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:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Pieces of Time: Applause Rings Out In Two Columbia Middle School Classrooms

February 23, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Thursday night, the mass murder of students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Board of Education meeting.

The board observed a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance for the 17 people killed and 14 wounded in the shooting, as well as ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

New Providence High School Presents The Addams Family -Tickets are Now On Sale

February 23, 2018

The Addams Family, who first came to life in the 1960s television series, will come back to life and take the stage at New Providence High School in March in a comedic musical twist on the classic story and characters.  Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Grandma, Fester, and Lurch, along with new characters and a full cast of Addams Ancestors will bring the creepy, kooky, all together ooky ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...

Other

Carousel_image_ebabe6d4e0eb6af7bda2_https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-40285364-230483587926-1-original

Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...