RANDOLPH, NJ-The board of education meeting on Tuesday, May 19, finally approved the new start and end times for the next school year. The board also welcomed a few teachers, appointed new positions and said goodbye to a long time familiar face. They also quickly discussed the negotiations with the Randolph Township Administrators Association (RTAA).
Board of Education President Tammy Mackay wanted to make a few things clear to the public in terms of protocol. Last week, the board approved some names that were brought forward for renewal in employment; teachers, secretary, administrators, etc. As board members, they vote on the names brought forward. The board does not vote on stipend jobs as part of that process. The two issues are very separate.
People who apply for stipend jobs get a renewal every year depending when that particular job is up. The building principal or athletic director makes a recommendation to the superintendent and the board votes.
The other thing Mackay wanted to make clear to any students present that the board has not cut any programs. Drama nor theater has not been cut from the budget. The budget stands exactly as it was the year before.
"None of that has ever been done as part of the renewal process," said Mackay.
During the meeting, the board said goodbye to their current student representative, Chelsea Galembo, and welcomed the new ones, Molly O'Mara.
The board continued by discussing the negotiations with Randolph Township Administrators Association (RTAA), their contract is to be renewed this June. BOE Vice President Al Matos read a statement for the public:
"The negotiation teams of the Randolph Board of Education (BOE) and the Randolph Administrators Association (RTAA), who represent the fine principals, supervisors and other district professional staff have reached an understanding and have executed an memorandum of agreement outlining the terms for a renewed collective bargaining contract for the July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018 period. This represents the good work performed by both negotiating teams resulting in a fair and equitable agreement reached in the respect for the environment over the course of a half a dozen negotiating sessions that started February 24 of this year. The BOE recognizes the professional work the RTAA leadership provided during these negotiating sessions. In the opinion of the BOE negotiating team, the RTAA demonstrated real negotiating skills, creativity and worked hard to well represent our membership while having a clear understanding of the market and district needs. Details of the RTAA and BOE agreement cannot be disclosed at this time until both the BOE and RTAA membership ratify the new agreement. However, this agreement includes salary adjustment that the BOE views as reasonable and most importantly fair to both the district and RTAA membership. The agreement also includes various provisions regarding terms of employment and conditions of employment. RTAA members which mutually benefits both the district and its employees. In the true spirit of negotiations, both teams continue to work together in a collegial manner to finalize the language of our collective agreement, which we expect to occur well ahead of the June 30, 2015 date on which the current contract expires. The BOE negotiating team is pleased with the outcome of these negotiations and looks forward to working with the RTAA in the future to enable our students, staff and district as a whole to succeed and continue its tradition in excellence."
During the public discussion portion of the meeting one parent, Nicole Feblis, stood up and asked the board to vote no on the proposed schedule time changes.
"You are looking at a study that's only taking consideration of half of the school's population. You're not looking at the studies that show that elementary kids perform better earlier in the day. Those are the ones that will eventually become the adolescent learners that you're talking about changing the school time for," said Feblis.
However, the board did take a vote on a motion that night that approved the proposed pupil start and end time for the district schools for the 2015-2016 school year. Board members Anne Standridge abstained, and Jeffrey Braverman and Diana Thomas said "no" as the other members voted yes. Randolph High School will now be at 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., the middle school from 8:20 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. and all four elementary schools are now at 9:10 a.m. to 3:55 p.m., with drop-offs and supervision at 8:40 a.m.
Board member, Diane Thomas, continued the meeting by talking about the high school's recent art show.
"The art show here at the high school was so amazing. I close my eyes and some pictures come up in my mind. That's how stunning they were. Every single one of the images I saw there was incredible," Thomas said.
Thomas praised the teachers involved for spending so much time putting the show together; Supervisor David Imhof, Steven Coleman, Mercedes Ingenito, James King, Christian Montone, Tracey Platt and Luke Suttile.
"It was a fabulous terrific night," said Thomas.
The board approved a few motions that hired on a few more teachers.
"The most important people the board of education hires are teachers. You just approved some of the finest beginning or experienced teachers that Ms. Fano and I have ever interviewed. Randolph keeps getting better because of the people," said Superintendent David Browne.
But with the good news also came the bad. The board also approved the resignation of Journalism and English teacher, Jon Zlock.
"Mr. Zlock, you've been a confidant and outstanding person with whom to work and we all wish you nothing but the best for you and your family," said Browne.
Zlock will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee with his family where he will be taking on a position at a charter school. Zlock has been employed at Randolph for the past seven years and during that time has inspired kids in the art of journalism. The main reason for the move is to help put Zlock and his family in a better long-term position.
"I told my students today, which was the hardest part and one of them said, 'Who's going to call the snow days?,' and with that I say goodbye to Randolph," Zlock said jokingly.
"I mean this with all sincerity, thank you to Dr. Browne, the administration and this board for the last seven years of my life. It has been a true pleasure for me professionally. To the new hires, I can't think of a better place for you to start here. This place is amazing. I started my teaching career here and never thought it would reap what it did for me personally. I really truly love this community. I'm sad to leave it. It's been home to me and my family and I appreciate everything anyone has ever done for me here," said Zlock.
Zlock wanted to remind his students that even though he might be leaving that does not mean he will not be available to them. Zlock will continue to mentor and respond to student who look for guidance and who will reach out.
"I'm never going to say no to anyone. This isn't goodbye. This is, 'I'll see you later'," said Zlock.
In those motions the board also approved the appointment of David Kricheff as the new Ironia Elementary Principal and Jonathan Olsen as the new director of Secondary Education. To read more on these new appointments, click here: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/randolph/categories/news/articles/new-ironia-principal-director-of-secondary-educa