Articles Tagged with New Jersey tenure law

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In many areas of New Jersey employment law, the scope of an arbitrator’s powers is a significant question.  This is particularly true in the adjudication of tenure charges against New Jersey teachers and principals.  The Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court squarely addressed this issue in the recently published decision in the case of Sanjuan v. School District of West New York.

The Sanjuan Case: Background

The Court explained that Amada Sanjuan was an assistant principal with the West New York Board of Education, after having been hired as a teacher in 1997.  On February 12, 2020, she fell down a flight of stairs.  Video of the scene showed that after she fell, she removed a piece of paper from her purse and placed it at the top of the stairs.  She pointed out the paper to a custodian and teacher who came to help her and explained that the paper caused her fall.  Sanjuan was out of work thereafter, but confirmed this version in a signed injury report.

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In a recent New Jersey employment law decision, the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court rejected a board of education’s argument that it had substantially complied with the requirements for giving notice to untenured employees whose employment contract was not going to be renewed for the following school year.


In that case, Monika Vakulchik v. Board of Education of the Borough of Dunellen, Vakulchik, an untenured speech pathologist who worked for the Board since 2016,teacher-300x224 received an evaluation on May 1, 2020 with an average score of 3.33, which was in line with her scores over the previous years.  It was signed by her supervisor, the director of special services, and recommended her for non-renewal, despite leaving the section listing the areas in which she could improver her work blank.  She met with her supervisor and union representative, and then on May 3, 2020, emailed the superintendent requesting a statement of reasons for the non-renewal.  The Board voted on May 5, 2020 to accept the superintendent’s recommendations for renewal, which did not include Vakulchik.

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