WEST CALDWELL, NJ — As the school year winds down, the Caldwell-West Cadwell Board of Education (CWC BOE) recognized various staff members on Monday for their years of service, bid goodbye retiring faculty and congratulated the seven seniors who will receive $1,500 each from the James Caldwell High School (JCHS) Scholarship Fund.

Staff members recognized for their milestone years of service to the district included:

  • 40 Years of Service: Paul Larsen, Dexter Meeks and Lawrence Yarborough;
  • 30 Years of Service: Suzanne Broffman and Christina Dunne; and
  • 25 Years of Service:  Christine Davison, Robin Keil, Thomas Lamont, Maureen Maisano and Darwin Marin. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Heinegg introduced the staff members and presented plaques on behalf of the CWC BOE to the following retirees:

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  • Scott Chamberlain
  • Noreen Lienhard
  • Nate Lienhard
  • Mary Cofone
  • Peter Bonsma

Grover Cleveland Middle School principal James Brown added levity by referencing the lyric “the day the music died” from Don McLean’s “American Pie, stating that it was unusual to lose three members of the music department at once—particularly from the same building.

Chamberlain, Grover Cleveland Middle School vice principal and CWC Supervisor of Music, was first hired as a music teacher in 1992 and was appointed supervisor of the department in 2000.  He was then appointed to the role of vice principal in 2010 and has since both administrative positions.

Noreen Lienhard was initially hired as a music teacher in 2002 at Washington, Jefferson and Wilson Elementary Schools before transferring to Grover Cleveland Middle School in 2004. Her additional activities included providing piano accompaniment for the middle school choruses, playing in the pit orchestra for the high school’s on-stage productions and conducting the Junior Region 1 Jazz Ensemble.

Noreen is moving to Wisconsin with her husband, Nate Lienhard, a string ensemble director who transferred to the middle school two years ago after teaching for 19 years at JCHS.

“It was an absolute pleasure to have been a part of this district and I will miss it great,” said Nate.   

Cofone, a Teacher of the Handicapped whose part-time position began in 1993 and became full-time in 2004, worked “diligently to meet the unique educational needs of the preschool student population,” according to the board.

“Everyone has been wonderful, and I thank the parents of the students and the rest of the faculty,” said Cofone. “I only had the kids for two-to-three years and watching their successes in the arts particularly has been so wonderful.  I am so proud to have been a part of this district.”

Bonsma, a JCHS alumnus, was hired in 2004 as a maintenance worker and retired in May after 15 years of service to the district.  As a mechanic, Bonsma was responsible for the maintenance and repair of the district’s school buses, vans, trucks, lawn mower and snow blowers.

In other district news, Mary Caracappa, co-president of the JCHS Scholarship Fund and involved in the fund for the past decade, apprised the board of the seven recipients of the JCHS Scholarship who will each receive $1,500.

She noted that there were more than 60 applicants and that the criteria included a grade point average of 83 or better, financial need and a required essay.  The essays were without benefit of names, so the committee was unaware of whose entry was being read. 

Claudia Carranza, who had the highest GPA in the group, received the Bradford Award named in honor of a former superintendent. The other six recipients included Zachary Bishop, Molly Frey, Rory Garetano, Matthew Gomez, Caitlyn Joy and Nicole Tanelli.

During Monday’s meeting, board also voted to accept a donation of $1,816 from the Ventola family for the purpose of funding a field trip for Washington School fifth graders.

During public comment, parents of incoming second graders raised concerns regarding class sizes in September and questioned whether the district is considering classroom aides. Heinegg noted that he has been in touch with the principal and intends to keep an eye on the number of students over the next few months before school begins again.

The next board of education meeting will be held on June 24 at 7:30 p.m.