New Personnel Appointed for Clark Special Education; New Leadership for ALJ

New ALJ Assistant Principal Edward Bucior Credits: Kristen Busch
New ALJ Principal Jennifer Feeley is transitioning over from the middle school. Credits: Kristen Busch
New hires Marie Hoffman, Danielle Vazquez, and Megan Curtis will support the new special education initiatives. Credits: Kristen Busch
Marie Hoffman is the new school psychologist. Credits: Kristen Busch
Stephanie Lewis is filling a school psychologist maternity leave position at Kumpf. Credits: Kristen Busch
Lauren Portas is the new math teacher for Kumpf. Credits: Kristen Busch

CLARK, NJ - The Clark Board of Education held a special meeting Monday evening to announce several new faculty members and changes to administration.

Superintendent Ed Grande started by introducing Arthur L. Johnson High School’s new assistant principal Edward Bucior.  Grande explained that it was a very in depth interview process with over 100 applicants for the position.  “The people who are a cut above the rest really pop and we are excited to have Edward here with us,” said Grande.

“I am very humbled and I am also very excited to get started,” said Bucior.  “Clark is well-known for having strong academics, excellent athletic programs, as well as well-respected in the arts.  I plan on using that foundation and really start to build upon it so we can really have our kids excel in this district.”

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Bucior will join former Carl H. Kumpf Middle School Principal Jennifer Feeley as she transitions over to the role of princiapl at ALJ.  Feeley’s transition was first announced at the June Board of Education meeting. Feeley was officially appointed to her new role Monday evening with a retroactive start date of July 1, 2017.

“[Feeley] really hit the ground running even before she was formally here by looking at the applicants.  She has taken me on building tours to really look at hot spots,” said Grande.  “(Jennifer) already has done some in depth work and it’s a pleasure working with you so far.”

According to Grande, several of the positions filled support the district's new special education initiatives, including school psychologists, an occupational therapist, and a special education teacher.   

“When you bring children with high needs back into district the proper supports need to be in place to make them successful,” said Grande.

Marie Hoffman, appointed as a school psychologist, will be primarily based at ALJ.  Hoffman has a behavioral background which Grande said will be key to her role.  “I am really excited to be working in a district that really values special education and is creating these new programs that sound really excited,” said Hoffman.

Stacie Miller was re-appointed as a maternity leave replacement position also as a school psychologist primarily working at ALJ.  This is a continuation of the role she filled last spring.  “We are excited for Stacie to continue working with us,” said Grande.

Stephanie Lewis, an ALJ graduate, is also filling a maternity leave replacement position as a school psychologist but at Kumpf.  Lewis thanked the board and Grande for the opportunity and expressed her excitement at being back in Clark’s school district.

New occupational therapist Danielle Vazquez comes to the district with experience from both Children’s Specialized Hospital and Tiny Tots Therapy.  “Danielle’s appointment will help us in part eliminate the need to outsource,” said Grande.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the students as part of the new special education programs and, also get the opportunity to work will all these other new special education professionals and psychologists,” said Vazquez.

Megan Curtis is the new special education teacher at Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School.  “She has successful teaching experience where they raved about her,” said Grande.  “Everyone who met her just thought she’d be the perfect fit for the Frank K. Hehnly School.”

“I’m really thrilled to continue my journey as a special ed teacher in a district where people really seem super enthusiastic about educating children,” said Curtis.

Finally, Lauren Portas joins Kumpf as a mathematics teacher.  “She’s coming to us with some good experience to build on,” said Grande.  “We are excited for Lauren.”

Portas thanked Grande saying, “I’m really looking forward to joining the Clark Public Schools and becoming a member of the middle school team.”

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