The district recognized the pride students of the month and the teachers and educators of the year, among others
The majority of the January Burlington Township School District Board of Education meeting was dedicated to recognizing students and staff for their achievements. Students from B. Bernice Young Elementary School kicked off the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a patriotic poem. The High School Jazz Nouveau also performed.
The pride students of the month for January from B. Bernice Young Elementary School are pre-kindergartner Samantha Eze, kindergartner Olivia Ortiz, first grader Dominic Dwumah and second grader Alexis Gamel.
Fountain Woods Elementary School pride students are third grader Illiana Sarris, fourth grader Skyler Tellefsen and fifth grader Foluke Balogun.
Pride students from the middle school are sixth grader Jeremy Henskens, seventh grader Siarra Martin and eighth grader Luke Binkley.
Pride students from the high school are freshman Dante Pagano, sophomore Caitlyn Henry, junior Cal Cullinan and senior Katrina Chavez.
The district also recognized three students for their achievements in science. Marissa Almonte, Jay Patel and Carolyn Almonte are Youth Achievers Committee Science award winners.
Burlington Township School District Science Supervisor Joanne Johnson presented the students with the awards.
“The mission of YAC — the Youth Achievers Committee — is to encourage minority students to pursue excellence in science, math and engineering,” Johnson said. “It is a great experience for all involved and can help the students exponentially expand their love for the sciences.”
Marissa Almonte, a fifth grader at Fountain Woods Elementary School, won first place in her grade level for her project titled “The Effect of Food Dyes Red 40 and Yellow 5 on Planetaria Mortality.”
High school freshman Jay Patel also won first place for his grade level for his project entitled “Comparison of Different Energy Sources for Mars Exploration.”
Marissa’s older sister, Carolyn, an eighth grader, was the grand prize winner at the science fair. Her project was entitled “The Effect of UV Radiation on Metaphoric Process for Zophobas.”
Building representatives recognized teachers and educators of the year for 2016.
Teachers and educators of the year are Rebecca Merz-Inverso and Dr. Lauren McWhirk from B. Bernice Young Elementary School, Amy Sullivan and Kelly Gamez from Fountain Woods Elementary School, Joyce Schoolik and Crystal Berry from Burlington Township Middle School and Jason Williams and Virginia Rulli from Burlington Township High School.
The selection process began in November with the building administrators soliciting nominations from the school community through a nomination form, according to Director of Human Resources and Community Relations Liz Scott. Once the nomination process closed, each building formed a selection committee of administrators, teachers, staff and parents.
When the winners were selected, the buildings notified Scott and Superintendent Mary Ann Bell, and the “prize patrol” — consisting of Bell, Scott, board members, principals, supervisors and BTEA members — visited and notified each winner.
If the recipients so choose, they can enter into the state-level competition.
“We are very proud of all of our honorees,” Scott said. “Our children are very fortunate to have such caring educators who are willing to go above and beyond to help all students achieve.”
In other news:
• Board of Education member Milton Dilligard announced the Burlington Township scholarship committee has seen a drop in donations this year compared to last. Dilligard says this is thought to be due to a lack of participation for “dress down days” as well as not having a raffle at the Holiday Bazaar.
• Student Liaison Kelli Hodnett announced student government has put up a “gratitude board” at the high school that allows students to share what they’re thankful for.
• The next Board of Education meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.