Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of a Westfield Board of Education Meeting May 5


We celebrated National Teacher Day and saluted the 600 teaching staff in our Westfield Public Schools who work to guide our students to become critical thinkers and good citizens. It was fitting that on this day we recognized the 2015 recipient of the Westfield Rotary Club’s Philhower Fellowship, Kareem Thompson, fifth grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. Mr. Thompson received this significant honor bestowed on him by the Rotary based on glowing letters of nomination from parents and students. He was presented with a resolution by Board Vice President Gretchan Ohlig at the Board of Education meeting held in Jefferson School’s auditorium.  Congratulatory remarks also were made by his Principal, fellow teachers, and students who recited reasons why their teacher is so special.  Mr. Thompson, who began his career as a teacher here in 1999, thanked his family, colleagues, Mrs. Munoz, and his students for their support and for making a difference in his life.


Sign Up for E-News

Gretchan Ohlig presented certificates of achievement to the following Westfield High School State Sectional Champions:

  • The Boys’ Cross-Country team consists of 88 Westfield High School student athletes. The team completed its 10th consecutive undefeated dual meet season, extending its winning streak to 66, dating back to September 2004. This championship season consisted of a Watchung Division Conference Championship, a runner-up finish in the Union County Championship, and a North 2 Group 4 Sectional Championship. The team finished 6th place in the Group 4 State Championship. Individually, Matt Russo, Andrew Harting-Smith, and Will Chandler finished 2-6-7 at the Union County Championship, earning them first-team All-County honors.  Matt Russo was the Watchung Division Conference Champion, runner-up at the Union County Championship, and State Sectional Champion.  His 11th-place finish at the Group 4 State Championship earned him an individual berth to the State Meet of Champions.  His 17th place finish in a time of 16:13 makes him the 7th fastest Blue Devil All-Time on the historic course at Holmdel Park.   Congratulations to all the members of the team and to Coach Chris Tafelski and Assistant Coach Paul Irwin.
  • For this 2014 season, 18 gymnasts competed on the Girls Gymnastics team, spanning all four grades. The team maintained an 8-0 record, captured the Union County Title for the ninth year in a row and the Sectional Title for the second year in a row. Six of the girls made First Team All-County: Jenna Rizkalla, Hannah Goldring, Meg Melillo, Hannah Prieto, Mae Devin, and Lexi Fasano.  Congratulations to the entire Westfield High School Girls Gymnastics Team and their coaches Amanda Diaz and Laurie McCormack for a highly successful season.
  • The Boys Swim team won the County and North II Sectional Championship, advancing all the way to the State Final.  According to Coach Jeff Knight, this team consisting of 42 swimmers, will be considered the greatest in the history of the program based on powerpoints. They powerpointed 5118 in a dual meet, which is the highest ever by a Westfield boys’ team. This is also the highest ever in NJ public school history and shows the depth of talent from top to bottom. Over the course of the season, a county and school record were broken. Mr. Knight stated that the boys’ team continued the tradition of representing Westfield in a manner in which the town should be proud.

We are proud of our student athletes, congratulate them and wish them continued success.


The Board reversed a decision on one HIB incident.


The Board approved three field trips which align with curriculum.

Legislation Chair Brendan Galligan announced that the committee will meet May 6 to discuss matters of interest to the school district, including the School Funding law.


Board member Peggy Oster reported on her attendance at the Parent Teacher Council’s general membership meeting on April 23, at which three members of the Westfield Police Department, including Chief David Wayman, were invited guests.  The discussion included laws that affect children and traffic concerns at and around schools. Mrs. Oster also reported on last week’s meeting of the Garden State Coalition of Schools, which provides support in Trenton for suburban public school districts in New Jersey.



The public is invited to attend the 31st annual Westfield Public School District’s Department of Visual & Performing Arts Show, which will be held in the Westfield High School varsity gymnasium from May 12 - 14. A sampling of hundreds of artwork created by students representing all 10 public schools and grades ranging from K-12 will be on display at the annual show. On Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13 the artwork can be viewed from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and in the evening from 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Visitors are also welcomed on Thursday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Congratulations to Westfield High School’s varsity boys tennis team, who won its 11th consecutive Union County championship last week, and the 18th in the 25 years that George Kapner has coached the team. This spring, Mr. Kapner was the recipient of the Delbarton Commitment to High School Tennis Award at the Bryan Bennett tournament. 

NEXT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING - will be held Tuesday, May 19, at 302 Elm Street. Student achievements in Visual and Performing Arts will be recognized by the Board.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


NJ Flags to Fly at Half-Staff for Jerry Green May 7

April 24, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order on Monday for New Jersey flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on the day of the upcoming General Assembly session, scheduled for May 7, in memory of Assemblyman Jerry Green, former chair of the Union County Democratic Committee, who died last week.

On Thursday, Governor Murphy had said, ...

Thank you, Mayor Brindle and Six Members of Town Council, for Approving 2018 Budget

April 25, 2018

Thank you, Mayor Brindle, and the six members of council, who voted to approve the 2018 budget last night and to Mr. Gildea, Councilwoman Habgood and the finance committee members who worked tirelessly to prepare it. Thank you for the lowest tax increase I can recall while producing a budget that provides for smart investment in our town. 

For most of my residency here, the same ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, April 25, 10:00 AM

Westfield Memorial Library, Westfield

Westfield Memorial Library Spring Book Sale

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, April 25, 12:00 PM

Temple Emanu-El, Westfield

Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Kroloff

Religions And Spirituality


Wed, April 25, 7:30 PM

Rialto NewVision Theater, Westfield

Jewish Film Festival of Central NJ - Ben Gurion: ...

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Fairview Celebrates 150 Years

April 25, 2018

The Board of Trustees of Fairview Cemetery invites the public to its 150th Anniversary Celebration on April 29. 

A service commemorating its founding fathers will commence at 2 p.m. followed by food and festivities.  Congressman Leonard Lance will present a US Capital Flag to the Board and Mayor Shelly Brindle will present a special commendation. Renowned soloist Samantha Dango will ...

Ways to Increase Your Home's Equity

Sometimes you forget and don’t realize your home provides so much to your life. It brings along with it your dreams of the future, shelter to you and your family, a way to provide a better lifestyle, a better commute, a neighborhood, schools, community involvement and recreational facilities. But it also provides a way to save for the future. It does this by allowing you to build your ...

Westfield Public Schools Welcomes Community to Auditorium Open Houses

Two years ago, voters in Westfield approved a bond referendum to renovate the aging auditoriums in Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools. Major aspects of the renovations include new seating and flooring, electrical and lighting upgrades, state-of-the-art sound systems, acoustical treatments and air conditioning.

On April 11 and 12, students, staff, families and other members of the ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center


Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...


Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

‘A Sad Day for Paterson’ as Police Officer Loses Life in Car Crash

April 23, 2018

PATERSON, NJ — On what Paterson Superior Officers Association President Mason Maher called “a sad day for Paterson,” a city police officer lost his life on Sunday after he was involved in a motor vehicle collision while on duty.

Several sources familiar with Sunday’s tragic accident have identified the fallen officer as Tamby Yagan, a 13-year veteran of the ...