ALJ Assistant Principal Resigns; Opportunities for Students Approved

ALJ Vice Principal Travis Smith will leave the district to become principal at Ramapo High School. Credits: Susan Bonnell
ALJ Assistant Principal Travis Smith resigned effective June 30, 2016 to pursue another role outside of the district. Credits: Kristen Busch
After serving as a maternity leave teacher, Thomas Ricciuti was appointed to Carl H. Kumpf Middle School to teach Social Studies.  Credits: Kristen Busch
Newly appointed Superintendent Ed Grande presents his report to the Board. Credits: Kristen Busch

CLARK, NJ – The Board of Education announced the resignation of Arthur L. Johnson High School Assistant Principal Travis Smith during its June board meeting at Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School.  Smith accepted the position of principal at Ramapo High School. 

“We are really excited for Travis and are going to miss him dearly,” Clark Superintendent of Schools Ed Grande said.

Smith took the opportunity to thank the board and Grande for the opportunity to work in the Clark school district. 

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“I feel very fortunate to have had the time to work here,” Smith said.  “Mr. Delmonaco [ALJ Principal], I can’t thank you enough for your leadership, your guidance, and most importantly your friendship. You’ve been a tremendous asset to me in my career and in my personal life as well, so thank you.”

In more personnel news, teacher Thomas Ricciuti was appointed to Carl H. Kumpf Middle School to teach Social Studies. During the superintendent's report, Grande explained that this past school year Ricciuti work as a maternity leave teacher as well as a coach at ALJ.

“This year has been fantastic. I look forward to working with the students,” Ricciuti said.  “Thank you to the Board for the opportunity.”

Grande also discussed the amount of work that is done over the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. “This evening we reappointed our support staff for the five schools. And as I said last week, they are the back bone of the district. They keep us functioning well.”

“We also approved our various extracurricular advisors and coaches,” Grande said. “Through their labors, they provide the students with different opportunities then they may experience in the classroom. We are thankful to them.”

The Board also approved the district’s partnership with Union County College.

“Each semester we offer a course right at the high school with college professors from UCC,” Grande said. Students earn 3 college credits for each class the successfully complete.

The board will also reimburse the cost of any tuition fees in excess of $250 per student who earns an average of B of higher.

“Hopefully with people knowing this, enrollment will increase next year,” board member Sheri Sandler said.

Grande explained that an additional program, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, allows students to gain work experience in the summer. 

“The program was approved this evening along with the associated personnel. It is primarily rooted in our special services department and it really gives our students practical real world experience to apply what they learned all year,” Grande said.

Grande also took the time to thank supporters who donated items to the various schools recently:

  • The Valley Road PTA donated four vertex portable radios to the school.
  • Mr. Troy Malko donated two trees to Valley Road.
  • Former art teach Sandy Hassleman donated a Crusader kiln out of her love for the Clark Arts Program.

ALJ’s Class of 2016 graduated on Thursday, June 23 at 7 p.m.  For those unable to attend in person, graduation was streamed on the Clark School District website. 

Brocato ended the meeting by thanking Hehnly Principal Shirley Bergin for hosting the event at the school.  “We got to see the school and it looks beautiful,” he said.

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