BOE Roundup: BHS FBLA, Mock Trial Club Honored
Board says success of district students "not a surprise"
Although some still seem surprised when Belleville students achieve great success, a pair of Board of Education members reminded the public at Monday's meeting that this should be the expectation.
On a night where BOE election candidate Ralph Vellon got escorted out of the building by Belleville police, both vice president Patricia Inaugurato and trustee Joseph Longo used their public comments to applaud the achievements of Belleville High School's Future Business Leaders of America club that is sending 17 students to the New Jersey State Leadership Conference next month and the school's Mock Trial Club that placed eighth of 22 entrants in Essex County.
“It's time that we realize that we have a district full of kids that behave themselves, are talented … it's not a surprise,” Longo said. “It's what's been happening for years.”
Added Inaugurato: “It's really better in Belleville. We should know it and we should be proud of it.”
The BHS FBLA club, led by co-advisors Meryl Mendolla and corey Woodring, will compete March 15-16 at the Hilton East Brunswick after 17 students finished among the Top 10 in the regionals which took place on Jan. 11.
Meanwhile, the Mock Trial Club posted an impressive finish in what advisor Gerard Ross called “intellectual combat” before losing to Seton Hall Prep.
In other news:
School No. 4 parents Sandra and Santos Martinez complained to the board about both discipline issues and a lack of fundraising opportunities. With the former, Santos Martinez referred to students being “pantsed” and the incidents being posted by other students on Facebook. However, both president Pete Zangari and board attorney Al DeMeo said they would not discuss personnel issues publicly and urged both parents to write a letter to superintendent of schools Joseph Picardo.
Also, Sandra Martinez complained about overcrowding in the school, which she said added 20 students. Business administrator/secretary Edward Appleton assured her that was not the case.
BHS senior Pooja Patel announced that a fundraiser benefiting the school's chapter of the National Honor Society, of which she is president, will take place Feb. 29 from 3-8 p.m. at the T.G.I. Friday's on Route 3 West in Clifton. By showing a flyer that can be obtained through the school, 20 percent of each order will go toward funding social service events.
Picardo produced updated enrollment figures for January, noting that the district's nine schools added three students to bring their total to 4,675. School No. 9 added 10 students, the largest gain of all. School No. 5 gained two students, while Schools No. 4 and No. 8 each added one apiece.
Meanwhile, School No. 3 dropped seven students and both BHS and Belleville Middle School lost two students. Schools No. 7 and No. 10 remained the same.