Paterson NJ charter school hires educator who settled harassment … –


PATERSON – An administrator involved in a recently settled $90,000 sexual harassment lawsuit at one Paterson charter school has landed a higher-paying job at another one.
Manny Martinez, who is also a member of the Paterson Board of Education, was appointed this week as vice principal at College Achieve Paterson Charter School.
Several weeks prior to taking that position, Martinez left his job at Community Charter School, where he had been accused of sexual harassment.
“When identifying an administrator, there are three foundational attributes you look for: integrity, empathy and resilience,” said Gemar Mills, executive director of College Achieve Paterson.
“Mr. Martinez embodies them all and we are excited about his future here at College Achieve,” Mills added. “Mr. Martinez believes in the power of high expectations for our students and I know that they’ll thrive in the school climate that he will help create.”
Mills said the accusations made against Martinez “had to be a concern,” but added that his school conducted its own investigation into the matter and decided it was okay to hire him.
As part of the legal settlement, Martinez’ accuser dropped her allegations against him. Officials at Community Charter said Martinez’ departure from a school where he worked since 2009 had nothing to do with the lawsuit.
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Martinez’ salary as director of community schools at Community Charter was $73,952, officials said. At College Achieve, he will be paid about $85,000, according to Mills.
Martinez said he is excited about the new position, and especially about working for Mills who has been called “the turnaround principal” by some publications because of his past success in transforming a failing high school in Newark.
“I feel I can learn a lot from Dr. Mills,” Martinez said. “I’m happy to be joining a top-shelf organization.”
Martinez also said the sexual harassment lawsuit did not play a role in his decision to leave Community Charter.
The two schools are located about two blocks apart in the city’s Great Falls historic district. College Achieve opened in 2017 with about 300 elementary students and has expanded this year to an enrollment of 500.
The number of staff members had jumped from 19 to 40, Mills said.
During its first year, College Achieve did not have a vice principal, but added the position being filled by Martinez because of the growth in enrollment, Mills said.


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