In a recent Garfield School Board meeting, significant personnel changes were announced, headlined by Susan Renna, a Speech & Language Specialist, declaring her retirement effective January 1, 2024. Additionally, major recognitions and administrative resolutions took center stage, affecting the operations of several Garfield schools.
In the realm of staffing adjustments, the board took assertive actions. Alongside Renna’s retirement announcement, eighteen individuals, across varied roles from teachers to paraprofessionals, submitted their resignations. A noteworthy decision came when the board opted to rescind the employment of Non-Certified Employee Hetal Rana. Two unidentified employees saw their contracts terminated, while another faced suspension. There was also the unanimous vote in favor of discontinuing the Federal Programs Assistant position.
Following this, several personnel shifts for the 2023-2024 academic year were approved. Johanna Caruso is now the new Student Activities Coordinator for Garfield High School, taking over from Denise Rebori. Halina Dudek was appointed as the Nurse Coordinator with a stipend of $12,000, and Diana Calandriello was confirmed as the Preschool Supervisor, succeeding David Nelke.
Garfield High School also experienced other significant moments. Principal Dora D’Amico showcased data indicating the number of students who graduated in 2023 and explained the methods they used to meet graduation assessment standards. Furthermore, Washington Irving School #4 garnered acknowledgment for obtaining the 2023 New Jersey Blue Ribbon Schools status.
Under resolutions, the board motioned to adjust the salaries of personnel like Michael Alfonso Jr., Christopher Annibal, and Anna D’Agostino. A substantial allocation of $57,000 was sanctioned for PD in Literacy Instruction by Elevate Educators, spanning sessions from September 2023 to May 2024.
An agreement was cemented with Thrive Alliance to incorporate a Full-Time staff member, an advanced clinician with School Social Work or School Counselor Certification, for the upcoming school year, at a cost not surpassing $139,050. This expenditure will be sourced from the ESSER III Account.
On the administrative side, budget transfers for the months of July and August 2023 were greenlit, and a Mandatory Direct Deposit Program was initiated, pegged to launch from September 1, 2023, with Spencer Savings Bank being the designated bank.
The meeting saw significant member involvement. The majority of the voting members, including Lindita Agastra, Alban Gaba, Kathy Grzywnowicz-Muniz, Richard Derrig, Dane Lio, Alea C Sanchez, and Jorge Ramos, consistently voted in favor of the discussed resolutions. However, Michelangelo Malleo and Daniel Taylor were notably absent.