Education

Berkeley Heights Board of Education Reorganizes for New Year; School Security Discussion Tops Agenda

59bd8fd06cdb3e839b08_SwornIn.JPG
School board members Mary Ann Walsh and Doug Reinstein are sworn into new three-year terms on the Board of Education by Board Secretary and Business Administrator Donna Felezzola at the board’s Jan. 3 reorganization meeting. Credits: Deb Dawson
24c2a5478c2134191072_Crisonino.JPG
Dr. Gerard Crisonino is the new vice president of the Berkeley Heights Board of Education. Credits: Deb Dawson
b3967ab5a15b8b7f1f09_Hirsch.JPG
Helen Kirsch is the new president of the Berkeley Heights Board of Education. Credits: Deb Dawson
59bd8fd06cdb3e839b08_SwornIn.JPG

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The new Board of Education president for the 2013-2014 school year is Helen Kirsch. She was elected unanimously at the school board’s Thursday, Jan. 3 reorganization meeting. Former president John Sincaglia nominated her, saying he had served 20 months which was close enough to his goal of two years. The four-month shortage is due to the change in school board election dates to coincide with the general
election in November.

The new board vice president is Dr. Gerard Crisonino. He was nominated by board member Mary Ann Walsh. Board member Paul Beisser nominated Doug Reinstein. The vote was 5 to 2 with both men voting for themselves.

Both Walsh and Reinstein, who were re-elected in November, were sworn into new three-year terms on the board. Of the 6,750 votes cast, Walsh received 2,910 and Reinstein received 2,235.

During her report, Superintendent Judith Rattner spoke about school security in the wake of Sandy Hook. She noted these measures were in effect prior to the tragedy.

“Currently we have a Crisis Team chaired by Ms. (Patricia) Qualshie that meets every six weeks to review security measures,” she said, noting police are a part of that team and very cooperative. “We are constantly making changes to the security plan and presenting them to the state, sharing them with the Police Department.”

She said an officer was placed at Mary Kay McMillin School the night of the shooting and police are always present at concerts and games.

People are required to request access into buildings and there are cameras set up to enable staff to see the entrances and various other spots in the schools. Staff members check exterior doors to insure they are secure. Placement of the cameras is being reassessed, the superintendent said.

The district is also investigating sensors that would notify the office if a door is ajar.

All staff have I.D. cards, including substitute teachers.

Delivery people are required to check into the office and fill out a form. This practice is being reinforced in the wake of Sandy Hook, she said.

“We’ve had monthly security drills for a long time,” said Rattner. “Police are invited to observe and advise.”

She noted the police department comes at least twice a year and “takes over” a building. An active shooter drill was conducted at William Woodruff School in December.

District staff are taking a new look at security for children who walk to school. Rattner said this was done a couple of years ago and a video was made.

Rattner is meeting on Friday, Jan. 4 with the county prosecutor and chiefs of police of all of the Police Departments in Union County. She submitted a request prior to the meeting asking the group to “consider moving elections out of school buildings from this point forward.” As of now, she said all of the schools in Berkeley Heights except Thomas P. Hughes School are used as polling places. Rattner said the decision will have to be made by
the county Board of Elections.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Annual Fishing Derby Returns to Oakwood Park on Saturday, April 28

April 20, 2018

Mark your calendars!  The annual Fishing Derby returns to Oakwood Park Saturday, April 28th, rain or shine, from 8:00 – 11:00am.  Co-sponsored by New Providence P.B.A. Local #132 and New Providence Recreation, this family favorite event is one of the borough’s “signs of spring”!

Bring your rod, reel & bait to fish for trout of varying sizes stocked in ...

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Softball: Justina Benvenuto Named Union Catholic's Girls Conference Athlete of Week

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- After bursting on the scene with a fabulous freshman softball season at Union Catholic last year, there was a lot of hype surrounding Justina Benvenuto as she entered her sophomore season.

Benvenuto has more than lived up to all the lofty expectations, both on the mound and at the plate as she has sparked the Vikings to a 6-1 record this spring.

Benvenuto has been ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

New Providence Borough Council to Cultivate Relationships with County Officials

April 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Robert Robinson touted the importance of personal relationships with Union County representatives at the Monday, April 9 council meeting.

Union County Freeholders Angel Estrada and Bette Jane Kowalski attended the Street Smart campaign kick-off event prior to the meeting providing the council members with the opportunity to chat face-to-face with the two ...

Chatham Township Committee Unanimously Adopts Ordinance to Ban Marijuana Retail Sales; Cannabis Advocates Disagree

April 13, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter began the new year by pledging to oppose Gov. Phil Murphy's plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and Thursday night he followed through by voting to adopt an ordinance that prohibits "marijuana cultivation, production testing, manufacturing facilities and retail stores' in the township.

The Chatham Township Committee ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_11433c9e92ddbc063eae_103a27776b9f3cdaaab1_img_2579

Sat, April 21, 11:00 AM

Our Lady of Peace , New Providence

Our Lady of the Peace Church Holds Healing & ...

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Other

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Education Other

Getting Real About Retirement – Will You Have Enough Money to Remain Comfortable?

Let’s get real about retirement. Will you have enough to remain comfortable in retirement for 30 years or more?  Studies show this is a recurring fear many Americans have - and for good reason. Many Americans are completely unprepared to fund a comfortable retirement, and remain naive about the actual costs involved.  As a Fee-Only financial advisor, my number one priority is ...