WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Woodland Park’s annual Youth Month kicked off on May 1 with a visit from Mayor Keith Kazmark to Memorial School. He described the program and its similarities to running for real office. Students received descriptions of the jobs they could run for to be elected to by their peers.
“Participants get to learn about how every element of the town works,” Kazmark said, noting that he had served as a Youth Month councilman as a student in 1992.
Following the election day at school on May 3, the students selected for the positions had a number of opportunities to see their government in action.
On May 20, the Youth Month superintendent of schools and Board of Education president ran the regular Board of Education meeting. They recognized 2019 Governor's Educators of the Year Anna Szorc, Elizabeth Parker and Stephen Sans and Governor's Educational Services Professionals of the Year Teri Avella, Susan DiFluri and Sheila Lepore.
On May 21, a tour of the town for the students included stops at Fire Company No. 2, the Department of Public Works, Board of Education building, municipal building, police department, Alfred Baumann Library and WP First Aid Squad.
On May 22, students ran the Mayor and Council meeting from the dais, with their counterparts sitting alongside providing assistance as needed. The students led presentations to the American Legion and its Auxiliary, read committee reports and approved and introduced a number of resolutions. In addition, participants took part in the May 14 municipal court session.
The 2019 Youth Month participants are:
- Mayor Marco Parisi
- Council members Marianna Marques, Maria Flores, Arianna Aliotta, Aaliyah Watkins, Dimitri Nicholades and Tiffany Soriano
- Police Chief Tyler Uzzalino
- Fire Chief Leighanna Navales
- Borough Administrator Tony Ali
- Borough Treasurer Ronald Manfredo
- Borough Attorney Alexa Lopes
- Prosecutor Thiarra Rijo
- Public Defender Julianna Manzi
- First Aid Squad Captain Jasmine Ocasio
- Superintendent of Schools Michael Preziosi
- Borough Court Judge Grace Martinez
- Recreation Coordinator Joe Ceragno
- Superintendent of Public Works Walner Huatay
- Board of Education President Zeth Lambertus
- Library Director Cristina Sgobba
- Municipal Clerk Amanda Rausch