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South Amboy Celebrates Successful Co-Op with Local Students

Mayor Fred Henry, Co-Op Program Students, Board of Education Members & Councilman Thomas Reilly
*Photo by Joseph L. Kuchie

Victims Remembered from Tragedy at YMCA

1/31/18 Council Meeting

By: Joseph L. Kuchie

SOUTH AMBOY – The City of South Amboy recognized two students who recently completed the city’s Co-Op program.

Andrew Rogan and Matthew Coyle were two of the first students to participate in the city’s partnership with the Board of Education. Both students gained experience in different departments within City Hall while also attending school.

Councilman Tom Reilly, who pushed hard to bring the co-op program to South Amboy, congratulated both the students and the Board of Education on a successful partnership.

“This was an idea I had when I first got on the council… I was a bit persistent about it because I think it’s important,” Reilly said. “I want to thank the two students… I’ve heard wonderful things about you guys.”

“Listen, school is great, do well study hard…hands on experience is terrific,” he added. You not only get experience here, it looks good on a resume, it looks good when you go look for a job.”

Mayor Fred Henry, who worked in the South Amboy school district in multiple roles from 1974-2015, saw the co-op as a life experience that will help Andrew and Matthew in the future.

“Being a former educator myself it is great to see some of the kids to come down to City Hall to work,” Mayor Henry said. “It is a life skill, you learn a little bit different about what’s going on in the world instead of what’s down at the school…I think this is what it’s all about.”

“It’s nice to have the kids come up and see what’s actually going on,” he added. “I want to thank the people in those departments for their help with that because without them this wouldn’t have happened either.”

South Amboy Superintendent of Schools Jorge Diaz was also on hand for the presentation and thanked the city for working with the Board of Education.

“I want to thank the Mayor and council and councilman Reilly for this opportunity not only to recognize our students in the internship program but for the opportunity to work with the city to expand our programs,” Diaz said. “As you know [South Amboy has] such a small school district with a very tight budget, it doesn’t allow us to expand some of our programs. This didn’t cost us a penny.”

“It was very valuable experience that these students were able to get working within the city departments,” he added.

Doors boarded up at the South Amboy YMCA after the tragedy involving a car crash on Monday, January 29, 2018 around 5 p.m.
*Photo by Maurice Maxwell

Mayor Henry and the council also spoke on the tragic accident that occurred at the South Amboy YMCA on January 29 that left one person dead.

“I do want to send out prayers to the families who were involved in the tragedy at the YMCA the other night. Your hearts go out to them, it’s a shame things like this happen. A lot of times we think of them happening at other places but we are no different from other places in our world.”

“I think we are all touched by the event and for those who are affiliated with the Y and love the Y…it’s absolutely heartbreaking,” Councilwoman Dato said. “The irony of this situation is not lost on me that this girl was in our care, we were keeping her safe, and obviously she was safe there, and then her step dad comes to get her and he’s killed while he’s there. It’s absolutely heart breaking.”

“So many people were impacted by this, people will get the help they need and hopefully we can help this family in any way we can which we are going to try to do,” she added. We have to keep them in our thoughts and prayers because they need us.”

“I think our police department, first aid, and fire department did a great job in handling the situation,” Mayor Henry said. “I was down there with them for a while and they know what they are doing. They are on the ball all the time, they respond as quickly as they possibly can and I want to thank them. We have the best fire department, police department, and first aid around.”

All members of the council were in attendance for the meeting. The next council meeting will be held on February 21 at 7:00 p.m.

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