In a recent meeting of the Rutherford Board of Education, Shelly Ahmed was celebrated for her impactful 23-year tenure. Her contributions spanning over two decades were recognized, highlighting her significant roles in two successful referendums and her unwavering support for student needs.
Ahmed, who recently served as a teaching assistant for the South Bergen Jointsher, has been an active voice in the board committees, especially the personnel committee. Those who spoke about her tenure praised her commitment, with remarks about her influence in the PTA and her active involvement in district co-curricular programs. Reflecting on her time on the board, an emotional Ahmed emphasized the importance of praising educators and students, building strong relationships with colleagues, and trusting one’s instincts. Her advice was accompanied by anecdotes that showcased her dedication and the support she received over the years.
Jack Hurley, the Superintendent, fondly recounted his interactions with Ahmed across various roles, from when her children were in school to her significant roles in the PTA and the board. Other board members, including Diane Jones, Dennis Mazone, and a newer member, Ms. Gold, shared personal experiences, lauding Ahmed for her meticulous nature and mentorship.
Apart from Ahmed’s recognition, the board also celebrated the achievements of RHS student Arianna Medina, who garnered accolades for her perfect score on her AP drawing exam. This achievement placed Medina among a select group of about 300 students globally. The board further lauded RHS for its consistent presence on the AP honor roll by the College Board, reflecting the district’s educational excellence.
Another highlight of the meeting was the report by Mr. Hurley on the RAF grants. The Rutherford Education Foundation (RAF) has been a staunch supporter of the district, growing its annual awards from 20-25 thousand dollars to a whopping 107 thousand dollars. This year’s grants will notably benefit the RHS Marching Band with a new truck and the RHS textiles room with updated equipment.
Lastly, concerns about an unwritten policy at Rutherford High School were brought to the forefront by two public speakers, Valkyria Duran-Neruki and Eddie Naruki. The pair sought clarity on the rules barring students from switching sports teams during a season and emphasized the importance of clear guidelines similar to those for academic changes. They underscored the value of character-building and the role of educators in nurturing a supportive environment for all students.