In The Schools

St. Rose Fifth-Grader Pens Award-Winning Essay on Making New Jersey Better

Assemblyman David Rible presents Ryan Merkler of Belmar, a fifth-grader at St. Rose Grammar School, with his award plaque as a winner in the assemblyman’s annual essay contest. Credits: Assemblyman David Rible's Legislative Office
Assemblyman David Rible treated his essay contest winners, including Ryan Merkler of Belmar, on Rible’s right, to a tour of the Statehouse and Assembly chamber, and lunch during a trip to Trenton. Credits: Assemblyman David Rible's Legislative Office

BELMAR, NJ — A St. Rose Grammar School student was among 10 winners of Assemblyman David Rible’s annual essay contest, opened to all fourth- and fifth-graders from the 30th Legislative District.

Fifth-grader Ryan Merkler of Belmar in his winning entry answered the question: “If you were governor, how would you improve New Jersey? His essay, in 300 words or less, centered around these major points:

  • Lowering taxes “by making sure elected officials do not get paid too much or too little.”
  • Merging municipal police departments into one department for each of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
  • Requiring testing for teachers to ensure they are meeting quality education standards. Those who don’t meet the standards would be required to attend a two-week training program,
  • Grow small jobs by helping grow small businesses.
  • Reduce the crime rate by making sure there are police officers patrolling the streets.  “I have noticed there are more officers around and I think that is good," Merkler writes: “The one reason is (Belmar Police Chief Andrew) Huisman. We need more people like him.”

For their efforts, Merkler and the nine other contest winners — representing Wall, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Howell and Point Pleasant — were recently taken on a tour of the New Jersey Statehouse and Assembly chamber by Rible, who also treated them to lunch.

Sign Up for E-News

 “I’ve hosted this essay contest for many years now and every year the essays get better,” he said. “I’m continually impressed with how much our students are learning about our state and government, both at school and home.”

The winning entries were selected from hundreds of submissions from throughout the legislative district, which includes Belmar and Lake Como.


TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TAPintoBelmar.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Belmar/Lake Como

Sports Betting Is Off and Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park on June 14.

 Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to win the Stanley ...

Could Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational Be on Justify's Agenda?

June 13, 2018

ELMONT, NY — Triple Crown winner Justify came out of his stall to meet the media bright and bouncing on the morning after his gate-to-wire win in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.

When asked to assess his colt's win, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported, “We were watching replays of the race. He could have gone around again.”

The brilliantly colored ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, June 19, 6:00 PM

Belmar Municipal Building, Belmar

Belmar Mayor and Council Meeting


Tue, June 19, 7:30 PM

Lake Como Borough Hall, Lake Como

Lake Como Council Meeting


Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Calvary Baptist Church, Belmar

Calvary Baptist Church's Giant Jumble Sale

JCP&L Completes Inspections and Projects Before Summer to Enhance Customer Service Reliability

June 12, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has completed inspections and projects across its 13-county service area, including Monmouth County, to enhance customer reliability in preparation for the summer season.

The work included upgrading transmission and substation equipment, upgrading circuits and trimming trees along power lines.

Helicopter patrols are ...

Facebook Provides Verification Badges for All TAPinto Facebook Pages

TAPinto and its 75 partner sites have been verified on Facebook with the social media platform's blue badge, which is given to news organizations that meet Facebook's authenticity criteria. 

Facebook gives the blue verification badge to "eligible brands, media organizations and public figures," based on factors that include policy compliance and public ...

Belmar and Lake Como

June 2, 2018

Belmar Police Department reported the following arrests occurred in Belmar and Lake Como from April 1, 2018 to April 28, 2018.


Ryan Miles, 33, of Belmar was charged with contempt on an outstanding warrant after his arrest on April 1 on Route 35 by Police Officer Patrick McGill.

Lisa Perrault, 49, of Long Branch was arrested on 16th Avenue on April 6 by Police Officer Patrick ...