Newark schools spokeswoman leaving district for California

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for
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on September 19, 2015



NEWARK – Two months after being appointed as the city's superintendent of schools, Christopher Cerf is in the market for a new spokesperson.

Executive Director of Communications, Brittany Chord Parmley, is leaving the district as of Sept. 25, she confirmed today. She will head back to her native California to take a job with the state's Assembly Republicans in Sacramento.

Parmley, 31, was hired by then-superintendent Cami Anderson in December, after a stint with California-based education reform advocacy organization StudentsFirst.

In a statement, she called her tenure in Newark "an absolute honor."

"While I look forward to the personal and professional opportunities ahead, I am extremely proud of the work being done to serve our students and staff  and firmly believe that Newark's students will continue to benefit from the changes that are underway in the District," she said.

During her 10 months in Newark, Parmley oversaw media relations during continued protests and other controversy over Anderson's "One Newark" reorganization and open enrollment plan. She was also at the helm as Anderson departed and Gov. Chris Christie announced that control of the district would be returned to local officials for the first time in more than 20 years.

Cerf has struck a conciliatory tone during public appearances since being appointed July 8, acknowledging widespread anger and resentment from the public over the bumpy rollout of "One Newark" last year.

He has continued to tout the benefits of the open enrollment since taking over, but the district has also sought to highlight adjustments to the process aimed at helping parents, improvements to school facilities and the restoration of hundreds of unassigned teachers back into classrooms.

In an interview, Cerf thanked Parmley for her service to the district.

"We're grateful for her service, and wish her the best of luck as she and her husband move to California," he said.

The district recently posted an advertisement for a Chief External Relations Officer, whose responsibilities would including managing "all external relations of the district, including political, community, and media relations."

Cerf said the position was newly created, and the eventual hire would oversee a new communications director.

Parmley, whose resume also includes a stint as deputy press secretary for former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, earned a salary of $64,999 as of June 30, according to public pension records.

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