HOBOKEN - The fate of theater director Paula Ohaus and Cheng-Yen Hillenbrand, the head of the Johns Hopkins program, lies in the hands of the Board of Education tonight.
The two popular members of the district have Donaldson hearings scheduled for Tuesday night, where Ohaus and Hillenbrand will make their cases to keep their jobs in the Hoboken district. After they present their case, Ohaus and Hillenbrand, in separate hearings, would need a majority vote from the Board of Education to keep their jobs.
The hearings appear at the end of the Board of Education agenda.
Superintendent Mark Toback has said he believes tenure is not warranted, and therefore will not renew their contracts. Earlier this year, the superintendent presented Ohaus, in a meeting with her and her union representative, with a list of 24 concerns which included having students over her home and driving students in her car.
“There have been concerns that have come my way that lead me in a situation where tenure is not warranted,” Toback said in an interview in May. “I offered to work with the union and Mrs. Ohaus to come up with another work arrangement where she can stay in the district doing the plays, but it would not lead to tenure."
Ohaus maintains that she has always received parental permission when students come over her house, and in the past some of the trips to her house were provided by Board of Education buses.
The popularity of the teachers has intensified the reaction from the community, and the issue has been a hot topic at meetings for two months. For our cover story about Ohaus' case from May, click HERE. - Ray Smith