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Big-$ position filled as more layoffs loom

School district fills high-paying position as layoffs loom, sources say

UPDATE 6/24: Naomi Wyatt, the Philadelphia School District's new head of HR, is expected to be paid $180,000, according to district sources.

Her start date was supposed to be today, but it was pushed back to July 8 by district officials because of the publicity resulting from the high-paying hire in the midst of massive layoffs, one district source said. "They want to wait until this calms down and [the district] gets the [state and local] funding," the source said.

News of Wyatt's hiring came two weeks after the May announcement that Fran Burns, formerly with the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, was named chief support services officer at a salary of $175,000.

"They didn't think it was a good idea of hiring her when there are all these layoffs," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "What do they think is going to happen in the next two weeks that it's going to justify bringing in two hires making $355,000? That's five teachers. [Or] Five counselors. [Or] Five nurses."

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AS LAYOFFS loom in the school district, Naomi Wyatt, a lawyer who was a cabinet member in former Gov. Ed Rendell's administration, has been named its new chief human resources officer, district sources told the Daily News yesterday.

Wyatt, 40, is expected to begin her new job June 24. She's leaving the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, where she has been the director of legal and governmental affairs since June 2011, according to her LinkedIn page.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard declined to confirm Wyatt's status with the district, saying officials "were not ready" to discuss it.

School officials are expected to announce a second round of layoffs today at district headquarters in an effort to help close a $304 million budget shortfall. Last week, 3,783 district staffers were sent layoff notices.

Wyatt will take over from former H.R. chief Teresa Gavigan, who left in January to become vice president of H.R. with her previous employer, Sunoco.

Gavigan was earning $175,000 a year but it was unclear yesterday what Wyatt would be paid.

Wyatt is the second woman in two weeks to be named to a high-ranking position with the district. Fran Burns was named May 29 to be chief operating officer.

Wyatt graduated from Yale University and received a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School, according to her LinkedIn page. She later worked for Rendell as secretary of administration. Wyatt, who served her last day on the board of Independence Charter School last night, lives near Washington Square in Center City.

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