NUTLEY, NJ - At the May 22 meeting of the Nutley Board of Education, District Teachers and Support Staff of the Year were recognized in the JHW Middle School auditorium. Superintendent Dr. Julie Glazer told parents, students, citizens and staff attending: “These teachers and support staff members use innovative instructional strategies, establish positive classroom climate, impact student achievement and contribute toward the quality of public education each and every day. Thank you for your wonderful efforts.”

Spanish teacher Denia Garcia was announced ‘Teacher of the Year’ by High School Principal Denis Williams. The announcement included testimonies from her students: ‘She motivates us because she respects us; She is helpful, insightful and involved in our learning; She creates a system for learning that fits for all of us in class.’

“Ms. Garcia has the kids first and foremost in mind and that’s what our selection committee looks for.” He said he was Garcia’s primary evaluator and found her to be a ‘reflective practitioner with a quiet sense of urgency.’ Garcia has been in education for 17 years and has taught at Nutley High for the past 10 years.

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High School Counselor Dr. Kathy Mitchell was named ‘Support Staff of the Year’. Dr. Mitchell has been in education for 44 years and at Nutley High for 21 years. Of Mitchell, Principal Williams said: “She knows how to make students feel worthwhile.”

Mrs. Stephanie Lennon is Radcliffe Elementary Teacher of the Year. Principal Mike Kearney said about the kindergarten teacher: “She capitalizes on every moment as a teachable moment. It’s almost as if she tricks the kids into learning.” Regarding service staff winner Brandon ‘Mr. B’ Balingit Kearney said: “He cares for his students and has set a standard that is exceptionally high standard for them. He makes them work. At the end of the day the students are better for it. ‘Mr. B’ knows whatever work is done inside the classroom is preparation for what happens outside that classroom door.”

Kerry Bowes, Yantacaw teacher of the year, has been in classrooms for 30 years, teaching 1st grade at Yantacaw since 1987. Principal Frank Francia said of Kerry: “She has created a classroom environment where every child feels safe, supported and challenged, providing a rich engaging learning environment on a daily basis. She’s a model for our teachers and staff, embracing new ideas and strategies all for the benefit of her students.” Support staff was awarded to custodian Frank Lotito, who was on vacation

Eva Casazza is Spring Garden’s Teacher of the Year. Principal Laurie LaGuardia said: ‘In her 8 years she has truly impacted the lives of many children. She has put her heart and soul into making a difference for these students. Parents trust her. Colleagues respect her. Students love her.”

Lorraine Restel announced Nancy Thunell as someone who has devoted her life to helping students and staff. Thunell was recognized as support staff person of the year at Lincoln and Spring Garden. Thunell’s role: “Helping students make the right decision at the right moment and to keep making those (right) decisions.”

Dana Napolitano works with sixth graders at Lincoln and is the Teacher of the Year. Restel said: “She meets the needs of all students in her classroom. The gifted and talented as well as struggling learners to help them achieve beyond what they thought they could.  

Cheryl Kozyra is JHW Middle School Teacher of the year. Principal Tracy Egan identified Kozyra as a special education teacher who assists parents and teachers in finding the best ways to She is also co-advisor for the student council and makes herself available to students after school. Support staff member Elizabeth Stoffers did not attend.

Washington School’s Teacher of the Year is Kristine Puzio. Kristine has been a first grade teacher at Washington for the past 13 years. Janine Loconsolo, Director of Curriculum PreK -5, described Puzio as a teacher who ‘always looks beyond her own classroom to better both her grade level and the school. Kelli Cerniglia, school counselor for the past five years, was acknowledged as ‘support staff of the year’. Her background at almost every grade level gives her ‘the insight, she has the insight, allowing her to service each student to achieve success.’ Principal Jones did not attend the meeting.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

Dr. Julie Glazer reminded everyone that the District will be closed Monday for Memorial Day and offered a ‘special thank you to all who served and are serving our country and to remember our Blue and Gold Star military families who are serving.’

The Superintendent shared that there were recurring themes heard regarding those retiring from the district.  “Over and over again we hear compassion, advocacy, support, engagement.” The nineteen retiring staff members collectively represented 257.5 years of service to the district.

HEARING OF CITIZENS

Steve Meillo spoke in favor of the Hockey expansion. He said: “We moved to Nutley in 1992 because school districts were very important to us. I am very pleased with the Nutley school system.  What is important is that you have something for everyone.”

Meillo said he has 5 children, one still in the system and one graduating with a full scholarship to Farleigh Dickinson. “I was part of the original group that brought the hockey program to Nutley High. We were thrilled because a lot of us have children who are not interested in other sports and are dedicated to hockey. My son Joe, a freshman, just played his first season. My hope is that Nutley will approve the [program expansion] plan and continue this great hockey tradition.” 

Nutley High School students John Hickey, Christopher Devito, Anthony Fabiano and Evan Cirminiello addressed the board. Spokesperson Hickey said that the Finals project they were assigned for their US History Honors 2 Class was on “Change in our Society”. The group decided to address the topic of the need for air-conditioning in the High School. Hickey said: “It baffles me that you guys are ignoring state legislation. Yesterday in my English class it got to 94 degrees…We need air conditioning.”

STUDENT REPORT

Senior Katerina Robles reported that high school internships had started. “Certain seniors took the opportunity to go out and find their own internships that they can do essentially for the rest of the year and they are exempt from finals”.

Robles is interning at an architectural and construction company. She volunteered to return to the High School after graduation to work on curriculum for robotics and computer science classes.

ACADEMIC Resolutions approved by the Board were: Memorandum of Agreement with Montclair State University, Clinical Psychology Externship Program with Kean University, Revised 2017-2018 Academic Calendar, Field Trips, and Professional Development Days

ADMINISTRATIVE Resolution #3 approved a Cooperative Sports Program allowing players from the South Orange Maplewood School District to join the Nutley Schools ice hockey team. The Nut-Map-SO team will practice and have home games at the Codey Arena in West Orange — located mid-way between the two schools. On May 15, the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education unanimously approved plans for the co-op ice hockey program.

FINANCE Resolution # 21 approved transfer of bond funds, ‘because some of the projects have sufficient funding while others need additional money.’ Authority to transfer was stated in Section (f) of the bond approved by voters in the special school election December 12, 2006

Approved transfer of 2007 referendum bond proceeds between school facilities projects:

From: Yantacaw Project #3750-050-07-1000 Total Amount: $465,554.62

To: Nutley High School Project #3310-050-07-1000 Amount: $ 73,272.37

To: Radcliffe Project #3750-080-07-1000 Amount: $ 1,595.55

To: Washington Project #3750-100-07-1000 Amount: $390,686.70

From: Lincoln Project #3750-070-07-1000 Amount: $60,221.61

To: Washington Project #3750-100-07-1000 Amount: $60,221.61

From: Spring Garden Project #3750-090-07-1000 Amount: $11,369.74

To: Washington Project #3750-100-07-1000 Amount: $11,369.74

FINANCE Resolutions also included approval of the 2017-2018 Pay-To-Participate fee of $100 for the first child and $150 for the family and approval for out-of-district students attending Nutley schools as follows:

$13,044 - Kindergarten
$15,604 – Grades 1-5
$14,964 – Grades 6-8
$15,065 – Grades 9-12
$28,001 - Learning and/or Language Disabled

$26,252 - Preschool Disabled
$57,855 - Autism

 

FINANCE resolutions for the 2017-2018 school year:

  • Approval of Security Entrance Addition to the Washington Elementary School
  • Renewal of Insurance Management and Consulting (IMAC) IMAC as the BROKER of Record for health and student accident insurance
  • For the period July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018 - Benefit Analysis, Inc. (BAI) agreement approved to provide Cobra and FSA administration for the Nutley Board of Education; Contract to Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) to provide health and prescription drug insurance benefits; Agreement with Horizon Healthcare Dental Services, Inc. to provide dental insurance coverage
  •  Agreement with Worth Ave. Group for insurance coverage of 1,100 Chromebooks at a cost of $25,982.00.
  • Lease Agreement with Liquid Church 2017-2019 (on file in the Business Office)
  • Approved RFS Commercial, Inc. contract to supply and install a floor throughout the Guidance Department at Nutley High School in the amount of $31,900.00 through Mannington State Contract
  • Approved advertising for bids/quotes/purchase 50 listed items including 'Internet Service Provider, Tree Removal & Pruning, Ventilating Equipment and Commercial Printing'

Note: Items listed on Page 9 of the meeting agenda: http://boe.nutleyschools.org/sites/default/files/boeagendas/2017-05-22.pdf

John Marmora, the District Assistant Business Administrator, served as the Acting Board Secretary for the meeting.

PERSONNEL resolutions approved included

  • Settlement & Release agreements with two employees and one return to work after administrative leave agreement
  • Nine teachers, two secretaries, one bookkeeper, one custodian, one bus aid and the extended day director tendered their resignations effective June 30, 2017 and retired from active service. Five retiring staff members attended the meeting and were presented certificates by Dr. Glazer. They were: Nikola Markovic, Valerie Martin, Ellen Wolf, Lynn Mosior and Marie Cervasio. 
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  1. Joyce Cunningham, 18.5 years
  2. Jane Frost-Guzzo, 11 years
  3. Yolanda Liagouris, 9 years
  4. Cynthia Lynch, 16.5 years
  5. Nikola Markovic, 16 years
  6. Valerie Martin, 24 years
  7. Lynn Mosior, 17 years
  8. Ann Mary Mullane, 24 years
  9. Ellen Wolf, 33 years
  10. Michele Ashley, 21 years
  11. Linda Boyle, 18.5 years
  12. Linda Layden, 25.5 years
  13. Hector Fullone, 15.5 years
  14. Sandra Hughes, 31 years
  15. Marie Cervasio, 15.5 years
  16. Rose Fiala
  17. Angela Palma
  18. Sandra Stark
  19. Barbara Polito

Video of the May 22, 2017 meeting here:

The next Public Meeting of the BOE will be Monday June 5, 2017 - 6:30pm HJHWMS Music Room

Note: Look for TAPinto Nutley’s coverage of the Winter Athletics Awards by Athletic Director Joe Piro in an upcoming article.