Long Branch — On March 19, the Long Branch Board of Education held is monthly public meeting at the Middle School. The evening started with Alvin L. Freeman, Assistant Superintendent of Schools introducing Ericka Ramirez and Gabriel Souza of the Audrey W. Clark School as the two students leading the Flag Salute and Pledge of Allegiance.
Several teachers were awarded tenure certificates. West End School Principal Christopher Volpe presented a certificate to Jessica Weglin; Long Branch Middle School Leadership Principal April Morgan presented to Jessica Dougherty; and High School Principal of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics James Brown presented to Dennis O’Keefe.
The district then presented the volunteers from the Audrey W. Clark School with a special award. Michele Moehler, Peter Coccurello, Arminda Tomas, Heather Orellana, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Beth Sammer, Rose Scullion, Ursula Alvarez, Jennifer Ireland, Naxhielyb Garcia and Andrea Thompson were recognized.
, physical education teacher at the Morris Avenue School. The Support Staff of the Month Award was presented to Hadija Haskovic, instructional assistant at the Gregory Elementary School.
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A vote was taken by the board to approve and submit a tentative FY2015 budget to the Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools. Each district must turn in a budget to the county on or before March 20, 2014 for approval. The district will hold a public hearing on the budget on April 30.
The board also voted on a resolution stating the district has fully exhausted all eligible statutory spending authority and must increase the base budget in the amount of $2,026,524 for the purposes of funding required expenses needed to meet a through and efficient education.
That resolution also states the amount of the tentative budget for the General Funds shall be approximately $86,771,327 of which $36,131,331 shall be raised by local tax levy; and the total tentative budget reflective of the General Funds and Special Revenue Funds shall be approximately $97,524,929 of which $36,131,331 shall be raised by local tax.
Michael Salvatore, Superintendent of Schools, stated that this district does not plan on holding mass layoffs. However, the school tax rate will increase slightly as the salary and health care costs keep going up.
He added that in the budget they plan on opening part of the old high school, using some of the funds from the sale of the West End School.
The board also approved to go out for bid on partial roof replacement at the Lenna W. Conrow School, and to get a bid for the FY2015 Wrap-Around Program. One other bid that the board is putting together is for the food service. Currently Sodexo is the district food provider and a new bid is going out for the FY2015 year.
Under personnel action the board accepted, with regret and best wishes, the retirement of Catherine T. Beatty, a teacher at Morris Ave. School, with 25 years 11 months of service. Lawrence Heptig, a drama teacher from the Amerigo A. Anastasia School, also announced he is going to retire after 27 years service. Robert Gant resigned as a biology teacher at the Alternative Academy effective March 12, 2014.
Another resolution that was adopted that falls under the personnel section was the abolishment of Reading, Language Arts and Math Facilitators and a District Administrator position effective June 30, 2014. It is assumed that the administrative position is that of Garry Penta, who after a 30-plus year career at Long Branch will retire on June 30. and He is currently a District Administrator.
However, the board did approve creating new positions: an ELA Supervisor K-5, ELA Supervisor 6-12, Math Supervisor K-5, Math Supervisor 6-12, Visual & Performing Arts Supervisor, Science Supervisor K-5, Science Supervisor 6-12, Early Childhood Supervisor, Communications & Special Programs Coordinator, Humanities Supervisor K-12, and One Bilingual Supervisor PreK-12.