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Westfield Board of Education Members Sworn in at Organization Meeting (Video)

Alexandria Addesso

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 • 11:25pm

WESTFIELD, NJ - Three board of education members who were re-elected in the Nov. 5 election were sworn in at the Jan. 7 Westfield Board of Education Organization Meeting, and the current president and vice-president were both nominated and re-elected by the board.

The board of education attorney, Richard Kaplow, swore in Brendan Galligan, Ginny Leiz and Mitchell Slater for three-year terms at the beginning of the meeting.

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Shortly after, the board discussed nominations for president and vice-president. Richard Mattessich was nominated by Slater, which was seconded by board member Gretchan Ohlig. He was unanimously re-elected. Similarly, the current Vice-President Rosanne Kurstedt, was nominated and re-elected, though she arrived to the meeting late and unaware of her re-election.

“Am I suppose to sit here?” said Kurstedt when she walked up to her usual VP seat. "Thank you for all your support.”

A presentation was given by Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan on the district’s goals and the Board of Education’s goals for 2013-2014. The first district goal was the implementation of the Marshall Evaluation Model, which is a system of evaluating teachers that is currently used in 38 districts in Central and Northern New Jersey.

The second goal was benchmarks for student growth. All teachers developed student growth objectives for their classes or small groups within a class. The teachers were then measured by progress on a scale of 1-4 according to the percentage of their students that met the goal.

The third district goal was the new digital/media communication tools that included a district Twitter account and the mobile view of the district website.

“The mobile view of the website has became very popular among parents and staff,” said Dolan.

The 10 points in the School Board Association Code of Ethics for School Board members were also acknowledged and read one-by-one by the board and several policies that were discussed at previous meetings, including the use of service animals by teachers, support staff and pupils, were approved. Four Latin classes--Latin III, Latin III Honors, Latin IV and Latin IV AP--were approved for a first reading.

“We have a really strong Latin program here in Westfield,” said Kurstedt.

The next board of education meeting will be held on Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at 302 Elm Street.

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