Heroes honored, curriculum reviewed and supervisor named at bd of ed

Heroes honored, curriculum reviewed and supervisor named at bd of ed

Three staff members who performed heroic deeds, positive reports from curriculum team leaders and the appointment of a new supervisor produced an uplifting evening when the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 23.

The Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s media center was the venue where Giuliana Orsillo Gizele Felice-Carter, and Roger Dalton each were honored with the Board of Education's Humanitarian Award for their life-saving performances.

Each came through with their heroic action by using the Heimlich Maneuver to save persons who were choking on food.

On February 15, Ms. Orsillo, who is Head Cafeteria/Playground Assistant at the Hamilton Primary School, saved a student with her quick actions.

Then on March 6, Ms. Felice-Carter,who teaches students in Kindergarten and Grade 1, saved a fellow staff member at the Bradley Gardens Primary School while they were eating lunch together.

Then in late April, Mr. Dalton, the Head Custodian at the Van Holten Primary School, came to the rescue of a student choking. He had also sprang into action during  a similar incident in 2018.

“We take this opportunity to congratulate three remarkable individuals with our Humanitarian Award,’ Superintendent Bob Beers declared before he handed the citations to each of three heroes. “As luck had it, these three individuals saved another person from choking. I also commend our school nurses who put us through these trainings

“Due to the actions of these three people, we avoided a bad outcome.”

The school district’s superb curriculum team administrators were in attendance to present a  review and a preview.

Karen Jones, who is the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, spoke about the success of the Staff In-Service Day and the four Delayed Opening-Staff Development Days. 

She also reported that ESL (English as a Second Language) will be incorporated in all of the school buildings this coming year.

Jason Mauriello, who is the Director of 21st Century Learning and Data, discussed the new programs and courses for the coming year.

 He revealed under his Career Concentrations Report that Computer Science, Visual Arts and Music will be ready by September while the concentrations in the planning stage are  Engineering and Robotics and Business.

Annemarie Mattia, the Director of Elementary Education, shared the many highlights of the Gifted and Talented program and spoke of the increase of professional development.

Jaimee Kochis, the Director of Technology, was on hand to report about her department’s success and improve coverage and speed with the Wi-Fi throughout the district.

She also shared that her staff will continue to focus in keeping softwares updated, working on cybersecurity updates and preparing devices for the upcoming school year 

These dedicated administrators delivered their presentations under the Superintendent’s Report.

From there, Superintendent Beers closed his report when he spoke about “looking ahead.”

“We have one more before we can implement full-day kindergarten,” Superintendent Beers said. “We have our referendum on election Day (November 8) with the question of full-day kindergarten.”

Superintendent Beers also touched on classroom furniture upgrades, renovations of five elementary school media centers this July, the continuation of upgrading the Smart panels in elementary schools, the upgrade of projectors in Grades 5-12 schools, streamlining hardware (desktops and laptops) for staff, cybersecurity evaluations and enhancements, network upgrades and the expansion of the unified sports program. 

This year signaled the first unified teams at Bridgewater-Raritan High School when a basketball team competed in the winter and a track and field team was sponsored this spring.

Superintendent Beers introduced LeighAnn Matthews as  the school district’s new Supervisor of K-12 World Language and ESL.

Ms. Matthews has been serving as the school district’s K-12 ESL Instructional Coach since 2019.

“I am absolutely ecstatic to have this opportunity to serve the Bridgewater-Raritan community in this new role as World Languages/ESL Supervisor,” Ms. Matthews said.

The Board of Education also announced the calendar for the upcoming school year, when it was announced that the dates for the give-back of unused snow days will be April 10, April 23 and May 24. If  there is inclement weather that would force school closure, then the first day that will be lost will be May 24, followed by April 23 and then finally April 10.

The date of April 10 was the attraction of over an estimated 15 residents who attended the meeting to express their desire for the Eid-al-Fitr to be observed as an official holiday. 

Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated with Islam worldwide because it marks the end of the month-long, dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.

The Board of Education answered the residents regarding Eid-al-Fitr that it will look into their request for the day to be observed as a school holiday for the future.