Thursday, May 23, 2013
Famed black history scholar and Belleville native Lonnie Bunch delivered commencement address
The Newark campus of Rutgers University graduated its largest class ever Wednesday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. An estimated 3,300 undergraduate degrees were conferred, along with 78 doctorates, also a record for the 105-year-old campus. Wednesday’s commencement speaker was Lonnie Bunch, one of the nation’s most prominent historians and a founding director of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. The museum is scheduled to be completed in 2015. Bunch, 56, grew up in Belleville, and drew from his own experiences as an African-American in a community that at the time was overwhelmingly white. He said those experiences fired his curiosity about other cultures …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Township Council reductions bring the average homeowner's tax increase down from $270 to about $110, while one council member says the cut is not large enough.
The Belleville Township Council voted Tuesday night to reduce the tax levy portion of the nearly $63 million 2013-14 school budget by $760,000, a decrease that did not satisfy one council member. The amount trimmed means the average household tax increase drops from about $270 to approximately $110, officials said. The cuts were approved by the council one day after the Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to accept that amount and not to appeal to the county to restore all or part of the amount. The decision comes after one councilman who was supposed to help decide what to cut said he still favored trimming spending from an average increase of more than $270 back down to zero, less than the amount that is now cut from the…
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Municipal officials worked with students in civics education exercise.
On April 26, Belleville High School Seniors shadowed township officials as well as school administration and staff. During Student Government Day students took the place of high school faculty and taught classes with a teacher of their choice. Township officials Police Chief Joseph Rotonda, Deputy Chief Sbarra, Deputy Mayor Vincent Cozzarelli and Township Manager Kevin Esposito took part in the exercise. That Friday, Students learned firsthand lesseson about running a township and insuring public safety. The day, spearheaded by Driver’s Education teacher Deborah Strano, is likely to become an annual event with full backing from Principal Russell Pagano. “This was a productive, educational day in which I was happy to see students …
Friday, May 10, 2013
School #8 Students sold wristbands to support Philadelphia hospital.
This month, students at Belleville School #8 were congratulated for their kindness. During April and May the students participated in a school-wide bracelet sale promoting the school slogan “Keep In Mind To Be Kind." The slogan, written by student Karen Coto, was the result of a school-wide contest in support of an anti-bullying campaign. The school raised $500 in the bracelet sale, which was donated to Philadelphia's Shriner's Hospital for Children. Shriners Hospital's Terri Diamond was on hand to accept the donation from School #8 Principal Joseph Vespignani and other members of the school community. In addition, Belleville Mayor Raymond Kimble, himself a School #8 graduate, was on hand for the donation. "I'm proud of the children …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Officials recognized achievements of Nicholas Gould of Nutley and Donald Rock, Jr., of Belleville.
Last month, Essex County Freeholders recognized two local students for setting examples to their peers. County Officials honored Nicholas Gould of Nutley and Donald Rock, Jr., of Belleville during its tenth Annual “Essex County Celebrates Youth” program on Wednesday, April 24, at the Hall of Records. Freeholder President Watson opened the program by saying, “For the past 10 years we’ve made a commitment to recognize the accomplishments and talent of Essex County youth,” she said. “Today we celebrate eight extraordinary young people, and we hope this recognition will encourage them to continue to do well in all their endeavors.” Gould, an 18-year old Nutley High School senior, has been active with the Key Club and the Student Council since…
Belleville, Nutley residents named to President's, Dean's Lists.
Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes has announced a total of 11 Belleville and Nutley residents who are students at the school have been named to both the President’s List and Dean’s Lists for the Winter 2013 quarter. “Berkeley College is proud to recognize these students for their outstanding academic achievement,” said Dr. Cortes. “Students who reflect this level of dedication to their studies become our future leaders.” The following Belleville residents were named to the President’s List: To qualify for the President’s List, students must achieve a grade point average of 4.00 with a minimum of 12 academic credits. The following Belleville and Nutley residents were named to the Dean's List: To qualify for the Dean’s List, …
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
State school committee tells school board that the Middle Schools "gaps" in test scores are improving, while school officials await budget cuts.
The Belleville Board of Education heard Monday night from state officials that Belleville Middle School academics are improving, while the Township Council is charged with reducing spending on the defeated 2013-14 school budget. The Belleville Township Council on April 29 discussed how much funding to cut from the defeated $63.5 million 2013-14 school budget, with one council member suggesting the budget should be cut so the average $277 tax hike is reduced to a zero increase. School officials declined to comment on the budget Monday night, instead focusing on the middle school's improving situation. School board members Joseph Longo and Peter Zangari, Jr. both said that the presentation should put residents' concerns about the school …
Students received copies of James Patterson’s book "Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life."
April 23rd marked the annual celebration of World Book Night, a non-profit organization whose aim is to spread the love of reading by giving books to individuals all over the United States. Ms. Toni Ann Ferraiolo, teacher at Belleville Middle School, was awarded twenty copies of James Patterson’s novel, Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by the organization, which she then distributed to students in her Language Arts classes. “My students were really excited about this gift,” Ferraiolo remarked, “And they’re anxious to write letters to World Book Night with their feedback on this novel.”
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Nutley School Anti-Bullying Coordinator Joseph Cappello and Nutley High Anti-Bullying Specialist Lisa Cassilli will talk about how to raise healthy teens.
Raising teenagers seems to be a task growing more complicated every day. Nutley officials are looking to help. This week, they are offering a workshop led by three experts in teen issues. Nutley Middle School Anti-Bullying Coordinator Joseph Cappello and Nutley High Anti-Bullying Specialist Lisa Cassilli will be joined by licensed social worker Elizabeth Hanifan to answer the question "what does it take to raise a healthy teenager in today's world." The topics in the interactive discussion will range from bullying to substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as self harming behaviors. The seminar will take place on Thursday, May 2 at the John H. Walker Middle School Choir Room.
Students analyzed water quality and grew appreciation for water quality.
This month, students in Belleville Middle School Grade 8 science classes completed a study on the Passaic River. Watershed Ambassadors Bhavin Mistry and James Preisendanz taught students about macroinvertebrates as biological indicators with water samples were taken from the Passaic River. After tallying and using the BIBI Biological Index formula, students found out that the Passaic River samples show a rating of Fair. Students grew to appreciate how important it is to maintain high standards for our water quality. Belleville Middle School students have been invited to participate in a stream clean up organized by the Watershed Ambassadors.