NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — With affection and appreciation, retiring West Essex Regional School District employees were honored and thanked by Superintendent of Schools Barbara Longo, members of the administration and board of education members during the final West Essex Board of Education meeting of the 2017-2018 school year on Monday.

Longo stated that she was truly honored to work with all who are retiring, thanked them for their contributions to the district and wished them the best as they entered a new chapter of their lives. 

Deb Martin, retiring technology coordinator and former biology teacher is retiring after 25 years as an educator.  It was noted that her creativity and strategic deduction made all who came into contact with her better educators.

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Longo remembered Stella Silva, a union officer and an administrative assistant of 32 years, as someone who assisted her in her capacity as a principal and superintendent and who was a valuable asset in the day-to-day operations of the district. 

Caren Maw, a culinary arts teacher, was a longtime mentor for newly appointed teachers and will be missed greatly, according to the district.  Barbara Reynolds was recognized as a dedicated and valued member of the support staff whose favorite school day was always “Bring Your Child To Work Day.”

Retiring high school nurse Paula Frisch, was thanked by West Essex Principal Caesar Diliberto for always being a calming force and never getting frustrated all while being responsible for 1100 teenagers and 150 staff members.  He said her organization of blood drives and health fairs were very much appreciated and Frisch was always ready to hug Diliberto “because he looked liked he needed one.”

Also acknowledged were Connie Sanzari, an administrative assistant for 10 years, and Tommy Passafaro, a retiring custodian of 30 years whose love for the district was second to none, according to the board.

Board President Deborah Sacco-Calderone thanked the retirees on behalf of the board and noted that it was a privilege to be a board member in such a great district. West Essex is “a fantastic district” in large part to the exemplary staff, she said. Sacco-Calderone further stated that the board members truly appreciate all of the district’s support staff and educators.

Vee Popat, principal of West Essex Middle School, thanked the board and superintendent for all of their support throughout the year, noting how much was accomplished. He reported that a newly approved initiative was about to begin with “mini-courses” being presented during the last week of school, and that all students were able to schedule at least three of their five choices. 

Diliberto also thanked the administration and board for their support throughout the school year and noted that all were genuine in their vested interest of the success of the students. He noted that at scholarship award night, approximately $160,000 was distributed to members of the graduating class, excluding the amount for Spencer Cowen, who will be entering West Point.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Ryan Gupta reported that the PARCC scores are in and the dissection of the data is beginning. At a cursory glance, he said 40 percent of the students will require remediation for Algebra, which is required by law before the test may be administered again. However, this outcome is down from 60 percent the previous year.

In other board business, a lease/purchase agreement with SHI International Corporation was approved for a three-year term for 600 HP chrome books, electronic care packs and Google license in the amount of approximately $68,036 annually.  The board also accepted a donation of $250 from the Goldstein family to be used for the West Essex Marching Band program, and an additional $250 from the Goldstein family to be used for the West Essex Color Guard program. 

In addition, Gregory Aschoff was appointed as Teaching Instructional Supervisor of Mathematics and Business, effective Sept. 1, 2018.

The next meeting will be held on July 16.