Carolyn Marano, J.D.


New York Law School, New York, NY
Juris Doctorate

Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ
B.A., English, Cum Laude

Work Experience

  • Present: CJMarano, LLC, Livingston, NJ
    Educational consultative services including: administrative, procedural, Special
    Services, Student Services, Title I, preschool expansion, grants management,
    policies, and dispute resolution.
  • 2017-2019 Assistant Commissioner of Education, Division of Student Services, New Jersey
    Department of Education, Trenton, NJ
  • Served: Over 1.4 million students
    650+ school districts (including Charter and Renaissance Schools).
  • Funding: Responsible for the management and usage of over $800,000,000.00 in Federal and State programs and grants, including IDEA and ESSA.
  • Personnel: Supervision of 5 Departments:
    Office of Special Education
    Office of Special Education Policy and Dispute Resolution
    Office of Supplemental Education Programs
    Office of Fiscal and Data Services
    Office of Student Support Services
    100+ division employees, including directors, supervisors, managers, and 21
    external county offices.
    ▪ Reorganized division to establish protocols for fiscal, programmatic, and analytical
    efficiency and optimal efficacy.
    ▪ Identified and hired department directors with leadership and content expertise.
    ▪ Advised and testified before both houses of the State legislature.
    ▪ Updated and advised NJ Bar Association Special Education Committee, NJ State attorneys, and Administrative Law Judges in areas specific to their interests, specialties, and positions.
    ▪ Reimagined and rebranded Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies and subcompetencies; conceived NJ SEL Conference and supervised organization.
    ▪ Created and supported working groups in Deaf Education, Assessment, LGBTQ, Inclusive Education initiatives and curriculum.
    ▪ Conceived and created 5-year/$7+ million Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Montclair State University and New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE) in order to ensure incorporated and expanded Inclusive education for all students in NJ.
    ▪ Conceived and created MOU with Rowan University (RU) and Special Olympics of New Jersey (SONJ) to ensure Inclusive sports opportunities for all students in NJ and expand participation in NJ Special Olympics.
    ▪ Provided guidance and direction to Child Study Team (CST) directors, district and building level administration, and superintendents of schools.
    ▪ Supported superintendents in effectively and appropriately utilizing IDEA funds and the use of personnel associated with students with disabilities.
    ▪ Assisted districts in ensuring compliance with IEPs and IDEA.
    ▪ Created “Child Study Team Reform” initiative to ensure that CSTs state-wide are best serving students in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and most inclusive settings.
    ▪ Created opportunities for better relationships with parents seeking assistance with schools, CSTs, and district administrations.
    ▪ Instituted new Dispute Resolution guidelines and proposed necessary changes to NJ Due Process procedures with administrative law judges (ALJs).
    ▪ Conceived a special education independent hearing officer (IHO) pilot program to supplement ALJs in presiding over special education due process hearings.
    ▪ Developed a revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Office of
    Administrative Law (OAL) to significantly increase funding to ensure compliance
    with IDEA.
    ▪ Created parent advocacy training opportunities.
    ▪ Led the Division in hosting the US Department of Education on-site monitoring team.
    ▪ Led the Division in developing a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) in response to
    findings of noncompliance concerning the state’s special education dispute
    resolution system.
    ▪ Supported Recovery High Schools and alternative education opportunities.
    ▪ Served as NJDOE representative with other state agencies and departments.
  • 2016-2017: Director of Special Services and Early Childhood, Asbury Park School District, Asbury Park, NJ: Responsible for the administration and supervision of the Child Study Team, Related Services, Special Education programming and placement, instruction, professional development, and overall success of the Department of Special Services. Reorganized and reimagined special services in the Asbury Park School District to ensure compliance with NJAC 6A:14 and address issues surrounding the district’s involvement in the LRE Settlement which found over-classification, students in more restrictive
    environments, and lack of proper procedures in process and planning. Reorganized ESY in and out of district to include only those students and services that are required and necessary to avoid regression. Fiscal responsibility includes departmental and IDEA budgets, SEMI, ExAid; district direction and supervision of Early Childhood covering preschool through grade 3.
  • 2015 – 2016: Owner/Consultant, Resources for Education and Development, Livingston, NJ: PreK-12 educational consulting and professional development services for school districts; supports for administrators, teachers, and staff; evaluations; corrective action plans; curriculum and instruction; curriculum review and writing; special education expertise including, programming, IEP implementation, mediation, due process, advocacy, and OCR; implementation of district and school initiatives; data analysis to drive instructional objectives; grants compliance; audit preparation; parent workshops.
  • 2013 – 2015: Director of Special Services, Vernon Township School District, Vernon, NJ: management of the district’s Special Education programs: ABA/AFLS, LLD, Resource Room, In Class Support for integrated pre-kindergarten; kindergarten through grade 12; transitions services; supervision of staff that included, supervisors, child study teams, related services, I&RS, 504, paraprofessionals, administrative, instructional, related services, and secretarial services; professional development for staff and administration; budget preparation and expenditures; worked closely with building principals and assistant principals, district directors, supervisors; member of Superintendent’s
    administrative team; worked directly with Assistant Superintendent on AchieveNJ, implementation of curriculum alignment with NJCCCS, and professional development planning; represented the school district in grievance and HIB processes; attend Board of Education work sessions and meetings; knowledge of the administrative code, state and federal law, and policy; observed and evaluated teachers and supervisors; provided parent and community workshops; Due Process and OAL; Strategic Planning committee; PARCC implementation committee.
  • 2012 – 2013: Chief Innovation Officer, Sussex Avenue Renew School, Newark, NJ: coprincipal; administrator responsible for Special Education and CST; staffing of PreK3 through Grade 8 school; direct supervision of teaching staff; creation of class rosters and class assignments; developed school safety plan; created school vision and mission; supervised I&RS committee; worked in concert with co-principal on budget, supplies, and decision-making for staff and students; responsible for literacy instruction and decisions regarding programming and direction of instruction; implementation of NJCCS and CCS basal project; PBSIS management; analysis of test scores and information; professional development for teachers; extended day; discipline; parent and staff
  • 2011 -2012: Department Chairperson, West Side High School, Newark, NJ: supervised Special Education, English, and World Languages; responsible for coordination of testing; disaggregation of test scores and trends; professional goal development; AIP conferences; CST and Related Services monitoring and coordination; worked closely with all staff members to ensure that Special Needs students were receiving appropriate accommodations; SIG administration; budgeting; staffing; extended day; professional development; Saturday academy; parent conferences; discipline; assisted in redesign of schedule and school for 2012-2013; worked closely with consultants to bring appropriate NJCCS project work to West Side High School; held staff and department meetings; worked collaboratively with parent liaisons and community members
  • 2006 – 2011: Literacy Coordinator, First Avenue School, Newark, NJ: supported staff in efforts to improve literacy skills of students; provided professional development for teachers; ensured compliance of Special Services; I&RS Team management; Child Study Team adjunct; planned and held grade level meetings; demonstrated Best Practices for teachers and students; coordinated small instructional groups; assisted teachers in the planning and development of differentiated instructional strategies and studentcentered learning strategies; School Test Coordinator for NJASK and APA; provided parents with information to support literacy at home; assisted administration in the development of School Improvement Plan.
  • 2006 – 2011: Owner/Consultant, Resources for Education and Development, Livingston, NJ
  • 1999 – 2002: Resource Teacher Coordinator, Office of Language Arts Literacy, Newark Public Schools, Newark, NJ: prepared and presented staff development seminars in reading and writing strategies and standardized test preparation to secondary school teachers and administrators; developed materials for schools to implement district’s instructional plan; designed, developed, and prepared district midterm and final exams and testspecific assessments; served as coach and resource for English Department Chairpersons.
  • 1986 – 1999: English Teacher, Newark Public Schools, Newark, NJ: English grades 9 through 12; AP English, standardized test preparation; yearbook advisor, senior class advisor; assisted administrators and teachers with the infusion of technology into instruction; trained teachers in the use of network and specific programs; conducted staff development in the modification of curriculum and test preparation for comprehensive high schools teachers and leaders.

New Jersey Chief School Administrator Certification
New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association
New Jersey Association of Pupil Services Administrators
New York State Bar Association/New Jersey State Bar Association, retired