Student Council Reports Successful MLK Volunteer Project to BOE

BOE President Al Matos (left) and VP Ron Conti (far right) present LuAnn Mizzoni and Michelle Belfiore with the National School Counseling Week proclamation. Credits: DANIELLE WILSON

RANDOLPH, NJ - Slots filled up quickly for Randolph High School’s Martin Luther King Day volunteer projects, reported student council representative Alyssa Horowitz.

“We actually didn’t have enough [slots],” Horowitz explained at Tuesday’s BOE meeting. “I think that next year, we’re definitely going to have more programs, so more students can get involved.”

Students visited Homeless Solutions, Interfaith Food Pantry, Unified Sports and Sunrise Senior Living. The students also offered Bingo for senior citizens at the high school, where Horowitz volunteered.

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Many sports teams volunteered as a group to help a specific project. “It was really great team bonding for them, while still getting to do something nice for the community,” Horowitz said.

“There were people that wanted to get involved, but it was such a quick fill up,” added board member Tammy MacKay. “So next year… they are already identifying other avenues, because there was such an overwhelming response.”

During the Superintendent’s Report, Board President Al Matos proclaimed Feb. 6-10 to be National School Counseling Week in the Randolph school district.

“School counselors are employed in public and private schools to help students reach their full potential,” Matos read from the proclamation. “Student counselors are actively committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development.”

The proclamation also focused on the counselors’ role in working with parents and school staff to help students achieve goals and develop into productive members of society.

“Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs are considered an integral part of the educational process that enables all students to achieve success in schools,” the proclamation stated.

LuAnn Mizzoni, the eighth grade counselor, and Michelle Belfiore, one of the high school counselors, attended the meeting to accept the proclamation.

During the President’s Report, Matos clarified and addressed comments that were made in the previous meeting regarding his year-end report.

In the Jan. 3 meeting, board member Anne Standridge commented that she felt the report was unclear, and Matos was presenting his own goals as board goals.

Comments were published in the TAP article for that meeting.

Upon review, Matos believes the report was clear that these were his own goals.

“I usually use my words pretty carefully,” Matos said. “Looking back, they were ‘my wishes’ not board goals. If they were board goals, I would state so.”

In her previous comments, Standridge also compared the situation to a past incident with former board member Jeffrey Braverman. However, Board Counsel Marc Zitomer responded that the two issues were not similar.

“The situation is distinguishable from the Mr. Braverman issue,” Zitomer explained. “Mr. Braverman… stated publicly information that we did not believe was entirely accurate. We cautioned Mr. Braverman, that while he was free to express his opinion,… it’s really important that the statement is accurate.”

In that situation, Braverman corrected the record and resolved the confusion in a following meeting.

“In looking at this statement, I do not believe that Matos crossed any legal or ethical boundaries,” Zitomer stated.

“I want good debate, but let’s make sure that we are accurate in our statements,” Matos concluded.

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