Jackson School Board Meeting Focuses on Student Achievements, Retirements, and Budget Challenges

The recent Jackson School Board meeting was dominated by discussions of student achievements, the retirements of personnel, and the impact of a recently rejected tax increase proposal. Superintendent Nicole Pormilli led the meeting, which featured reports from representatives from Liberty and Memorial High Schools, detailing their various activities, initiatives, and accomplishments. The retirement acknowledgments included Miss Richardson, the long-serving business administrator and board of education secretary, and Cindy Sherman, a security officer. The meeting also touched on the district’s financial situation, given the failure of a recent special question that sought to increase taxes for educational improvements.

Liberty and Memorial High Schools’ representatives shared a wide range of initiatives and achievements. Liberty had a series of successful fundraisers and community services, including a Flo Drive fundraiser by the school band and a Go Program fundraiser by the National Art Society. The internet club members collected 25 bags of litter during their community cleanup. Memorial High School spotlighted assemblies on vaping cessation and thoughtful online behavior and celebrated the induction of new National Honor Society students. Their boys wrestling team, with a new head coach, is aiming for the state title, while the girls wrestling team is ranked number one in New Jersey and fifth in the country.

Superintendent Pormilli and Board President Giuseppe Palmeri congratulated the students on their accomplishments. Pormilli also recognized the service of Miss Richardson, who had overseen initiatives such as a large-scale solar project, energy-saving improvements, and the construction of transportation sites. Even in her absence due to a family emergency, Miss Richardson was honored with an appreciation gift. Cindy Sherman, a long-standing security officer, was also acknowledged for her upcoming retirement.

A significant issue addressed in the meeting was the result of the recent election on a special question that failed to secure approval for a tax increase. Superintendent Pormilli expressed disappointment, noting that despite the support of 3,604 yes votes, the majority voted against the measure. This tax increase would have allowed for smaller class sizes and more resources for students. Pormilli stated the district would operate under a cut model for the next budget cycle, but assured that preserving programs, services, and extracurricular activities would remain a priority.

Pormilli thanked the Parent-Teacher Network (PTN) and the Jackson Education Foundation for their financial support, contributing to students’ experiences. She also announced the district’s receipt of an Accelerated Learning Grant that would provide small group tutoring to third and fourth graders. Pormilli emphasized the importance of professional development for staff, funded by title grants, in areas including mathematics, support for multiple language learners, mental health, and academic and social-emotional support strategies.

The meeting also included discussions on policy revisions to ensure alignment with current guidelines and regulations. These included changes related to religion and schools, attendance, the right to audio or video recording of staff members and students, and food services. The consolidation of policies 8540 and 8550 to address the anti-hunger act and working-class family concerns was also approved.

Board members concluded the meeting with personal comments. Mrs. Megan Gardella spoke of her involvement with Jackson students at an Ocean County vocational women’s and Automotive Network event and encouraged more community involvement. Mrs. Allison Barocas celebrated the girls’ gymnastics team’s accomplishments, while Mr. Brian McCarron expressed gratitude for his re-election and wished Miss Richardson a happy retirement. Mrs. Tara Rivera also acknowledged her and McCarron’s electoral win and thanked Miss Richardson for her service. Finally, Mr. Palmeri expressed appreciation for the students’ write-ups and Mrs. Pormilli’s report, congratulated the gymnastics team and the Liberty band, and wished Miss Richardson a happy retirement.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Nicole Pormilli
School Board Officials:
Giuseppe Palmeri, Tina Kas, Allison Barocas, Megan Gardella, Brian McCarron, Erica Osmond, Tara Rivera

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