LIVINGSTON, NJ – Students from the Livingston High School String Ensemble opened a special Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) meeting on Monday as 26 Livingston Public Schools (LPS) teachers, administrators and support staff entered the annals of the LPS history books as retirees and five new administrators were welcomed to the LPS community.

The students performed two musical numbers for family, friends and current and future staff before the 13 present retirees were individually called upon to be recognized by the LBOE for their specific contributions and to receive a retirement gift of appreciation and recognition certificate for their years of service.

“Thank you for all of the service you’ve given,” said LBOE President Ronnie Konner.  “One person makes a difference and each of you individually have made a difference in the lives of many children.”

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The outgoing “class” of retirees leaves six vacancies at Livingston High School (LHS), five at Heritage Middle School (HMS), four each at Mount Pleasant Middle School (MPMS) and Collins Elementary, two each at Riker Hill Elementary and Harrison Elementary, one each at Mount Pleasant Elementary (MPE) and Hillside Elementary, and one in the Building and Grounds department (B&G).

Also thanked for his year of service to the LBOE was exiting student representative, Dev Thakkar. 

“During the past year, you have reviewed board of education meeting agendas and have thoughtfully participated in the board of education meetings and its discussions to present the views of the student body,” said Konner. “As a committed advocate for your peers, you have carried out your responsibilities with poise and have been an asset to this governing body. We wish you every success.”

Those being welcomed to the district included two educators already employed by it and three newcomers. 

Natalie Topylko, who to date has been responsible for administering state and local standardized assessments for the schools and created the Summer Academy summer school program, will step into the newly created role of Director of Curriculum & Instruction/Testing. 

Supervisor of Special Education for the schools, Dr. Blair Rosenthal, who currently has oversight responsibility for special education for grades K-5, associated resource centers, in-classroom support, and inclusion of the PRIDE program, will assume the newly created position of Director of Special Education.

Burnet Hill Elementary School (BHE) will have new leadership come the fall as Sara Bright takes the helm as principal. Bright joins the district from her role as principal and elementary supervisor for Edison Public Schools. 

Chrystie Young, currently a district science coordinator for Lindenhurst New York Public Schools’ K-12 students, will assume the position of Heritage Middle School’s assistant principal. 

U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force veteran Amro Mohammed comes to Livingston from the Jersey City Public Schools, where he served as Dean of Discipline and Crisis Intervention and will now be acting Dean of Students for LPS.

“Congratulations and welcome aboard,” said Christina Steffner, Superintendent of Schools. “We’re really excited to have you join this team and are looking forward to working with you.”

Retiring Staff and Educator Honorees include:

Nancy Babey (MPMS Teacher of Art), Mindy Bondroff (Hillside School Social Worker), Daniel Calligaro III (HMS Assistant Principal), Robert Caraig (MPMS Custodian), Jane Conforti (HMS Teacher of Science), Ronit Davidson (HMS Teacher of Student with Disabilities (TOSD)), Valerie DeNick (RHE First Secretary), Joseph Duker (LHS Security Liaison), Gennaro Esposito (Collins Head Custodian), Terri Gilber (LHS TOSD), Laura Grant (Collins TOSD), Griffith Hughes, Jr. (LHS Teacher of Tech Ed), Susan Leelike (Collins Elementary School Teacher), John Leister (Collins Principal), Frederick McGill (LHS Custodian), Dolly Mendes (Harrison Teacher of Art), Michael Miskiv (HMS Teacher of Music), Albert Moreira (B&G Maintenance), Mary Morris (HMS Teacher of Math), Judit O’Malley (MPMS Media Specialist), Sung Hea Rhim (MPMS Instructional Aide), June Rudin (RHE School Nurse), Thomas Schaller (Harrison Custodian), Patricia Sullivan (LHS Secretary), Mary Ellen Teshima (MPE School Nurse), Nuni-Lyn Walsh (LHS Teacher of Science)

Pictured above are:

Front row from left: Susan Leelike, June Rudin, Judith O’Malley, Al Moreira

Second row: Valerie DeNick, Dolly Mendes, Terri Gilbert, Nancy Babey, Daniel Calligaro

Back row: Griffith Hughes, Patricia Sullivan, Mary Morris, Michael Miskiv