ROSELLE, NJ - Schools Superintendent Kevin West announced that Board of Education President Dr. Reginald Atkins has been named a recipient of the inaugural Urban School Boards-Board President Award. He was selected by the South Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce for his commitment and leadership to the Roselle Board of Education.

“This is the first president award that was ever given to one of our board presidents,” Dr. Kevin West said. “We are so proud to have you as our president.”

During the same meeting, however, board member Erick Cadeno charged that Dr. Atkins refused to acknowledge him after he raised his hand to speak on a matter regarding a five-year facility plan that involves the beautification of the outside of schools. He said the plan was neither approved by the board nor listed on the agenda, however it was expected to be voted on by the board.

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“It’s a circus and you are the main guy giving the jokes,” said Cadeno. “I have my rights.”

Cedano and board member Anthony Esposito both objected to the president’s proposal and asked that the matter be tabled until the board can consider it. Atkins agreed to the request and the matter was tabled.

In other businesses, Kerry Napoleon, a co-chair of the Parents Teachers Organization at Grace Wilday Junior High School told the board that suppliers have not been contacted for the chairs and tents for eighth-grade graduation that were requested at the last meeting. She asked the board president to investigate why phone calls were not made as directed at the last meeting regarding the sourcing of the supplies.

“It is not your decision to say it is a waste of money,” said Napoleon. “We need to do our best.”
No one knew why the order was not placed. However, Napoleon said she suspects it may be related to the schools supplies that were broken in the science labs.

“Do not penalize students from graduation,” said Napoleon. Dr. Atkins said he will investigate the matter and the board said it supports the graduation ceremonies.

Nicole Brown is reporting this story as part of the journalism program at Kean University.