BOE accepts Bernardi’s resignation

The Evesham Township Board of Education officially accepted Rosemary Bernardi’s resignation at last week’s meeting.

The resignation comes on the heels of Bernardi making anti-Semitic comments at a May meeting regarding Rosh Hashanah and the first day of school.

“What may have gotten lost in all of this is, the first day of school has been changed to Sept. 9,” said Sandy Student, school board president. “As adults, we must teach by example. There’s no place for bigotry, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.”

According to Student, the board is currently advertising for Bernardi’s vacant position.

It will accept resumes in addition to interviewing a replacement.

The board will then appoint the individual to serve until January, or when the board reorganizes.

Concurrently, the county clerk is accepting petitions to fill the one-year position, the remainder of Bernardi’s term, which will appear on the ballot.

Whoever wins in November will be sworn in during January’s reorganization meeting, according to Student. This is the first time the board has had the task of filling a vacant position since the election date was changed to November.

To help solve the recording issue to avoid further problems, member Dave Silver made a motion to move the meetings to the municipal building, which has the technology to record meetings, saving the district money.

The township has repeatedly offered the services of the building to the board, according to Silver.

Superintendent John Scavelli voiced his concerns, including urging the board to investigate ways to improve overall meetings and a quality recording system.

Scavelli suggested the board look into rotating schools again, in addition to purchasing the equipment needed to record the meetings. The board moved forward to pass the motion.

The next meeting will be held at the municipal building.

“It can’t hurt to try it. We can always come back,” Silver said.

Board member Jay Levinson, who has not spoken about the incident involving Bernardi, made a statement on the matter.

“I was so shocked by what she said, I couldn’t gather my thoughts to say anything before the meeting was over,” Levinson said. “I wanted to take this opportunity to condemn her for her remarks. I’m glad she resigned from her position.”

In other news:
• Danielle Magulick, director of curriculum and instruction, gave a presentation on the preschool’s curriculum for the upcoming school year.

According to Magulick, there are five fundamental principles of the program: including positive interactions and relationships with adults, social–emotional competence is a significant factor in school success, constructive, purposeful play supports essential for learning, physical and environmental type and quality of learning interactions and teacher–family partnerships promote development and learning.

The program will also feature circle time and group meeting, shared reading and writing experiences, interest areas and shared math experiences. Additionally, the curriculum carries as far as the second grade, according to Magulick.

• The board presented its Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying self-assessment, a requirement of the HIB program.
The district was required to assess, review and analyze data of anti-bullying specialists/coordinator and the principal at the June meeting, development of recommendations, sharing of recommendations, turnkey recommendations and year three implementation. According to Scavelli, all schools met or exceeded expectations.

The next board of education meeting will be held in August and is slated to be held at the municipal building.

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