Student Presentations and Superintendent's Report Take Center Stage at Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education Meeting

Hasbrouck Heights' Monika Lucic (second from right), along with Al Baker, member of the Board of Education, Dr. Matthew Helfant, Superintendent, and head track coach Robert Brady (left to right.) Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Senior wrestlers Mickey O'Malley and Matt Dallara, along with Al Baker, Dr. Matthew Helfant and wrestling head coach Craig Messery. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- Recognition of student-athletes and school security were the two of the highlights at the March meeting of the Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education on Thursday night in Keifer Auditorium.
The meeting opened with recognizing the recent accomplishments of three athletes in the winter sports season. Wrestling head coach Craig Messery introduced seniors Matthew Dallara and Mickey O’Malley fresh off their appearances at the NJSIAA state wrestling championships in Atlantic City. 
“These two young men could not have represented themselves, their family and their community or our school any better,” said Messery. “They are loved not only by their teammates and coaching staff, but coaches throughout the state. We’re very proud of them.”
He said that O’Malley “solidified himself as the most decorated Hasbrouck Heights wrestler in its history.” He finished his career with 168 wins, was a two-time County champion, two-time District champion, two-time Region champion, placed four times in the states, and won the state championship at 170 pounds this year.
“We’re hoping that these guys become one of our first Division 1 All Americans,” he added.
Next to be honored was senior Monika Lucic for her record-setting achievements and winning the Bergen County meet in the Pentathlon in Indoor Track.
“Through her hard work and dedication, when the night of that meet came, I’ve never seen a more focused athlete in my 29 years of coaching,” said Robert Brady, head track coach. “Monika was not going to be denied that night of a great performance.”

Brady explained at that county meet, Lucic beat a national champ, returning county champion, the number one-rated pentathlete, and broke three school records, in the 55 hurdles, 800 meters, and the pentathlon. Plus she set the county pentathlon scoring record.
The Board returned to regular business after the presentations. Melissa Quackenbush was introduced as the consultant recently contracted to assist the district’s Grantwriting Committee. 
Dr. Matthew Helfant gave an extensive Superintendent’s Report updating parents on numerous developments and improvements within the district. He announced he will be hosting bi-monthly Superintendent’s Roundtables. The first, scheduled for April, will address budget and security.
Helfant also said all Superintendent’s reports given at Board meetings will be taped and posted on the district’s website.
Editor’s Note: A more detailed article on Helfant’s report will run in Sunday’s TAPinto.

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