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The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood

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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, April 22, 1999 Page 5



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Mr. Perrin, Mr. Goggi Win BOE Vacancies In Mountainside Race


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

MOUNTAINSIDE — Incumbent John Perrin and newcomer Peter Goggi captured the two open seats on the Mountainside Board of Education Tuesday, defeating longtime board Patricia Knodel, who has served on the board for 26 years.

Official results revealed a clear victory for Mr. Perrin and Mr. Goggi. Mr. Perrin, who was appointed to the board last summer, received 868 votes, while Mr. Goggi drew 884. Mrs. Knodel garnered 516 tallies.

The $8.8 million school budget for 1999-2000 was approved by a vote of 870 to 373. The school board proposed a $7.66 million school tax levy, which goes toward supporting the total spending plan.

“This budget was crucial to providing the educational resources needed to insure an excellent education for all of our borough children,” Mr. Perrin pointed out.

Voter turnout of 1,265, out of 4,516 registered voters, was higher than average, according to poll volunteers.

By 9 p.m., the three candidates arrived at Borough Hall to wait with fellow residents for the election results to be revealed. The atmosphere was noticeably congenial, with neighbors greeting each other warmly.

Mr. Goggi, with 20 years of business management and marketing experience, said that he had learned so much during his first campaign.

A 10-year resident of the community, he said he was very happy he would have the opportunity to work with the board, stating, “(Mr.) Perrin and I have similar goals, but we bring different strengths and experiences to the board. I think we will work very well together.”

Mr. Goggi said that his immediate goals are to learn as much as he can,

and to embrace dialogue and questions with the public. “Communication is crucial to a board,” the newlyelected board member stated.

Mr. Perrin, who has served on various board committees, said he was exceedingly pleased, not only by his victory, but also because voters supported the school budget. He has lived in Mountainside for 23 years.

He said he wanted to thank the voters for supporting him and for recognizing his deep concern for the educational needs of all of the children in Mountainside.

Mrs. Knodel, a resident of Mountainside for 36 years, was not disappointed by her loss. “I knew I was going to lose when the petitions were signed,” she admitted. “But what good is a race if it isn’t a competition?” she asked.

She offered the old Irish adage about losing, “God never closes a window without opening a door.”

When asked about her future plans, Mrs. Knodel said she has a full plate as President of the Woman’s Club, adding that she looks forward to spending time with her grandchildren.

Regarding the congenial atmosphere among residents as they awaited the election results, Pat Debbie, the wife of Chief of Police James Debbie, admitted that Mountainside is a very friendly town. “We all know each other,” Mrs. Dennie explained, “and many of us work together, too.”

School Bd. Postpones Formal Discussion On Leveling to June By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

SCOTCH PLAINS – Parents are speaking out to the Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education with respect to leveling (grouping by academic ability) at Terrill and Park Middle Schools.

While the administration was originally scheduled to present on the issue to the board in May, an educational forum sponsored by the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Parent Teacher Association Council will take place before that to afford the public the opportunity to address middle school leveling.

The forum is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Park Middle School. It will be taped for broadcast on TV-34.

In a brief presentation, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol B. Choye stated, “Scotch PlainsFanwood was ahead of the cycle in establishing middle schools 18 years ago. I’m not sure we’ve done a thorough review of refreshing and refining the program” over the years.

She continued, “Are we teaching teachers to meet the needs of each child the best we can? Can we assure every parent that we teach to every child?”

She also spoke of “proper placement” rather than leveling or tracking of children, asking “Is each and every one of our children placed appropriately to learn a challenging curriculum, properly placed with enough time and the right resources to learn?”

There is a proposal on the table from the office of Dr. John R. Crews, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. In Math, it calls for heterogeneous classes with flexible grouping for special project work in sixth grade; and two levels of instruction in pre-algebra and algebra

in grades seven and eight, respectively.

In English, heterogeneous classes would continue through sixth and seventh grades with flexible grouping to work on extended learning activities. In eighth grade, there would be two levels of English instruction.

Board Member Richard Meade recommended the proposal be included on the district’s web site: spfnet.

“The community needs to be able to have their questions answered,” said Scotch Plains resident Mary Kaiserman from the audience. “I can’t stress enough how the public needs a voice on this.”

Carol Campell of Fanwood suggested the board make some of the research and articles on the subject available to the public.

“The issue always rests on heterogeneous vs. homogeneous grouping,” she pointed out. “You never look at the specific strategies that work at Park. It’s a very remarkable experience to see teachers addressing all abilities at very vulnerable ages.”

It was decided the board would not take action on the leveling issue until at least the June agenda meeting.

In other business, members passed a resolution authorizing the board to participate in the Alliance for Competitive Energy Services, a cooperative pricing agreement for the purchase of electricity. Business Administrator and Board Secretary Matthew A. Clarke indicated there are approximately 200 school districts involved in the coalition which is spearheaded by the New Jersey School Boards Association.

He emphasized that participation in the agreement is strictly voluntary.

Westfield BOE to Hold Reorganization Meeting

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Board of Education will hold its reorganization meeting on Tuesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. The three newly-elected members of the board will be sworn in prior to the meeting.

At 7:30 p.m., there will be a reception honoring retiring board member Susan Jacobson, whose last meeting as a member was April 13.

Mrs. Jacobson served on the board for 12 years, longer than any other member in the recorded history of the district.

The public is invited to attend the reception and meeting.

New Superintendent Heads Berkeley Heights

Public Schools System By KIM KINTER

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

BERKELEY HEIGHTS — Richard Bozza, Superintendent of the Montville school district in Morris County, has been selected by the Berkeley Heights Board of Education to head its kindergarten through grade 12 system.

The board selected Mr. Bozza during its meeting last Thursday, but will not formally vote until Thursday, April 29. The State of New Jersey mandates that new school superintendents be voted on by boards of education which are seated at the time that the individuals take their new post.

Because of the school board election this past Tuesday, in which two

incumbents were running unopposed, the Berkeley Heights board was obligated to wait until the board’s regular meeting on April 29 for the official hiring of the new Superintendent.

Mr. Bozza’s salary has yet to be finalized, Berkeley Heights officials said. He was paid $130,000 annually in Montville.

The new Superintendent was one of two finalists for the Berkeley Heights position. The other candidate was Dr. Walter Mahler, Superintendent of Clinton Township schools, a pre-kindergarten through

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Berkeley Hts. Voters Reject School Budget


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

BERKELEY HEIGHTS – Berkeley Heights’ 1999-2000 school budget was rejected by voters during Tuesday’s school election, sending the proposed $27 million budget to the Township Committee who can cut it or leave it unchanged.

It is the first time that Berkeley Heights school board officials can remember a proposed budget being defeated by voters, said William Van Tassel, the school board administrator. According to unofficial Union County election results, 541 voted for the budget; 572 voted against.
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood