WARREN, NJ- At the last meeting of the Watchung Hills Regional High School Board of Education, Superintendent Elizabeth Jewett said that administrators at Watchung Hills have offered to supervise student clubs until contract negotiations with the Watchung Hills Teachers’ Association are resolved.
At the Sept. 16 meeting, student group representatives spoke passionately on the impact the lack of a teacher contract was having on their clubs. Clubs need adult supervision and some teachers who had previously volunteered to supervise the clubs had backed out until contract negotiations were concluded.
“We were able to get an idea of the clubs that weren’t getting coverage. I asked the students what their needs were and they said we are able to run the clubs ourselves. We just need adult supervision so we are able to have our meetings and events,” said Jewett. She added, “I got together with the administrator team last week and asked them to look at the clubs that were available for supervision and all the administrators stepped up to take a role in terms of overseeing the clubs.”
Jewett herself is helping out with H2O for Life. H2O for Life builds water irrigation systems for villages in Africa, as well as provides water hygiene education, along with other education. “I am very excited to be able to work in that capacity with some of those students,” said Jewett.
Board member Robert Morrison said," I commend the administration for trying to find creative ways for these experiences to continue. It makes the best out of not a great situation."
Not all clubs accepted the administrators help.
Choral Ensemble member Jack Pacetti addressed the board and said,“Mrs. (Angela DiIorio) Bird always ran Choral Ensembles, and she is more than a teacher to us. All the people who participated in Choral Ensembles, they attend chorus and advanced chorus; they are kids who are committed to singing. Mrs. Bird is like a second mother to most people, so the idea to have somebody new come in and monitor Choral Ensembles it is like replacing her, like bringing in a stepfather or stepmother and that idea is really hard for most people.”
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