West Essex School Board Meeting Honors Key Contributors, Celebrates Student Achievements

The most recent meeting of the West Essex School Board was marked by appreciation and recognition, with the retirement of board member Cynthia Egan and the presentation of the Governor’s Educator of the Year Awards taking center stage.

After nine years of service, board member Cynthia Egan was honored for her dedication to the board, the students, and the schools. Her colleagues lauded her involvement in various committees and her role in maintaining fiscal responsibility. Egan’s community involvement and impact on the board’s decision-making were also acknowledged.

Student board representative, Joselyn Dezman, provided an overview of recent student activities and achievements, including successful productions, fundraising events, sporting accomplishments, and various club activities. Dezman also shared the school’s efforts to promote a culture of inclusivity and understanding, specifically aiming to combat prejudice and discrimination.

The meeting proceeded with the recognition of the Governor’s Educator of the Year Awards. West Essex Middle School Principal Gina Dle presented the awards to Michelle Lombardoi and James Quinas. Lombardoi was acknowledged as the Governor’s Service Professional of the Year, and Quinas was named the Governor Educator of the Year. Their dedication to the students and contributions to various school events and programs were applauded.

A change in the structure of the Governor’s Educator of the Year committee was also announced. The committee members were recognized, and the winners of the awards from the past five years were acknowledged.

The board meeting also celebrated the ShopRite Stars, recognizing individuals for academic, athletic, artistic, leadership, and community service achievements. Notable awardees included Sarah Chadov for academics, Riley Ruan for athletics, Thomas Zack for the arts, Matt Steiner for leadership, and Sophia Dwarfe for service to the community. The second marking period ShopRite Stars were also acknowledged, including Akash Patel for academics, Alexandra Jablonski for athletics, and Delaney Piccoli for the arts.

The principal highlighted several charity drives the school is participating in during the holiday season, including the Key Club annual holiday toy drive, donations for sick children, and the school’s first-ever teddy bear toss event.

The meeting also covered various sports achievements, including the football team’s participation in the group three state championship, the field hockey team’s sixth consecutive group two State title, and the girls’ volleyball and soccer teams advancing to the north 2 group two State sectional finals.

The meeting concluded with a report on the harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) cases, revealing a total of 30 reported cases across the high school and middle school, with various disciplinary measures implemented in response. The financial report outlined the overall fund balance, reserves, encumbrances, and surplus, with specific details on revenue, expenditure, and long-term liabilities.

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.

School Board Officials:
Bethany Buccino, Cynthia Egan, Debbie Holinstat, Frank Perrotti, Deborah Sacco-Calderone (President), Jonathan Schaer, Ray Stampone, Brian Trauman, Maryadele Wojtowicz (Vice-President)

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