By JENNIFER GLACKIN
For The Leader/Times
WESTFIELD — The Westfield Board of Education (BOE) approved Crystal Marsh as the new principal of Wilson Elementary School at its meeting on Tuesday. Ms. Marsh joined the district in 2017 as an assistant principal at Edison Intermediate School (EIS). Recently, she served as the district’s Gifted Education program supervisor and supervised the EIS No Place for Hate Committee.
Prior to joining the Westfield district, Ms. Marsh had been a team leader at Salk School of Science Middle School, a magnet high school in New York City.
Ms. Marsh is succeeding Joseph Malanga, who is retiring effective Saturday, July 31. According to a press release from the BOE, Ms. Marsh is a graduate of Columbia University, Teachers College, where she received a Master of Education degree in Public School Building Leadership. She also earned a Master of Science degree in Adolescent Education from Pace University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the Biological Basis of Behavior.
“I look forward to building upon the foundation of excellence and sense of community that Mr. Malanga, the staff, the students and the families at Wilson already have established so that our students will continue to reach their highest potential academically, socially and emotionally,” said Ms. Marsh.
The BOE also recognized high-school and middle-school staff members at its June 1 meeting. The 12 honorees were selected for recognition because of the “enthusiasm, caring and dedication they show to the school community every day,” said Superintendent Margaret Dolan, Ed.D.
Four Westfield High School educators were honored with awards. WHS counselor Andrew Buckner received the Robert and Linda Foose Memorial Award. Science teacher Molly Dennis is the 2021 PTSO Teacher of the Year. Nicole Scimone, an English teacher, received the Above and Beyond Award, while special-education teacher Marie Trzefla earned the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.
The Optimist Club of Westfield honored four middle-school educators — two from Edison Intermediate School and two from Roosevelt Intermediate School (RIS) — for the 2020-2021 school year with the 23rd annual Intermediate School Teacher Awards. The two EIS winners are Language Arts teachers Marc Lazarow and Kimberley Swenson. Science teacher Melissa Czerwinski and Language Arts teacher Carine Helwig are the RIS award winners.
This year, the Optimist Club also recognized all four middle-school nurses. Patricia Kelly (EIS), Martha Fico (EIS), Sharon Dorry (RIS) and Christine DeSousa (RIS) were each honored with the Optimist Club’s Special Nurses Award. All the nurses have been integral to this school year, said Dr. Dolan, as they helped the district navigate health and safety protocols during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Parents called in to ask questions about the changing protocols and their effect on future plans. As for next fall, as previously stated by Dr. Dolan and reported in The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times, schools will be open full time in September, but as for specific rules regarding masks, Dr. Dolan and the board said those rules, such as mask requirements, would be established by the governor’s office and had yet to be determined.
Prom will remain a seniors-only event, said Dr. Dolan, “and I am sorry for those who are disappointed.” She explained that the final count had already been confirmed with the venue prior to the recent changes regarding large gatherings. Dr. Dolan said she understands the frustration this may cause seniors who wished to take someone to prom who is not also a senior, but the senior class advisors and the prom committee “have made it possible for our seniors to have a prom.”
Board member Michael Bielen asked if there was any chance of allowing more than two guests at graduation in June with the relaxed restrictions on outdoor gatherings. “Graduation is always a lot of preparation and is even more so this year,” responded Dr. Dolan. “We will take it into consideration,” she added.
Board President Amy Root said the next BOE meeting on Tuesday, June 15, will be held virtually. The board plans to hold meetings after that date in person.
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