Mt. Laurel School District mourns passing of Eric Eberling

The Mt. Laurel Board of Education mourned the passing of a school district student at its reorganization meeting last week.

Eric “Ebo” Eberling, a 17-year-old student who attended Lenape High School, died on Dec. 25 after a battle with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Board president Margaret Haynes read a statement expressing the board’s condolences.

“Eric was a beloved student both in our schools and at Lenape, where he was a senior,” Haynes said.

Eberling served as a rallying point for the Lenape High School community the past few years. He was an image of strength for many students, coaching ice hockey after his illness left him unable to play and remaining an active member of the school’s National Honor Society.

Eberling reached a point in the fall where doctors in the United States could no longer provide treatment for him. Eberling and his family began flying to Germany so he could receive treatment.

With expenses rising, fundraisers were being formed to help pay for Eberling’s care. One of these groups organizing the events was the Lenape High School Hero Club.

In November, the club’s founder, Lenape sophomore Taylor Kane, talked about two fundraisers the club held for Eberling.

One of the fundraisers was “Bowl for Ebo,” which raised money to help pay for Eberling’s medical expenses. The second fundraiser allowed Eberling and his friends to see his favorite singer, Steve Aoki, in concert and meet him backstage.

“He’s really well known and he’s an outgoing kid,” Kane said about Eberling in November. “Everyone sees him as an inspiration.”

In addition, Haynes also acknowledged the death of Gus Propper, the father of two former school district students, who died suddenly in an accident on Jan. 2.

“The board joins me in extending our sympathies to both of these families,” Haynes said.

In other news:

• The oath of office was administered to Scott Jones, Marc Jones and Michael Gallagher at the meeting. The three were reelected to the Board of Education last November. All three ran unopposed.
There were also no changes in the Board of Education’s leadership. Haynes was again chosen as board president and Maureen Sojka will remain the board’s vice president.

• The Board of Education made professional appointments for the new year as well. Director of Communications Marie Reynolds said there were no changes to the appointments from last year.
Reynolds said the only possible changes for the board may come when committees are chosen. However, everything else from the 2013 Board of Education will carry over to the 2014 version.
“It’s the same board, it’s the same kind of schedules,” Reynolds said.
“As far as committees are concerned, they haven’t talked about that yet.”

• The next Board of Education action meeting will take place on Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hattie Britt Administration Building.