Education

West Orange Students and Security Coordinator Recognized for Achievements at BOE Meeting; Racial Graffiti on ‘The Bubble’ Discussed

34808c7cd1a8df6b4c57_west_orange_board_of_ed_005.jpg
Saint John's University bound Jelani Williams receives congratulations for Superintendent of West Orange School's Dr. Anthony Cavanna for being named the Star Ledger Essex County Soccer Player of the Year in 2011 along with Head Coach Doug Nevins and Athletic Director Ronald Bligh. Credits: Daniel Eckert
c6ba95b9f66a7e421713_west_orange_board_of_ed_008.jpg
West Orange Security Coordinator Lonnie Williams speaks after being recognized for his heroic efforts in saving a choking student last December. Credits: Daniel Eckert
8d04ec586634bf9d862d_west_orange_board_of_ed_003.jpg
Clarissa Lotson along with Hayden Moore, an assistant principal at West Orange High School, receives a proclamation for winning the 'Poetry Out Loud' competition at the state level for the second year in a row.   Credits: Daniel Eckert
0a06a268cfdc36a3a608_west_orange_board_of_ed_002.jpg
The West Orange Board of Education Credits: Daniel Eckert
34808c7cd1a8df6b4c57_west_orange_board_of_ed_005.jpg
WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School senior Jelani Williams was recognized for recently being named the Star Ledger Essex County Boys Soccer Player of the Year in 2011 before the board and the public at a West Orange Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night.
 
Williams scored 15 goals and had six assists as a forward and midfielder to help lead a young West Orange team to a 15-5-1 record this past fall.  He has recently accepted a full scholarship to play for Saint John’s University this September, one of the top soccer schools in the nation.
 
 
Superintendent of West Orange Schools Dr. Anthony Cavanna read a piece of legislator that was passed down by New Jersey assembly in honor of Williams’ achievement.  Also present to praise the accomplishments of Williams were WOHS Head Soccer Coach Doug Nevins and WOHS Athletic Director Ronald Bligh.
 
“He is a prime example of a student athlete. He has tremendous school spirit. He’s at every single event rooting us on,” Bligh said. “In addition to that, he is probably one of the best soccer players in New Jersey."

 
Nevins echoed those sentiments, saying it was an honor to have coached such a talented player.
 
“We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of talented players go through our program over the years. Jelani will go down many, many years from now as one of the best players this program has seen, ever,” Nevins said of his standout star. “All the credit goes to Jelani.”
 
Another WOHS senior that received proclamation from the board was theater and poetry talent Clarissa Lotson. She has won the "Poetry Out Loud" competition, a national poetry recitation contest, at the state level two years in a row.
 
Dr. Cavanna and Hayden Moore, an assistant principal at WOHS congratulated Lotson on her achievements.
 
“You’d be lucky to hear her recite some of her poetry. She’s been with us and she’s getting ready to graduate. I wish her best of luck,” Moore said.
 
Lotson will also be participating in the upcoming WOHS play ‘The Wiz’ which will be performed at the high school auditorium on March 15-18.
 
WOHS District Security Coordinator Lonnie Williams was recognized by BOE President Laura Lab for his “selfless act of heroism that resulted in saving the life of a high school student.”
 
The act that Lab was referring to came when Williams performed the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a Snapple tab that was stuck in freshman Cameron Davis’ throat last December.
 
During the public comments portion of the meeting, resident Windale Simpson reminded the board of the seriousness of and the board’s duty to address the racial slurs that were graphitized inside the West Orange locker and weight room near the football field.
 
The graffiti was found on Feb. 1 by police in the multi-purpose facility which is known by the town as "The Bubble." There were several racial epitaphs written along with the names of several football players, according to the police report  
 
Simpson and other members of the public stressed that the board and administration need to take the proper precautions to make sure that an incident like this does not occur again.
 
Board member Michelle Casalino said that measures such as installing security cameras and having student’s swipe cards and sign into the facility are some of the steps currently being taken to ensure the utmost safety is being provided at the site.
 
Vice President Paul Petigrow and board member Megan Brill mentioned that they were offended by the remarks graphitized and that members of the public criticized them for not saying so soon after the incident occurred.  

Anette Dade, who has been acting as an interim assistant principal at WOHS for the past five months, was officially appointed under contract as an assistant principal at the high school effective immediately.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Nutley High School Closes After Security Threat Friday

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Essex County Sheriff's Office confirmed to TAPinto Nutley that the bomb disposal unit was parked in front of Nutley High School Friday afternoon.

Members of the Essex County Sheriff's Office are working with the Nutley Police Department as the investigation following the Instagram incident continues. The bomb disposal unit conducted a sweep of the school ...

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

Carousel_image_f7d9574673b2c2041627_unnamed__4_

Sun, February 18, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_ebeb90e00b2da8ed5088_capture

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

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

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_f1e8b21af9d26c31d2e7_unnamed__8_

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

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 ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...