Education

A One-Way Ticket Out of Town for Roxbury School Bus Director?

ed67b7ca807b2ba3da99_20160516_204445.jpg
The crowd at tonight's Roxbury School Board meeting
ed67b7ca807b2ba3da99_20160516_204445.jpg

ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury School District Director of Transportation Pamela Nicholais, who is in the middle of a battle relating to possible bus driver cuts, is now close to losing her own job.

Before a packed meeting room tonight, a majority of the Roxbury Board of Education refused to vote in favor of a motion that called for the reappointment of Nicholais. However, because the motion contained six other “central office manager” positions and could only be voted on in its entirety, the board will meet again to vote on a revised motion that will separate the names, allowing for separate votes on the individuals including Nicholais.

That meeting is scheduled for June 6 at Roxbury High School.

Sign Up for E-News

Nicholais, hired a year ago to replace former transportation director Thomas Cunningham, who resigned after a fuel theft scandal was revealed, is being criticized by some district bus drivers and their union representatives who are unhappy with possible job cuts.

Board members Margaret Casola, Carol Scheneck, Theresa D’Agostino and board president Ron Lucas said they were not in favor of voting for Nicholais’ reappointment. The reappointment would have included a small salary increase; Nicholais, who did not attend the meeting, currently earns $95,000. She would get $97,375 if reappointed.

“In Japan, when CEOs have to lay off people, they don’t get a raise,” said Scheneck, drawing applause from the audience. She also said she was not convinced that enough research was collected before Nicholais began talking about trimming the driver ranks.

Last week, Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic sent reduction in force (RIF) letters to 11 bus drivers, a move that seemed to fly in the face of her prior estimate that only about four drivers would lose their jobs if downsizing was deemed necessary.

In the letters, Radulic told the drivers she planned to recommend they not be rehired for the new school year “due to reasons of economy and declining enrollment.”

But tonight, Radulic and several board members explained that, despite the language, the RIF letters do not necessarily mean what they seem to say. Although the district must issue RIF letters by May 15 to any employees who might be affected by potential staff cuts for the upcoming school year, the letters do not mean layoffs are definite, they said.

Radulic said she still thinks there would be no more than four job cuts should the district proceed with a reorganization. There are now 53 drivers in the department.

Lisa McCarthy, a parent who has been outspoken about the bus driver matter, said she’s not convinced Nicholais will lose her job. “I believe the board will ask Mrs. Radulic to reduce the salary proposed for Mrs. Nicholais and then approve her for next year,” she said after tonight’s meeting.

McCarthy said she understands the board had to, by law, issue the RIFs if job cuts might be needed. “I still feel it is irresponsible to notify 11 workers that they will not have a job in a few weeks but say tonight that it's probably only 3 or 4. And it’s absurd that they even proposed to reappoint Pam with a raise. It's a slap in the face to our drivers that they will be let go but give their superior a raise.”

Board member Richard Alexander said he was voting in favor of reappointing Nicholais because he knows that tough, unpopular decisions come with the job. “It’s our fiduciary responsibility to look at this,” he said after expressing concern about “misinformation” being circulated – through social media and other means – about the situation and about Nicholais.

“I do have concerns over some of the trust issues,” said Alexander.

Many of those who spoke tonight contended the trust problems can be blamed on a lack of communication between the school administration and the community.

“It comes down to this, I am not going away,” said McCarthy after the meeting. “The board is being irresponsible voting without knowledge of any actual changes. Unfortunately, because they say one thing but do another, they have also proven to be untrustworthy. It will take a long time before this community trusts them.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Roxbury

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e09a9a439fd4b08e0c8b_logo

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Henry Bona Pools & Spas, Kenvil

Bona Pools Customer Appreciation Sale!

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_6a57ceb4cc57f8ad301a_82709170faa9db7ba6d1_bona

Sun, July 22, 9:00 AM

Henry Bona Pools & Spas, Kenvil

Bona Pools Customer Appreciation Sale!

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_a1decf89a87fc5d7b9c7_circledaypix

Sun, July 22, 12:00 PM

Circle Bowl & Entertainment, Ledgewood

2nd Annual Circle Day at Circle Bowl & ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_a2575520f6b6070f69f2_1a063862ab0aec08518c_ccfb88bf21f8332a3575_chilicheesedog

Mon, July 23, 6:30 PM

Iron Hills Tavern, LEDGEWOOD

Chili Cheese Dog Contest!

Food & Drink

Have You Seen Buttons?

July 11, 2018

MOUNT OLIVE, NJ - Residents of Roxbury living near Flanders are asked to keep an eye out for a lost female Yorkie mix that has been missing since July 7.

"Buttons" was last seen near Kevin Drive and Christopher Court in Flanders. The dog, described as friendly but shy, is brown with dark highlights and a white chest patch. If you see her, please call 973-219-9323.

Columns

Peyton Knight's Pointers for Safer Driving

Many customers ask my advice for ways to add more years of life to their vehicles. Here are a few pointers from my 35 years of experience in the auto repair industry, as well as some tips to keep you safer on the road.  

1.    Pull Through a Parking Spot.  Pull through to the other side of a parking space so your vehicle faces forward out ...

More Snow! Let Your Kid Drive in It!

ROXBURY, NJ - We are again about to be walloped by a snowstorm. These words, first written at the beginning of winter, need to be reiterated:

Many parents with a new driver at home will see the storm approaching and instinctively decide to not allow their kids to get behind the wheel until the snow's been cleared.

They might want to rethink that.

When it snows, ...

Is Your Car Ready for Old Man Winter?

You know it’s coming: That first frigid morning when you discover your car is covered in ice. Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head once again to wreak havoc on your car and your ride to work. 

Well, I’ve got one thing to say about that: Let’s be ready for him this year!

Owning a repair shop for over 30 years, I have spent many harsh winters coaxing a dead ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Letters to TAPinto Roxbury

A Problem and a Solution

July 17, 2018

Greetings, residents of Roxbury Township.  Let me begin by thanking you for the opportunity to serve as the high school principal for the past 15 years.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to do so.

As I “walk into the sunset,” I’d like to bring an important issue to your attention.  It is a significant issue that will plague the district for years to come if ...

Three Roxbury Area Students Make Drew Dean's List

July 20, 2018

MADISON, NJ - Three students from the Roxbury area made the Drew University Dean's List for the Spring 2018 semester:

Alexis Castanheira of Landing, a member of the Class of 2019 majoring in Psychology.

Mariam Ghaly of Mount Arlington, a member of the Class of 2021 majoring in Business.

Anthony McMyne of Succasunna, a member of the Class of 2019 majoring in ...

Warsaw of Ledgewood Makes St. Lawrence Dean's List

CANTON, NY - Nolan Warsaw of Ledgewood has been selected for inclusion on St. Lawrence University's Dean's List for academic achievement during the Spring 2018 semester.

Warsaw is a member of the Class of 2021. Warsaw attended Roxbury High School.

To be eligible for the Dean's List, a student must have completed at least four courses and have an academic average of 3.6 based on ...

Two From Roxbury Graduate From Roger Williams

BRISTOL, RI - The following local residents were among the 1,127 students who received their degrees in May as part of the Class of 2018

Paul Bohrer of Succasunna N, with a B.A. in Public Health

Samuel Sherwood of Succasunna NJ (07876), with a B.S. in Finance

Press Releases

Roxbury BOYS & GIRLS INVITED TO FREE SUMMER ADVENTURE NIGHTS

July 13, 2018

Events Will Include STEM, Shooting sports, games and More!

_____________________________

STANHOPE, NJ – July 5, 2018– Time for the whole family to experience adventure this summer!  Have some free summer evenings and ready for a summer evening of family fun?!  Families are invited to attend any of four Family Adventure Nights at Camp Wheeler or Watchung Day Camp at no ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...