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Bellmawr Board of Ed Members Take Oath of Office

By Chris Concannon

NEWS Correspondent

Both new and returning Bellmawr Board of Education Members were sworn in, during the recent annual Reorganization Meeting at Bell Oaks School.

Jeff Brickner began a full, three-year term, after completing the unexpired term he had just served.

Jamie Casey returned to begin another three-year term, and Tracy Shinkarow was sworn in to complete the balance of the term vacated by the passing of the late Betty Sheppard.

Shinkarow has served on the Board before, having been appointed by the Camden County Schools Superintendent.

Prior to the swearing in, Interim Board Secretary N. John Amato read the election results from April 21:

The proposed school budget was defeated by a margin of 72 votes, 309-237. Jamie Casey received 361 votes, and Jeff Brickner got 343 votes. Both men will serve full, three-year terms.

Tracy Shinkarow received 181 votes, Chris Concannon 172 votes and Stepfanie Gentry 125 votes. Shinkarow will serve an unexpired term of one year.

Amato said the results are preliminary, and subject to County verification.

Amato then Mr. Amato administered the Oaths of Office to Brickner, Casey, and Shinkarow.

Members voted to keep Jody Mangus as Board President, and Jamie Casey was nominated to serve as Vice President. Casey had been serving as interim Board Vice President.

In other business, Member Jeff Brickner presented the Board Award, to fourth graders Kyle Andress, Jonathan Carlson, Isaac Gas-ka, Michael Morales and Nicole Surachi, for their work as peer mentors for K-4 students.

Superintendent Annette Castiglione said students are mentored in a variety of subject areas, such as Language Arts and the like.

Bell Oaks Educational Media Specialist Jo Ann Burns, along with sixth grader Allison Mac Lean, and seventh graders Tom Hacker, Eren Ozbas and Austin Straub, narrated a PowerPoint presentation for Academically Talented (AT) students.

It covered many elements, including creativity and critical thinking, with an emphasis on “Metacognition,” or “thinking about thinking.”

Other AT areas include team-building, teaching with multiple intelligences, such as verbal-linguistic, visual-spatial and body-kinesthetic.

These 12 and 13-year-olds recited their quasi-scripts with nary a hitch.

In her report, Castiglione said that in the Pre-School program there needs to be an emphasis on parental support and involvement.

Also, she said standardized testing is currently in process, with Terranova testing starting soon.

Mangus said April was a busy month, involving the election and budget among other duties. She also commented on changes to BOE committees.

Under PTO groups, Colleen Marengo said E.M. Burke raised more than $6,200 during the recent basket auction, adding the monies will go toward the purchase of two “smart boards” for Burke School.

Principal Frank Jankowski Jr. praised the PTO for their “incredible work.”

Bellmawr Park Principal Elizabeth Calabria echoed Mr. Jankowski’s comments, adding the importance of the school system’s “global connect,” which links students, parents and staff together.

Bell Oaks Principal Anthony Farinelli stated they are geared up for upcoming spring activities.

The Superintendent then commended Mrs. Bartley and the Child Study Team, for developing a “least restrictive” environment.

All resolutions and agenda items were approved by the Board, with the following exceptions: As to Resolution Item #7g: “Bond Counsel”, Mrs. Shinkarow voted no; As to Agenda Item #B.1.b: “Approval of the Treasurer’s Report”, Mr. Henry voted no, and Ms. Mangus recused herself, regarding Check #313534;

As to Agenda Item #B.2.d: “Field Trip Requests”, Mrs. Shinkarow recused herself;

As to Agenda Item #B.2.e: “Employee Transfers”, Mr. Henry abstained.

The current Bellmawr Board of Education for 2009-10 consists of: Superintendent Annette Castiglione, Board Secretary/-Business Administrator N. John Amato (Interim), President Jody Mangus, Vice President Jamie Casey, and members Jeffrey Brickner, Mary DiMattesa, Ron Henry, Tracy Shinkarow and Mike Williams.

Further information is available by contacting the Board offices at (856) 931-6298, or on the web, at:

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