By Anne Forline
Gloucester City News
The Gloucester City Board of Education (BOE) recognized Thomas Gray Stewart Jr. by awarding him a high school diploma through the “Operation Recognition” program during last week’s meeting.
The program, a joint venture through the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) and the Department of Education, awards high school diplomas to veterans who left high school to serve in the military.
Superintendent Paul Spaventa noted that Stewart is a Vietnam Veteran who entered the service on October 31, 1968.
Stewart had previously been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Devices.
In other business, Spaventa also spoke about the construction of the proposed new middle school between Market Street and Jersey Avenue.
He said the School Development Authority (SDA) had visited the site to make inspections and that the education specifications and the facility capacity have been completed and will be presented for final approval to the Board of Directors.
The School Board also voted and passed various motions, including various student action and personnel action items, which include retirements, assignments as listed, salary corrections and increases.
Also, motions to approve field trips and fundraisers carried.
Concerning policy, the BOE approved a motion accept policy changes concerning substitute teachers and internet safety and technology.
Regarding financial action items, a motion was made and passed to approve financial action items #1-22.
This included carrying over the 2011 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Grant for $667,000 into the 2012 school year, and also granted the district permission to apply for 2013 Perkins Grant in the amount of $26,574.
The motion also allowed for the purchase of 227 computers for teachers at a cost of approximately $261,000 and laptops for 130 students in ninth grade at a cost of approximately $106,000.
When discussing the purchase of the computers, Board Member Jackie Borger expressed concern over the cameras in the laptops and thinks these cameras should be disabled.
Board Member Patrick Hagan made a motion to rehire a teacher. This motion was not seconded, and did not carry.
Student representatives from all of the district’s school addressed the BOE and gave year-end reports.
The students were Lauren Marchese, Gloucester City High School; Ryan Laskey, Highland Park Program for Success; William Cooper, Mary Ethel Costello School; and Brianna Penny, Cold Springs School.
John Rodden, a teacher and president of the Gloucester City Education Association, addressed the board concerning the importance of technology in the schools and commented about the construction of the middle school.
photo by ANNE FORLINE