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

January 4, 2013 at 7:02 AM

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:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Bavoso and Couto: The Right Choice for the Future of Berkeley Heights

October 20, 2016

Dear Editor,


On November 8th we have the opportunity to make a difference in the future of Berkeley Heights.  Pete Bavoso and Manuel Couto have been meeting with residents and listening to our concerns since March. Their message is clear: we simply accomplish more, spend our tax dollars more efficiently, and improve our local quality of life when we work together to move ...

Safety Notice to Early Morning Joggers

To the Editor: With dawn coming later and sunset coming earlier, more joggers are running on the roads in darkness. It is unfortunate that they need to be reminded that it is difficult for drivers to see them if they wear dark clothes and do not carry some kind of light. I  do not understand why joggers would put themselves in danger when reflective vests and small, lightweight lights ...

Yellin and Zatta Ready To Lead

To the Editor: As a longtime elected official and volunteer, I'm proud to be supporting the Positively Berkeley Heights team, Steve Yellin and Jill Zatta for Township Council this year. Their experience, new ideas, and willingness to lead on difficult issues our town faces was fully on display at the debate that took place on Thursday. 

While their opponents attacked each other and ...

STEM Adventure Program to be Held During New Jersey Teachers' Convention

October 21, 2016

MORRISTOWN, NJ – Patriots’ Path Council STEM programs and BASF have partnered to provide a unique STEM program during Teachers Convention on November 10 and 11.  STEM Adventure is open to all students in first through sixth grade, boys and girls, Scouts and non-Scouts. The program will be held at the Boy Scouts of America service center located at 1 Saddle Rd., Cedar Knolls, ...

New Providence Resident Named New Chaplain for Fellowship Senior Living

The Reverend Ian Rankine has been named the full time chaplain for Fellowship Senior Living, announced Brian G. Lawrence, president and CEO of the senior living service provider based in Basking Ridge.

Tasked with meeting the religious and spiritual needs of the seniors and team members of the faith-based not-for-profit organization, Rev. Rankine is enjoying his new position. “My prior ...

Priyanka Hooda Joins Berkshire Hathway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkeley Heights resident Priyanka Hooda has affiliated with the New Providence office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties as a full time Sales Associate.  Originally from Basking Ridge, Priyanka attended Seton Hall University.  

Priyanka will be specializing in residential sales and brings with her several years of sales experience.  Prior to ...

James J. Costello, Jr., to Speak at “Revocable Living Trusts from Start to Finish” Seminar

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - James J. Costello, Jr., a Member of the Bridgewater-based law firm Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., will be a featured speaker at “Revocable Living Trusts from Start to Finish,” sponsored by The National Business Institute.  The seminar will take place at the Holiday Inn Princeton on Monday, November 7, from 9 a.m. to ...

Elizabeth Bombing Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

October 13, 2016

ELIZABETH, NJ – Ahmad Khan Rahimi pled not guilty to six criminal complaints before Judge Regina Caulfield in the Union County Courthouse, October 13. He was videotaped from his bedside in University Hospital, Newark, where he was recuperating from gunshot wounds sustained during his September 19 arrest.  

Rahimi made his pleas through his Public Defender Peter Liguori as not guilty ...

Chatham Bench Dedicated to Dr Ritter and Janis Joseph "Our Angels Here on Earth"

October 16, 2016

CHATHAM, NJ - Two years ago this month, the life of an 11-year-old Chatham youngster and his family were turned upside down when an out-of-control vehicle struck Michael DiMaggio as he was walking home from school.

The scene of the accident is now marked with a pedestrian bench dedicated by the DiMaggio family to Dr. Michael Ritter and his wife, Janis Joseph, who immediately came to his ...

Early What?

Why does everything have to be so darn complicated?  A few months ago we went over all the different major application companies and now I have to confuse things further by talking about the different priority dates.

There’s some good news and some bad news.  Bad news first?  As with so many other things schools all set application dates separately and many seem determined ...

Going Toe to Toe

There are a lot of body parts I’m not particularly happy with (you thighs know who you are), but the one part of me I’ve never been bothered by is my feet. Not to be conceited, but I’ve always thought I had pretty nice feet, as far as feet go. They are not too fat or too thin, my arches are not too high or too low, and my toes all line up nicely in descending order. I ...

Thanksgiving at Moe's Bistro in New Providence

Thanksgiving Buffet Menu Noon to 6 p.m.

Join us to Celebrate the Special Day!

Reservations Recommended 

$38 Adults

$19 Kids 10 and Under

Lobster Brisque Soup

Cream of Vidalia Soup

Meditteranean Sampler

Shrimp Cocktail

Assorted Salads

Classic Oven Roasted Turkey

Mashed Potatoes

C;assoc Stiffomg

Moe's Traditional Stuffing with Sausage, Cranberries and ...

Hips Don't Lie!

Rotation is a primary pattern used in pretty much every sport.

Baseball swings, Football throws, Lacrosse shots, Swimming turns, Gymnastics flips, Soccer kicks

You name the sport and there is a robust amount of hip rotation you can find.

A common mistake in rotation is that athletes tend to use their upper bodies or back too much to drive this movement.

This may lead to successful ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, October 21, 9:00 AM

Rock 'n' Joe's Westfield, Westfield

Junior League Elizabeth-Plainfield New Member ...

Giving Back Other

Fri, October 21, 10:00 AM

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit

Blue Water Art Exhibit at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, October 21, 12:00 PM

Gov. Livingston High School Blue Gym, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Volleyball Team Honors Seniors on ...


Fri, October 21, 12:00 PM

Berkeley Heights YMCA, Berkeley Heights

Enhance Fitness

Health & Wellness

Fri, October 21, 6:00 PM

East Asian Fusion Restaurant, Berkeley Heights

Blue Point Oyster Special at East Asian Fusion ...

Food & Drink

Sat, October 22, 9:00 AM

Nomahegan Park, Cranford

2016 Red Ribbon Day Drug Prevention Walk

Food & Drink Giving Back Health & Wellness

How to Navigate the Pending Retirement Crisis

Are you tired of hearing about the pending retirement crisis –because you’ve heard about it so much, it’s boring and you think it doesn’t apply to you? You might be in your 70s or 80s before you realize all that “yadda yadda” about “planning” and “saving” actually did apply to you after all…

Of the 10,000 baby boomers ...

Berkeley Heights Girls U9 'Blitz' Wears Pink

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Berkeley Heights Youth Soccer Club Girls U9 Blitz team proudly wore pink wristbands. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. 

The Berkeley Heights Youth Soccer Club, Inc is a 501c3 organization that supports traveling soccer teams for the youth of ...