In a recent meeting brimming with notable recognitions and critical discussions, the Emerson School Board celebrated numerous student achievements while acknowledging a landmark achievement for the Emerson baseball team: a thousand program wins.
The triumphant varsity team, applauded for their exceptional season, was said to not only represent competitive baseball tradition in Emerson, but also academic and athletic excellence that “gives Emerson a great name.” This historic milestone, the accumulation of which dates back to the 1960s, was warmly received. The team’s coach attributed the success to every player and coach donning the Emerson baseball uniform over the years, remarking that the victories were achieved by “homegrown Emerson boys.”
Among other recognitions, the Board lauded the accomplishments of the Emerson DECA, a student organization that fosters leadership in areas such as marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, management, and hospitality. Jennifer Bieber, the business education teacher and DECA chapter advisor, presented a comprehensive account of the students’ triumphs, highlighting the members’ remarkable performance in both Northern New Jersey District and New Jersey State competitions.
Standout DECA members included Robbie and Ryan, who successfully competed for the first time at the district level, and Billy Bowlback and Olivia Posertia, who finished first and third respectively in their events at the state competition. Posertia later represented Emerson at the DECA International competition in Orlando, finishing in the top 10 nationally. Bieber also recognized the DECA emerging leader award recipients and urged underclassmen to aspire for similar successes.
Besides DECA, athletic prowess was prevalent as the Board acknowledged Natalie Graham’s double achievement as a Varsity softball player with her 100th hit and 300th strikeout, and Victoria Cerinsky for her All North Jersey Group One Team award in Girls Basketball. Avery Louderback was honored as the Gymnast of the Year by Northjersey.com.
Shifting from recognitions to ongoing projects, the meeting addressed upcoming infrastructure improvements such as an electrical upgrade for the high school and renovations at Villano, both anticipated for the summer of 2024. The school board is also preparing to issue an RFP for an architect of record to comply with federal grant audits. Additionally, a completed roof scan for the high school was reported, with plans for further discussions regarding potential replacement or repair.
Simultaneously, curricular revisions surfaced as a recurring theme. There were plans to amend the English language arts curriculum, with revisions underway and implementation expected by September. The board also addressed a recent controversy regarding the health and wellness curriculum, assuring one concerned parent that a previously removed segment on hard drugs would not be reintroduced. A commitment was also made to ensure selected texts accurately represented the district’s diversity, including children with disabilities.
Lastly, the board clarified a transportation issue, explaining to a concerned parent that the proposed requirement for bus drivers to possess a Type S School Bus certificate would only apply to drivers of smaller vehicles and not full-sized school buses.