Education

Solar Panels Expected to Lower Electric Bills at Sussex County Vocational Technical School

1c43cbf2a7001e1ed9ab_board.jpg
Board Members:  Dr. Rosalie Lamonte, Diane Wexler, and John Miller Credits: Jennifer Murphy
0ea9e6c71c55ef4dc920_goodbody.jpg
Stephen Goodbody and Candace Bowden discuss the proposed solar panels. Credits: Jennifer Murphy
43118b12ca909bea0213_Gus_Modla.jpg
Board Secretary Robert Clark and Superintendent Gus Modla Credits: Jennifer Murphy
07a2c3f99ec94f5dc2c6_njsba.jpg
NJSBA representative Robynn Meehan reviews the Code of Ethiccs with board members Clark, Modla. Credits: Jennifer Murphy
07fdff26d666be4cd9f7_skills.jpg
Skills USA State President Daria Ferdine and Northern Regional President Stephen DeVito as they present their conference to the Board. Credits: Jennifer Murphy
1c43cbf2a7001e1ed9ab_board.jpg

SPARTA, NJ – Sussex County Vocational Technical School was the host site for the Annual Northern Region Skills USA Conference, held on Feb. 13.  Skills USA President Daria Ferdine and the Northern Region President, Stephen DeVito, both Sussex Vo-Tech students, gave a presentation at the board of education Meeting on Feb. 28, comprised of photos taken throughout the day.

Speakers at the conference were Lori Howard, New Jersey Education Development Specialist, New Jersey Senator Steve Oroho (R-24), and Harold Wirths, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. They were given a tour of the school by student Matthew Corsello. 

Over 100 hundred students representing seven different technical schools from all parts of New Jersey attended the conference, which featured sessions as: Public Speaking, Skills 101 for new members, Career and Technical Education (CTE), Professional Development, including how to carry yourself and talk in front of a crowd, Running for Office, and Preparing for Competition.

Sign Up for E-News

“One of the great things about Skills USA is that we, as students, actually get to teach other students about what we do,” said Ferdine.

“We had some alumni come back and speak to us,” said DeVito. “Both of whom were past New Jersey State Presidents.” 

“And Sussex Vo-Tech Students, may I add,” said Ferdine.

Ferdine reported to the board, “The feedback we got was amazing, the students seemed to love it, the adults seemed to love it.  Later that day, I was on the Skills USA Facebook page, which has over 25,000 likes, there was a picture of a student with Harold Wirths. A lot of people saw it, it was really good recognition.”

Both Ferdine and DeVito thanked the board, and credited their support as the basis for all student success.

Another presentation was made by Stephen Goodbody, of SunLight General Capital, and Cadence Bowden, an associate at Gabel Associates. Gabel Associates has been hired by the County to administer the RFP process in developing solar energy.  Through a bidding process with the county, SunLight General will be providing electricity through solar panels they construct in various locations throughout the county. Gabel will be overseeing the process.

There will be three arrays of solar panels at the school. One will be to the left of McNeice Auditorium, the other two will feed into the main building. One will be in the unused parking lot, behind the teacher’s lot, the other will be behind the baseball field.

The arrays will be constructed and maintained by SunLight General. Their obligation is to provide electricity at a predetermined rate for 15 years, if they fail to do this, they have to pay the school for lost electricity.

The school’s obligation is to provide the land and space, and to purchase electricity from SunLight at a fixed, predetermined rate for 15 years. 

Board member John Miller asked, “What types of approvals are needed?” 

Goodbody replied that SunLight has already sought municipal and environmental approvals from Sparta Township.

Miller then asked, “What happens after 15 years?” 

Bowden replied that there are two viable options at this time, either SunLight will come and remove the panels, at no cost to the school, or the system can be purchased at fair market value, to be determined at the end of the term. She is hopeful a third option will be legal by that time, which is to extend the contract.

The rate has been determined to increase by three percent per year, to which Sussex County Administrator John Eskilson, who was present at the meeting, replied that he had a brand new email announcing that JCP&L was asking the BPU for a 4.5 percent earlier that day.

Miller asked what the life span of the panels was; Goodbody explained that of the first significant number of them that were installed in the 70’s, most are still working.

Next, New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) representative Robynn Meehan completed the required annual Code of Ethics review with the board. She explained that although Superintendent Gus Modla has only been in his current position for a few months, it is required that he receive an annual evaluation before April 30.After his evaluation is complete, each board member must complete a self-evaluation. 

Meehan also distributed materials about strategic planning, which the board had requested. NJSBA offers two options.  The first is a traditional strategic plan process, which takes from six to nine months, which involves an internal facilitator to organize committee meetings and an external coordinator to get community involvement. A culminating weekend meeting will bring all stakeholders’ input together and develop the plan. The cost of this process is $6,000.

The second option cuts down the time frame to three to four months. In this model, stakeholders meet monthly for a two hour meeting, then culminate in a three hour meeting from which the plan is developed. This process costs $3,500.

“Although a strategic plan is not legally required, it is very helpful in guiding the day to day decisions that need to be made,” suggested Meehan. 

John Miller responded, “It is a real chore, you have to keep working on it, but it makes sense.”

Meehan responded, “Once people take part in the plan, they take ownership in it.  You have so much to offer here at Vo-Tech, it’s good to let people know.”

Superintendent Gus Modla reported that Allison McCurry received a scholarship for her achievements in track and field.  She will be attending Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.

Recently, Modla invited Sussex County Community College President Dr. Mazur to Sussex County Vocational Technical School to speak about how they can expand their opportunities to help their students earn college credit while still in high school. Next month, Modla will visit Mazur at the college.

Board secretary Robert Clark next explained that the announcement of state aid was made today. While many school districts in the county are getting an increase, Vo-Tech’s aid will be the same as last year. In the third year of charging tuition, the cost will be $1,975 (down from $2,300 the first year) per student next year, to be paid by the sending district.  Clark anticipates 781.5 students next year (including share time students), a record number.

Modla announced that with the increased enrollment, there will be a need to increase staff next year, especially in history, math, and the new Performing Arts track. Before considering this, Modla wants to streamline job descriptions with the goal of retention of students. He will have recommendations next month for the board to review.

After reviewing the consent agenda, the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

Follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County News and information, as well as news and information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: No Seatbelt Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

July 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ –A Newark man is facing drug charges after a traffic stop on Route 15 north.  On July 18 around 11:15 a.m. Cpl. Marc Rubino stopped a white Acura because the driver Ishmel Graham was not wearing his seatbelt according to police.

When the officer spoke with the 21-year-old Rubino smelled marijuana.  Graham told Rubino he had pot in the car police report.

When ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Man Gets Additional Charges

SPARTA, NJ -  A man from Hackettstown with an active warrant faces additional charges when officers stopped him because the registered owner of the car had a suspended license.  On July 2 around 2 a.m. Police Officer Ericks Finley stopped a car registered to Shanicqui Nelson on Route 15 police said.

The driver Shaun Reid, 36 was also found to have a suspended license and an ...

Sparta Police: Road Rage and Racing on Route 15 End in Arrest

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Plainfield was stopped for racing on Route 15, going 93 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.  Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley was able to stop one of  two cars racing on July 6 around 11:45 p.m. police said.

Driving a four door Chevy, Santos Vides-Guardado, 21, told Finley that he and the other driver had gotten into an argument that led to the two men racing each ...

Why Did Freeholders Reject Dr. Howard Burrell's Nomination to SCCC Trustee?

July 21, 2018

Editor:

Outgoing Freeholder Director Jonathan Rose announced on Facebook that Howard Burrell was deemed “not acceptable” by the Sussex County freeholder board to serve as trustee of Sussex County Community College. 

Why did the freeholders decide that Dr. Burrell is “not acceptable?" After all, the freeholders’ own search committee nominated Dr. Burrell to ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_50e2ca549a0aca1616bd_nj_blood_services

Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_bdb5745746764dec42d1_sparta_historical_society

Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_42776b9cbb4ed47ca5de_paintbrush-pallet-

Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon

Northern NJ Libertarian Party Monthly Meeting

Government

Carousel_image_5a2a62fbc9dcb34622ce_img_9102

Tue, July 24, 7:30 PM

Town Hall, Sparta

Sparta Township Council Meeting

Government

Carousel_image_43e01e4e18a7a89ca0c9_paintbrush-pallet-

Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

US Junior Amateur: Chinn Earns Medalist and Top-seed honors, Misses Rain Delay, after Second Day of Stroke Play

July 18, 2018

Tuesday’s Second Round Scores, playoff participants (8 for 3 spots)

Wednesday’s Round of 64 matchups

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Va., continued his stellar play Tuesday morning and missed an afternoon four plus hour rain delay on arguably Baltusrol Golf Club’s toughest layout, the Lower Course.

After shooting a five under 66 on the Upper Course Monday, ...

What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process

Highlights:


Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.


You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.


Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.  This means call Team Nest Builder’s Lynn Garafola at 973-222-3777 ...

You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what’s required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show the main reason non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them.

This brings us to ...

Get Rid of Your E-Waste This Saturday in Sussex County

Team Nest Builder knows it’s easy for e-waste---tv sets, printers, laptops, etc.--to pile up. Here’s your opportunity to rid yourself of it in Sussex County! It’s the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority E-Waste Collection Event! The scoop:

DATE:

Saturday, July 21st

TIME:

7 am - 2 pm

LIMIT:

Up to 5 Units per vehicle at no charge.  Scale charges for ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...

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.

 

 

The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

 

Fight Summer Slide with United Way’s Free Literacy Calendar

July 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Studies indicate that students lose the knowledge equivalent of one month of instruction per year due to summer learning loss. United Way of Northern New Jersey Success By 6 is helping parents combat this summer slide with a free calendar that promotes literacy. Featuring bright children’s artwork, the calendar offers daily ideas tied to reading, ...