Former Superintendent Hired in Paterson

Anthony Cavanna, who resigned after the board placed him on administrative leave was hired in Paterson, according to Paterson Press.

Former superintendent, Anthony Cavanna has been hired in Paterson, earning a six-figure salary, after leaving the West Orange school district under unusual circumstances, according to a report on PatersonPress.com.

Paterson Public Schools hired Cavanna as one of four executive directors for principal evaluation and coaching at $156,363 a year.

Cavanna was placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation into “district issues,” in July 2012. The following October, he .

The new position is part of a plan created by state-appointed superintendent Donnie Evans to try to improve city schools.

john anthony prignano February 12, 2013 at 02:58 AM
This turn of events so soon after Dr. Cavanna's resignation must outrage the West Orange School Board.They suspended him. He didn't do anything criminal to merit his suspension, but beyond that no one knows why he was suspended. Wasn't there anyone better for the position than a former Superintendent with a less than stellar past who had resigned at the end of a 6 month suspension? Did Paterson ignore or regard as trivial the West Orange School Board's reasons for its actions regarding Cavanna Perhaps there was nothing to ignore or trivialize. Perhaps Cavanna came highly recommended to the Paterson School System by his last employer. Wasn't he going through the hiring process while he was on suspension from another District?? Could those of us who theorized that the suspension was a suspension in name only, that the public acrimony between the Board and Cavanna was a total sham, akin to a professional wrestling feud, and that the reality was that the School Board gave their friend Dr. Cavanna a fully paid 6 month vacation compliments of the West Orange taxpayers, before he started his new position, were right??
Adam Kraemer February 12, 2013 at 03:20 AM
One of the most important things that a BOE does is hire a strong superindent of schools and manage the relatioship with that leader so things work well. All I can say is that hiring decision and the managment of the relationship with the leader of the schools and the BOE did not work so well. Don't only look at Dr. Cavanna look at the elected official who hired him and missmanaged the situation
Lori February 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Something smells real bad here! It doesn't make sense at all. Where are the standards??? One more reason why I hate politics. The laws were written to benefit only 'certain' people. The ones with more money always find the loopholes to keep the dollar bills flowing! Yet, us Americans are so 'free' [chuckles].
john anthony prignano February 12, 2013 at 03:26 PM
No standards, and no job. it appears Cavanna got one of four newly created positions - "Principal evaluation and coaching" - workfare. Clearly, subtlety is not these people's strong suit. When things like this occur, people often write things like " It makes you wonder who's really in charge." I'm originally from Newark, and I stopped wondering a long time ago.
Raymond Helfrich February 12, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Jake Freivald February 12, 2013 at 07:18 PM
John, I don't believe the BOE suspended him in order to give him a "vacation." If they were buddies with him, they would have renewed his contract for 228K instead of giving him a "vacation" that helped him land a job with a 72K pay cut.
john anthony prignano February 12, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Jake How about if for all intents and purposes Cavanna is now retired at $156,363 a year and is free to pursue his avocations.and to earn money elsewhere. First zero, then FOUR Executive Directors for principal evaluation and coaching. Really sounds like something you could outsource for a fraction of the cost. Jake, Cavanna didn't want to work anymore, but this new position wasn't going to come to fruition until early 2013, so the Board and Cavanna borrowed a page from the Bruno Sammartino versus Killer Kowalski playbook . What's the reality Jake? A 6 months paid vacation, no professional baggage to speak of,and a newly created position that I consider workfare, at best. Give your friends money ! There's always a spot for for an ineffectual administrator who resigned from a District in decline after he served a six month suspension.If there isn't, we'll make one , or four, or forty....
Ken February 12, 2013 at 10:20 PM
I wonder if Paterson gets to find out why West Orange fired him or not. Boy, I love a mystery!
Jake Freivald February 12, 2013 at 10:39 PM
I hear you, John, and while I can see why you might be suspicious of that, I don't think it really works. If Cavanna's contract had been renewed, he would have had enough time in to get fully vested in his retirement, and his overall income would be $72,000 higher in the meantime. Since he wasn't renewed, he needed to get another public school administrator job, or he wouldn't be vested. For your scenario to be correct, the BOE-Cavanna conspiracy would have had to believe that it would be better for Cavanna to leave in disgrace *prior* to that point, with those bad circumstances making it *less likely* that he would be hired by another district -- in other words, taking a "vacation" at the risk of losing his retirement. I just don't see it. Cavanna is toxic, but he's not an idiot. Realize that the above is my understanding of the situation, which may not be correct. I'm not claiming to know anything. I'm just making guesses that are as well-educated as I can make them.
john anthony prignano February 13, 2013 at 01:25 AM
Jake That Paterson job was in the pipeline, but it wasn't coming into being until early 2013. He didn't sacrifice a penny by being suspended.He didn't leave in disgrace. As you say, the guy's toxic, and he's shameless. You think he cares anything about what the citizens of West Orange think of him? Jake, come on, do you think it was less likely that a crony wouldn't get a patronage job because of some. suspension and resignation? HE GOT IT,didn't he Jake? Do you really think the hiring process { In Paterson } was done in a fair and impartial manner? And Anthony Cavanna, as you say Jake, a man suspended { for a reason{s}? } for 6 months prior to resigning in "disgrace". was in the top 4 of the applicants. Jake, do you know if Cavanna cashed out his sick and personal and vacation days? If he hoarded them or was at least frugal with them, BIG $$. What was he doing while he was suspended? Making money ? We don't know if he took a pay cut. A teacher who works the system can make as much or more than a principal. The 153K is his guaranteed money. I'm sure he can now work another job or two with none of a Superintendent's responsibilities and pressure; and perhaps fewer hours. Jake ,how many public educators do you know who even know the meaning of the word risk ,let alone any who would take one.,My scenario doesn't seem plausible to you because of the risks involved. Fair enough. I would just say this; EVERY ONE of those "risks" paid off handsomely, didn't they?
Jake Freivald February 13, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Respectfully, John, your last comment -- "Every one of those risks paid off handsomely, didn't they?" -- begs the question. They look like risks to you because they "paid off" (though a 72K pay cut doesn't seem like much of a payoff), but to me they don't look like risks deliberately taken. Also, if you consider the amount of heat the board took for fighting against him, it doesn't seem like a gambit worthy of expending that amount of political capital. If those things aren't convincing, though, then it doesn't appear that we're going to come to a consensus here. That's okay. I'll talk to you another time.
Tom February 13, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Public Education spending is out of control!
john anthony prignano February 13, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Jake, Jake The point is no risks were taken.Yet another fait accompli. He's now vested, we don't know what else he does with his time, and he's effectively RETIRED at 153k. He's far from alone on a list of public educators getting full pay and benefits for doing next to nothing. Former Governor Jim Florio - Teaches or taught one University class, full benefits, in the pension system, salary 90K. Newark's Rubber Room - 80 teachers deemed not fit to teach, but not bad enough to bring tenure charges against ?? $8 million a year. Nick Galante, Well over 100k ,plus benefits,scheduled to teach no more than 3 classes a day, currently suing the WOSB. Nick Sacco - Mayor of North Bergen, State Senator, School Administrator. Sheila Oliver - East Orange Board of Ed, TWO elected positions..Ras Baraka - High School Principal, Newark Councilman. Pat Sebold WOHS teacher { now retired} and County Freeholder. Joe D at one time - Freeholder, Newark Public Schools, 2 private sector jobs, etc.etc.etc. And what political capital was expended ? Michele Casalino was by far the top vote getter in the last School Board election. Based on what? Excellent test scores, conservative spending,.fair and objective hiring practices? She was the big vote getter for the opposite reasons.There are no checks and balances, none, zero. Jake, what's the RULE? Give your friends money ! Jake,even as we go back and forth, more and more people are making more and more money for doing less and less.We'll talk again.
john anthony prignano February 13, 2013 at 06:47 AM
Jake I want to make sure you see my point: Why didn't the Board renew Jerry Tarnoff's contract ? Because he didn't want it renewed.He wanted to retire. His pension is $144.000. According to you, his actions are somewhat illogical. I mean, why would he take a pay cut of 80k? In my opinion, Cavanna's contract wasn't renewed because he didn't want it renewed. just like Tarnoff, Cavanna didn't want to do a Superintendent's job any more and make a long commute too. Why does ANYONE retire and take a "pay cut " when they can stay on and make their full salary until they die. Jake, he didn't go from the frying pan to the fire - basically the same job requirements for a lot less money. Far, far from it. He got himself a nice soft touch. What I'm saying is, Cavanna's "pay cut" is much more akin to the reduction in compensation that most retirees experience. For all intents and purposes, he got a pension increase. Like you said Jake, he's toxic, but he's no idiot . I agree wholeheartedly. We'll talk again.


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