ELIZABETH, NJ – The new high school, the Academy of Finance, dominated the public portion of the Board of Education meeting last night, April 13, as several residents voiced the need for community input in the naming of the school.

The new Academy of Finance is tentatively being named for Mayor Christian Bollwage.

Kason Little, a student at the new school, spoke to the board, backed by a group of parents and students. As previously reported in TAPinto Elizabeth, Little has been circulating a petition calling for more input from students and the community in the naming of the school.

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“We should all receive an input in the naming of the school,” Little told the board. “I believe the Board of Education went under the rug with this one.

“You always say students are the first priority, but I don’t feel like I am.”

BOE Commissioner Paul Perreira concurred, suggesting that naming of the school be opened to input from the public. “There could be so sort of a link on the website. It could be done simply. The list of candidates could be vetted, then the final list could be voted on.”

It was a night of hot topics. Salaam Ismial of the United Youth Council spoke emotionally about the need for a gun control program to teach students of the danger of guns and better ways for conflict management. Referring to the recent murder of Michael Eargle, a former Elizabeth High School football star who played for Purdue University, Ismial was choked with emotion. “I knew him. His mother was in my first youth group. She raised a good son. He was everything we wanted him to be.”

Rev. Joseph Adair introduced himself as the new president of the NAACP Elizabeth Chapter. “The NAACP wants to work with the board on a curriculum of inclusion. Black people in this city don’t have hope.

“I am praying for all of us. We are living in a time of so much hate.”

Board President Stan Neron assured the group that “All of these concerns are being worked on. They are important to us.” 

The Board made the following presentations:

Students of Excellence Juan Pablo Duarte-Jose Julian Marti School No. 28 students that excel in Character Education and Leadership: Jancely Alarcon, Jakson Baires, Imani Bell, Alexandra Bertoa, Estefani Calvario, Erick Guzman, Kyrsten Hernandez, Cristian Luzua, Milagros Martinez, Angelina Ortega, Amy Paz, Alejandra Piedrasanta, Yailyn Ramos, Kiara Rodriguez, and Eric Teixeira.

Spring Tournament Bowling Competition Winners (Sunday, April 2, 2017): John E. Dwyer Technology Academy Diogo Cunha - Gold Medal (qualified to try out to compete for the Special Olympic USA Games in Seattle, Washington in 2018), Gissel Lainez-Reyes - Silver Medal, Christopher Phillip - Bronze Medal, Gilberto Saucedo - Bronze Medal, and  Steve Morales - 5th place.

Special Olympics of NJ Central Sectional Competition Winners: Ismael Abusharea, Natasha Jimenez, Alex Laureano-Serrano, and Bill Sanchez, Jr.

Union/Middlesex County Area 5 Bowling Competition Winners: Yaisha Garcia, Daniel Velasquez, and Luis Vigil. Advisor: Katherine Peros Coach: Alex Figueroa

Union County Youth Art Month Joseph Battin School No. 4 Students: Yaimary Arguelles - State YAM Winner; Shernick Bathelus; Jerry Bonilla; Diana Garcia; Valerie Guzman; Melanie Reynosa; Angeline Rodriguez; Cristina Ruiz; and Kristine Downey. Art Teacher TraceyGale Art Teacher.

Toussaint Louverture-Marquis De Lafayette School No. 6 Students: Eneri Bello, Elizabeth D’Alessandro, Art Teacher.

Elmora School No. 12 Students: Audrree Bondarenko, Issabelle Cruz - State Yam Winner, Kristin Downey Art Teacher.

Madison Monroe School No. 16: Jocelynn Cadena, Raxell Banegas, Gianna Mercado - State YAM Winner, and Ada Flores Art Teacher.

Woodrow Wilson School No. 19 Students: Sharika Ahmed, Vielka Fernandez, Kobe Pauta, and Jana Ortiz Art Teacher.

Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy School No. 26 Students: Jeffrey Adbducakhmanov, Willy Barhona, Jeremiah Coral, Mauro Garcia, Mariana Guzman, Mateo Penuela, and Chrysoula Campbell Art Teacher .

Teen Arts 2017 Winners Touring Exhibit: Edwin Willis, Winfield Scott School No. 2; Mel Morales Nicholas, LaCorte-Peterstown School No. 3; Michael Peixeto, Joseph Battin School No. 4; Danny Adams, Mabel G. Holmes School No. 5; Azul Alegre, Toussaint Loverture-Marquis de Lafayette School No. 6; Ashley Viizcaino, Terence C. Reilly School No. 7; Emily Jean, iPrep Academy School No. 8; Mia Sunter, Elmora School No. 12; Mariflor Melgarejo, Benjamin Franklin School No.13; Lina Larotta Moya, Abraham Lincoln School No.14; Stefany Melgar, Christopher Columbus School No.15; Katherine Jimenez, Madison Monroe School No. 16; Victoria Almeyda, Woodrow Wilson School No. 19; Sara Fleming, Victor Mravlag School No. 21; Sadie Vizcaino, William F. Halloran School No. 22;  Nicol Rodriguez, Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy School No. 26; Malak Abdellitaf, Dr. Antonia Pantoja School No. 27; Sumiyah Crudup, Juan Pablo Duarte-Jose Julian Marti School No. 28; Jocelyn Acosta, Ronald Reagan Academy School No. 30; Camila Marquez, Ronald Reagan Academy School No. 30; Moses Mosquito, Thomas Edison Career & Technology Academy, Alyson Castillo, John E. Dwyer Technology Academy; Alejandra Franco, Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. Health & Public Safety Academy, George Lainee, Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy; Evelyn Moncoyo, Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy; Nestor Garcia, Elizabeth High School - Frank J. Cicarell Academy; Carol Jimenez, Elizabeth High School - Frank J. Cicarell Academy; Sebastian Paredes, Elizabeth High School - Frank J. Cicarell Academy; Daniel Soto, Elizabeth High School - Frank J. Cicarell Academy; Kaitlin Agostino, Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy; Ena Husic, Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy; and Korina Rivera Thomas, Jefferson Arts Academy.

Stars of Excellence Team members at Juan Pablo Duarte-Jose Julian Marti School No. 28 Excellence in Education Maria Almeida - Secretary; Vicente Birriteri - ESL; Teacher Lisa Czernikowski - Art Teacher; Susana Dardier - Speech Teacher; Maryse Desir - Security Guard; Wilma Helm - Guidance Counselor; Kimberly Lavin - Physical Education Teacher; Elizabeth McLaughlin: LA Teacher; Naomi Montalvo - PreK Teacher; Johana Ojeda: LA Teacher; Marta Ortega: Music Teacher; Ruthie Page: Security Guard; Cassandra Pedrosa: Guidance Counselor; Denise Renda: LA Coach; Juan Robles: Security Guard; Palak Shah – Teach To One Director; Kimberly Sutherland - Math Coach; Jessica Trujillo - Social Worker; Julissa Urena - 1st Grade Teacher; Lauren Volpe - LA Teacher; Stefanie Zeik-Marino - PreK Teacher.

National Association of Music Merchants: Elizabeth Public Schools Music Department Elizabeth Public Schools has been selected as one of the best communities in the US for Music Education

Community Excellence 100th Years of service - Elizabeth Rotary Club