SUMMIT, NJ - It was an evening of honoring service to the Summit public schools at the Board of Education’s first regular meeting of the school year, as the board honored those with 25 years of service to the District and those staff members who recently attained tenure.
The following newly-tenured staff members were introduced by board member Debra McCann:
- Diane Dreisbach of Jefferson School
- Tara Marrero of Summit High School
- Marilyn Rand of the Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School
- Kari Weinglass of Washington School
Board president David Dietze cited the following staff members with 25 years of service:
- Brayton School Principal Cheryl Moretz
- Elementary Guidance Counselor Jeffrey Lambert
- Middle School Mathematics Teacher William Hogan
In handing out the commendations, Dietze congratulated Moretz on introducing both Brain-Based Learning and mentoring at her school; honored Lambert for his dedication to the families of his school and city and for his service -- both as a substance abuse counselor and in advancing the cause of diversity in Summit schools and in the city; and cited Hogan for joining the school staff after a career in banking, serving the city’s schools Stokes Program director, and also serving as a leader in the Boy Scouts.
The September regular meeting also was the last for Karen Greco, communications officer for the past four years for the Summit district.
Greco will be leaving at the end of this month to become director of communications in the Nutley Public Schools. During her tenure in Summit, she was the catalyst for myriad communications initiatives, including the complete overhaul and upgrade of the District's digital presence.
Commenting on Greco’s service with the District, Board vice president Richard Hanley wished her well and praised her professionalism, her efficiency and the hard work she did while serving the city schools.
The Board named Mia Bivaletz, confidential secretary to the superintendent of schools, to the newly-created, combined position of executive assistant to superintendent / communications officer, at a salary of $84,000, effective October 1.
On another official matter, the school body approved a services agreement with Omni Financial Group, Inc. of Rochester, NY as third party administrator for the district’s 403(b) and 457(b) plans at no charge to the district or transferable fee cost to employees.
In their remarks, both Dietze and Superintendent of Schools June Chang again expressed the sadness of the district family in regards to the passing of a Lawton C. Johnson sixth grade girl, which they learned about on September 15.
The school officials expressed their deepest condolences to the parents and family of the student, and said grief counselors would be available at the school to help students cope with the tragedy.
The superintendent added that both he and the school’s guidance counselor also would be available.
Chang noted, however, that the school’s staff, in order to continue a sense of normalcy in the district, had decided to hold the Stokes sixth grade weekend with counselors available at the campsite.
In his letter to the community on the death, the superintendent said it resulted from “a non-contagious, isolated medical incident.”
He urged all residents to respect the privacy of the family during this sad time.
On happier notes, Dietze congratulated Summit High School Varsity Football Team wide receiver / defensive back Chris Giangiulio for being selected as a nominee for the USA Football “Heart of a Giant” Award.
The honor is presented to the high school football player from the tri-state area for outstanding work ethic, dedication, teamwork, and desire and drive to succeed both on the field and in the classroom.
Should Giangiulio win the overall award, Summit High School will receive $5,000 in athletic equipment, Dietze noted.
Chang also congratulated the Summit Step Team, under the direction of Dr. Steffany Baptiste-Bosco which, at the 2016 Six Flags Step Invitational at Great Adventure, competed with the Scotch Plains-Fanwood as the Union County All-Stars and earned the first place title.
for becoming that national champions in the contest recently held at the Six Flags Amusement Park.
In response to concerns expressed by two parents at the meeting, the superintendent promised to look into levels of reading and writing workshops at Lincoln Hubbard School, and to explore possible institution of honors science courses for sophomores and juniors at the high school.
Also, replying to a question from Hanley, he noted that the district staff was exploring possible curriculum partnerships to help involve students in videotaping of board meetings.