will be for at least six months, retroactive to January 1st, with the ability to run through June 30th, 2023.

“Dr. Fernandez, we look forward to you having a very successful term as out interim superintendent,” President Gerry Lyons said.

The board then unanimously approved (9-0) a resolution to go out for a national search to find the next superintendent.

“I’m honored to be part of this district. This is my 40th year in the district, I’ve worked with many of you over the years and together I know we can continue to move this district in a positive way,” Fernandez said when being given the opportunity to address the board.

“And for the betterment of our children, to get them ready, to have a world class education that will really bring them into new fields and new careers that are yet to be developed. So thank you very much to the board, together we can make this possible for our students.”

At last week’s reorganization meeting, where Lyons was named president and Verdibello and Trustee Natalia Ioffe were both voted in as vice president, there was a brief moment where it appeared an acting superintendent would be named, but it quickly became clear that several trustees were not ready to do so yet.

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