Hiring Practices Discussed 11/17/16 Board of Education Meeting
By: Katherine Massopust
PERTH AMBOY – During the 11/17/16 Board of Education Meeting there was a presentation of awards to students who achieved a perfect score on the Science PARCC & NJASK by Dr. Damian Medina.
After a 3½ hour Closed Session, the Board Meeting resumed. There were several topics discussed including the Department of Recreation using the school buildings for their services.
Board Vice-President Israel Varela stated, “A lot of recreation is provided to a lot of students. We need it. It’s great the Department of Recreation will to continue to use our facility.”
Board President Sam Lebreault stated, “I wish to highlight the relationship between the Board and the City. They depend on us for indoor recreational facilities and we depend on them for outdoor activities.”
Another topic of discussion later on in the Meeting was the procedure for the hiring of individuals. Board President Israel Varela addressed this issue, “When we are appointing staff, there is a procedure. The Board of Education does nothing without the evaluation made by supervisors. We go by their recommendations. When people are interviewing, we are the last ones to get in on the process. If you didn’t meet the standard, then continue working hard to meet the standard. We want there to be no more rhetoric and put the information out there.”
Board President Sam Lebreault then added his words on this topic, “It took the supervisors and committee to sort through all the interviews. Subsequently to that, to move forward to have conversations with the candidates. Principals have another round of discussion. Some have five interviews before we see these individuals. There are two here today (New Instructional Leader in Mathematics, William C. McGinnis School, Ms. Jillian N. Grimm and District Supervisor of Educational Technology Ms. Courtney Pepe). It’s not an easy process. When Dr. Roman asked to interview someone – is the candidate a fit? They may have the credentials but are they a fit? To all who apply to the district (for employment): we are going to become a district of distinction.”
Board Vice-President Israel Varela then added later in the Meeting in reference to the newly hired Supervisor of Educational Technology, “Since I met Ms. Pepe, I hope we do work on something. A lot of parents do not have Wi-Fi. We hope you use the technology (in the classrooms).”
During the second public portion Linda Nagy came up to speak. She referenced the significance that former Head Nurse Carmen Arroyo was to the Clinic. “Many people will not realize that Carmen Arroyo has gotten this district over $1 million in vaccinations and epipens. 95.5% of all parents utilizing the Clinic are Spanish Only speaking. We recommend a Spanish Speaking Nurse. We hope that Dr. Roman and HR will follow this recommendation.”
Board President Sam Lebreault addressed Nagy’s concerns, “I want to recognize the achievements of Pam Campbell and Carmen Arroyo and what they’ve done for this district.”
Lebreault continued on the issue of replacing Arroyo who recently retired. “For fulfilling her position, Dr. David Roman and Assistant Superintendent Mr. Richard Chromey are well aware of the value of that clinic. The Board has had two nurses at that Clinic. The hiring process is a thorough deep process. The Clinic is not where Carmen (Arroyo) had it.”
Board Vice-President Israel Varela said, “I’m happy the Doctor in charge of the Medical Clinic is also in the loop. Suppose he is not comfortable (with the choice of nurse). If he wants to work with her or he doesn’t.”
Board President Sam Lebreault added, “It’s the Superintendent’s job. I will work with Dr. Roman to fill that position.”
Dr. David Roman added, “We take suggestions from everyone but reality steps in. I have to make the recommendations and it goes to the Board of Education.”
During the closing comments, Board Vice-President Israel Varela made the following comments: “One of the staff’s daughter in the Wilentz School is an Olympic God Medal Winner in Gymnastics (Laurie Hernandez) and now is on Dancing with the Stars. Her parents are strongly committed. Also parents, teachers and the community all help. Please vote for Laurie Hernandez on Dancing with the Stars. It feels great for one of our own! Remember to vote for Laurie!”
Board President Sam Lebreault then added, “There will be a Board of Education Meeting in December for a date to be determined.” The meeting adjourned at 10:40 p.m. Board Member Anthony Bermudez was not present because he had to work late. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Vivian Rodriguez also was not present at the Meeting.