Summit Board of Education Honors Teachers, Staff Members for 25 Years of Service; Franklin Trailers Arrive Next Week
Friday, September 21, 2012 • 6:40am
SUMMIT, NJ—Five members of the staff of the Summit public schools who have been with the district for 25 years and 19 staff members who have attained tenure were honorees at Thursday’s board of education meeting.
The presentation of certificates to the honorees was preceded by several musical selections by a string quartet from Summit High School.
Board President George Lucaci said the success of the city’s high quality school system was “all about our teachers.”
He noted the teaching staff members helped Summit’s children develop 21st century skills and get into the country’s top universities.
Praising the teachers for completing the increasing tough requirements to attain tenure, he said they “make our children learn while giving them the inspiration to succeed.”
Those honored for 25 years of service with the district were:
- Susan Angelo of Summit High School
- Jane Audibert of Lincoln-Hubbard School
- Nancy Bowkley, secretary to School Business Administrator Louis Pepe
- Phyllis Dill of Franklin Elementary School
- Adam Gmyek of the district maintenance staff
Tenured staff members cited at the meeting were:
- Ian Bell of Jefferson Elementary School
- Theresa Blaesser of the department of special services
- Francine Curcio of the Wilson Primary Center
- Judith Flaherty of the high school
- Ashley Gallagher of the Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School
- Jeffrey Heaney of the middle school
- Crystal Hough of the high school
- Stefanie Jurista of the middle school
- Courtney Kaczynski of Brayton Elementary School
- Tina Lee of the high school
- Joan Lu of the high school
- Michael Magdalenski of the high school
- Laurie McCormack of the middle school
- Jeremy Morman of the high school
- Angela Paster of special services
- Keri Perrone of Franklin Elementary School
- Assistant School Business Administrator Donna Schneider
- Alana Sellyei of Franklin
- Nicole Terhune of the high school
On another matter, Superintendent of Schools Nathan Parker announced the temporary classroom trailers to deal with the enrollment challenges at Franklin School are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday at the school.
Parker added the trailers would not be put into immediate use because connecting of utilities and other equipment is necessary.
He also noted the trailers had “bought some time” for the board so that it could work beyond the previous Dec. 1 deadline to come up with a long-term solution to the overcrowding problem.
On another controversial topic, Lucaci said the board had done a great deal of careful research and gathered a great deal of date concerning full-day kindergarten in order to come up with the students and teachers and to bring the results of the study of that data to the public in the best way possible.
He added, “we are sensitive to the city’s borrowing capacity. However, we don’t want to have the public looking back on this time and saying the board failed to take advantage of the opportunity to take advantage of record low interest rates to finance a project such as this.”
Going back to teacher qualifications, Parker said the city district was “ahead of the curve” on a new teacher evaluation system with one third of its staff having done through a new system in Summit.
He noted Summit, Westfield and Millburn, in cooperation with the Morris-Union Jointure Commission, all are revamping their systems but Summit is leading the way.
Human Resources Director Kenneth Shulack, referring to a number of staff positions filled at Thursday’s session, outlined the rigorous hiring process Summit goes through in finding and placing teachers.
Teachers are recruited through several diversity job fairs and the online application process known as Apple Track.
Potential instructors then are interviewed by a panel of district principals and other city school system officials.
There are some mentoring and model teaching sessions, and those who pass these first two phases face another set of interviews by members of the central office staff.
Finally, those who complete all of these processes are recommended to the board for employment.
Shulack said it is a tribute to the high quality of the Summit schools that many certificated teachers come to the city as teaching aides because they value Summit experience on their resumes.
However, because of Summit’s reputation for quality many of these aides soon find fulltime teaching positions in other districts and Summit must replace them. Some of them also are hired as teachers in Summit.
On another matter, Pepe announced a feasibility study on the more efficient use of space at the middle school is nearing completion and a similar study soon will be conducted in the elementary schools.
He noted both studies stemmed from the recently-completed demographic report commissioned by the board at Parker’s urging.