West Orange Special Education Parent Advisory Council Holds Meet and Greet

WOSEPAC team members Gina Velazquez, Amber Newsome, James LeBrun, Ellen Giglio Esq., Jason Davidson, Gina Fondetto, and Martha Singer. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange Special Education Parent Advisory Council (WOSEPAC) recently held its first meeting of the school year at Liberty Middle School and the Meet and Greet proved enthusiastic and informational for participants.

Chair Ellen Gilio welcomed attendees, which included West Orange Board of Education President Sandra Mordecai, parents, teachers, paraprofessionals and Child Study Team members.

Newly appointed Director of Special Services Kristen Gogerty introduced herself and staff members in attendance.

Sign Up for E-News

“I have always been amazed at the team effort and partnership between school staff and parents/guardians in working to ensure that each students' individualized needs are being addressed,” said Gogerty. “I think we can all agree that we are all sitting in this room with one common interest, which includes the students of West Orange.”

Gogerty also emphasized the importance of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council and its role in establishing a partnership between parents/guardians and the school district.

“It is my hope along with members of SEPAC to establish a positive advisory organization, which provides resources and educational opportunities to our staff members and parents/guardians in the West Orange community,” she said.

School Liaison Jason Davidson agreed, stating that the group is non-adversarial.

“We are here to work with the school district,” he said.

Resource Chair Gina Velazquez discussed the upcoming meeting on Nov. 16, which will be held at Edison Middle School and be an educational events with various providers. A special Statewide Parent Advocacy Network START Project roundtable meeting will also be held on Nov. 28 in the Liberty Middle School Cafeteria from 7-9 p.m.

Recording Secretary Amber Newsome discussed the purpose of WOSEPAC and the benefits and goals they hoped to accomplish. She also discussed the difference between an individual issue, such as a child, and a systemic issue, which would impact a broader spectrum of students.

WOSEPAC leadership roles for the year are:

Chair: Ellen Gilio 

Co-Chair and Chair of Educational Events: Joanne De Simone 

Recording Secretary: Martha Singer 

Chair of the Web Committee: Gina Fondetto 

Resource Chair: Gina Velazquez

School Liaison: Jason Davidson

Corresponding Secretary: Amber Newsome

To see all the photos from the WOSEPAC meeting, click here.

Read more about WOSEPAC here.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

BIZ 2.0 WORKSHOPS - Lunch & Learn | Presented by ...

Business & Finance Food & Drink


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sun, February 25, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Brrr, It’s Old! Come Inside the West Essex YMCA to Explore Summer Camp Fun

February 7, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — While the thermometer may not budge above 40 degrees, the summer planning season is here. Families are invited to a summer camp information session at the West Essex YMCA from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Throughout the summer, the West Essex YMCA runs five development-appropriate programs for children ages 3 1/2 to 15, building self-esteem, confidence ...

Paterson Firefighter Opens Up About Struggles, Urges Others not to Suffer in Silence

February 8, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Not a week goes by when a tale of heroism and bravery on the part of firefighters is not told. For them, running into a burning building is as natural as running out of one is for the rest of us.

That became apparent again on Monday when members of the Paterson Fire Department responded to a fire at 268 Main Street, which led to the eventual total collapse of ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.


That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?


In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...