WESTFIELD, NJ – Westfield High School’s Euro Challenge Team gave their “France is Getting Old” presentation to a crowd of about 20 at Tuesday night’s Westfield Board of Education Meeting.

“Really terrific presentation and great work,” said board member Mitchell Slater.

Sam Cravo, Daniel Dougherty, Kayla Nies, Rob Romano, and Elisabeth Sulmont gave a condensed version of their competition presentation for the board.

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The challenge required students to select one European nation and develop a solution to its economic problems.  Westfield’s team chose to find a solution to France’s aging population.  The students found the issue to affect the country’s national debt and labor force.

“We were 8 of 38 teams to make it to the semi-finals,” said Elisabeth Sulmont, Westfield High School student and Euro Challenge participant.

“Really, it's been an eye opening experience to me,” said Euro Challenge team member Sam Cravo.

Students attributed their success in the competition to advisor Thomas Hornish.  Kayla Nies shared the benefits she has seen working with Mr. Hornish, saying that his dedication to exposing the group to news sources such as the Wall Street Journal has given her a greater understanding of current financial issues.

Team member Daniel Dougherty, who was not able to take an economics course, said he was able to learn more by working with Euro Challenge than he would have received from classroom instruction.

In other news, Superintendent Margaret Dolan welcomed a number of presenters during the grant review who highlighted more student success through various programs.

“We need to make sure the needs are met for all students,” said Superintendent Dolan.

Lincoln Elementary School Principal Audrey Zavetz discussed the Integrated Preschool Program, which will be in effect this September.  The program will create a morning program for 3 year olds in which 6 special education students will be included in a class with non- special education students and an afternoon program for 3 and 4 year olds in which 5 special education students will be included.

Among other presenters was David Greer, an Edison Intermediate School teacher.  Mr. Greer spoke of the success of the English Language Learners federal grant, which allowed for a 3 week summer program.  Primary school students were brought on trips to various places such as the Turtle Back Zoo and Trader Joe’s, while secondary school students explored local, state, and federal government.  Among the trips taken by secondary students were a tour of the municipal building and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

In other business, the Booster Association presented its 7th annual check for $8,000 to the Board of Education for support for athletics.

“It keeps our athletes stronger and back on the playing fields where they belong,” said School Board President Julia Walker.

President Walker commenced the meeting by thanking Board members Alice Hunnicut and Gary McCready, both finishing their service on the board, for their efforts throughout their tenure on the Board.  

Avani Kapur is a student in Professor Pat Winters Lauro's journalism class at Kean University, which is partnering with The Alternative Press to cover Westfield this semester.