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Laurie W. Newell, PhD
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Laurie W. Newell is the Superintendent of the Paterson Public Schools. She oversees the education of New Jersey’s third-largest school district, with almost 30,000 students and 3,600 employees across 54 schools, as well as a number of collaborating preschool centers.

Dr. Newell was most recently the Superintendent of Schools for the Essex Regional Educational Services Commission (ERESC) for seven years (2016-2023). The ERESC is a receiving school district that operates schools for Special Education, Alternative Education and At-Risk youth, as well as provides a wide range of services to students, families and communities throughout several New Jersey counties. 

Before becoming Superintendent of Schools at the ERESC, Dr. Newell worked in Paterson Public Schools from 2010-2016,  where she first served as the Executive Director of Human Resource Services and then as the Chief Reform and Innovations Officer. In these roles, she brought increased accountability, created and streamlined processes and structures to ensure there was greater fidelity throughout the system. Data-driven decision making was a critical component of the work that the district staff used and for the various stakeholders with whom the different departments interfaced.  Under her leadership, strategic thinking and implementation were emphasized with a focus on research.

Dr. Newell previously worked at Newark Public Schools (NPS) as the Executive Director of School Transformation within the Office of Innovation and Change. She provided strategic direction and offered technical assistance to facilitate the success of new initiatives within schools. Throughout her time at NPS, she was an integral part of K-12 school reform throughout the district, data mining and analysis, curriculum development, implementing and monitoring of the District’s Strategic Plan, reforming budget and human resource processes to ensure efficiency and accountability, working with different stakeholders, including union leadership in decision making, and offering advice to the Superintendent and members of the Superintendent’s cabinet.

Dr. Newell’s service in public education includes developing or leading school improvement initiatives designed to improve student achievement, as well as to ensure and provide equitable access to a quality education for all students.

Dr. Newell has an enhanced understanding of the issues faced by large urban school districts and is motivated to find innovative ways to increase the capacity for learning and development via human capital resource management and talent development.  She has led workshops demonstrating the benefits of research, including how to conduct and use the results of research to aid and inform instruction. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, teaching graduate level courses in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Newell believes that a quality education is the right of every student and that all students will learn when given a safe, healthy and supportive environment. She also believes that when faced with difficult decisions – doing the right things for students will be the only thing that matters. Excellence will be the standard and there will be high expectations for all students. This goal will be achieved with the collaboration, communication and cooperation of parents, community and educators as all stakeholders in the future of children.

Dr. Newell has earned her MS, MBA and her PhD. While working towards her Master’s Degree, Dr. Newell was inducted into Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society for academic excellence.  She is the recipient of many awards and honors.

In Essex County, where she served as the Superintendent of Schools from 2016-2023, she was the recipient of two highly prestigious awards. The first being honored as the 2023 Essex County Superintendent of the Year, as nominated by her peers, and the second being the 2023 Regional Superintendent of the Year for Region I, as selected by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA).

District Profile

Paterson Public Schools serves about 25,000 students in pre-K through the 12th grade and their families in New Jersey’s third largest city. The District is working to draw out the true potential within every student to become lifelong learners and 21st century leaders in their communities, this nation, and the world.

While the Paterson community may be classified as low-income, many of its students are high-achieving. More elementary school students are reading at or above grade level, and more high school students are earning college credits through Advanced Placement exams and taking college-level courses before graduation. Paterson Public Schools stands out as one of only 17 districts in New Jersey to offer the competitive International Baccalaureate program, and one of only four districts with a P-TECH high school, a program that, in collaboration with IBM and Passaic County Community College, graduates students with an associate degree in applied science and practical tech sector experience.

As of June 15, 2022, the District’s total pre-kindergarten to 12th grade enrollment was 24,996 with 21,667 students in grades K to 12, 785 students in the District’s prekindergarten programs, and another 2,544 students in pre-K programs that partner with the district. Also, 3,857 students received special education services and 6,844 students were English Language Learners (ELL) who received bilingual/ESL services.  The student population demographics in 2021-2022 were as follows: 68.52 percent of the students were Hispanic, 19.44 percent were African-American, 5.88 percent were Asian, and 4.79 percent were Caucasian. Through the Community Eligibility Provision, all Paterson students are eligible to receive breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack at no cost to them.

In 2009, the Paterson Public School District began the practice of improving student achievement through five-year strategic plans. The District’s current five-year strategic plan, Paterson – A Promising Tomorrow, was completed during the 2018-2019 school year after an effort that involved students, parents and guardians, community stakeholders, staff, and Board of Education commissioners. Please click on the following link to review the plan.


During 2021-2022, the District achieved new milestones and continued to embark on groundbreaking initiatives to provide more opportunities for students to achieve academic excellence. Some of the highlights of the year were:

In September 2021, the new, state-of-the-art Joseph A. Taub Middle School on Union Avenue opened ending years of the neighborhood’s students commuting across the city to the former Paterson Catholic High School building.

U.S. News and World Report named Public School No. 28/Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented the nation’s top elementary school and top middle school.

As of July 1, 2022, a total of three International High School graduating classes completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and 12 students have fulfilled the rigorous requirements for the IB Diploma.

The first students at the Paterson P-TECH Academy program began their internships at IBM.

District students were accepted at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, and many more competitive colleges and universities.

Meanwhile, the District is expanding its career and technical education programs, continuing its aggressive elementary school reading and math programs.

Perhaps among the most important initiatives launched in the 2021-2022 school year were those that addressed students’ social-emotional wellbeing and those that fostered equity in the district. The Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Team was launched to respond to help students maintain their mindfulness and mental health, and to help teachers develop methods of attending to their students’ SEL needs. Early in the school year, the district brought the Youth Equity Stewardship, or YES, Program to five schools to bring students’ perspectives, vision, creativity, and passion to the forefront of policymaking for schools in the 21st century.



Alonzo "Tambua" Moody Academy


350 Market St., 07501

Paterson Adult & Continuing Education (PACE)


151 Ellison St., 07505

Silk City Student Center


151 Ellison St., 07505

Eastside High School  


150 Park Ave., 07501

International High School


200 Grand St., 07502

John F. Kennedy High School


61-127 Preakness Ave., 07522

Newcomers High School


151 Ellison St., 07501

Paterson P-TECH High School


201 Memorial Dr., 07505

Paterson STEAM High School


764 11th Ave., 07514

Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts


413 12th Ave., 07514

STARS Academy/STARS T.I.E.S. Program


764 11th Ave., 07514  

Public School No. 1



1 East 32 St., 07504

Public School No. 2



22 Passaic St., 07501

Public School No. 3



448 Main St., 07501

Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Science & Technology (Public School No. 4)



55 Clinton St., 07522

Public School No. 5



430 Totowa Ave., 07502

Senator Frank Lautenberg School (Public School No. 6)



137 Carroll St., 07501

Public School No. 7



106 Ramsey St., 07501

Public School No. 8



35 Chadwick St., 07503

Charles J. Riley School (Public School No. 9)

Pre-K to 8


6 Timothy St., 07503

Public School No. 10



48 Mercer St., 07524

Public School No. 12



121 No. 2nd St., 07522

Public School No. 13



690 East 23rd St., 07504

Public School No. 15

Pre-K to 5


98 Oak St., 07501

Public School No. 16

Pre-K to 8


11 22nd Ave., 07513

Public School No. 18



51 E. 18th St., 07524

Public School No. 19



31 James St., 07502

Public School No. 20



500 E. 37th St., 07504

Public School No. 21

Pre-K to 8


322 10th Ave., 07514

Public School No. 24/Fine & Performing Arts Program

Pre-K to 8



50 19th Ave., 07513

Public School No. 25

Pre-K to 8


287 Trenton Ave., 07503

Public School No. 26

Pre-K to 8


1 E. 32nd St., 07514

Public School No. 27

Pre-K to 5


250 Richmond Ave., 07502

Public School No. 28/Paterson Academy of the Gifted & Talented (PAGT)

Pre-K to 2

2 to 8


200 Presidential Blvd., 07522

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Complex (Public School No. 30)

Pre-K to 8


851 E. 28th St., 07513

Alexander Hamilton Academy



11-27 16th Ave., 07501

Anna Iandoli Early Learning Center



660 14th Ave., 07504

Dale Avenue School

Pre-K to 2


21 Dale Ave., 07505

Dr. Hani Awadallah SchoolPre-K to 8


515 Marshall St., 07503

Edward W. Kilpatrick School/Dual Language Program

Pre-K to 3


295-315 Ellison St., 07501

Joseph A. Taub School

6 to 8


202 Union Ave., 07502

New Roberto Clemente School

6 to 8


482-506 Market St., 07501

Norman S. Weir School



152 College Blvd., 07505

Roberto Clemente School



434 Rosa Parks Blvd., 07501

Young Men's Leadership Academy



45 Smith St., 07505

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