Cinnaminson’s new BOE gathers for first public meeting of 2018

The acceptance of a $20,000 donation was one of the first orders of business

The Cinnaminson Board of Education convened for the first full public meeting of the new year Jan. 16, initiating its two new members and stepping into 2018 on the right foot with the acceptance of two sizable donations and congratulations for the district’s Governor’s Educators of the Year.

Cinnaminson Education Foundation, a local nonprofit that raises funds for author visits, motivational assemblies, technology, alternative learning programs for STEM and other ways to enhance Cinnaminson Public Schools, donated $20,680 for the 2017–18 school year. A second donation of $1,000 came from Patient First urgent care center toward new chairs for New Albany Elementary School’s library. The board accepted the grants with appreciation.

Second-grade teacher Abbie Fyke, fourth-grade teacher Tom Angelone, Cinnaminson Middle School science teacher Jennifer Nigro and Cinnaminson High School social studies teacher Megan Schweitzer were selected by the board as Educators of the Year. The board will formally recognize these educators at its next meeting.

With the start of a new year also came school performance reports for Cinnaminson and all districts across New Jersey. Superintendent Stephen Cappello was pleased to announce Cinnaminson received satisfactory marks all around from the state Department of Education.

All four of the district’s schools were listed as “showing progress” across several criteria, according to NJDOE’s report. Cappello acknowledged that while he’s proud of the district’s performance, he hopes to see it advance even further.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made here in Cinnaminson, and as is true of any report, there is certainly room for improvement,” he said. “I think our board members and our public would be extremely proud to see that their hard work and efforts are being validated by state reporting as well.”

Capello welcomed two new teachers, Jackie King and Maria Turtz, in his report, and also bid a fond farewell to several longtime district employees. The board accepted the resignations of utility driver John “Dan” Morrison, playground aide Gwen Renshaw and secretary Bonita Lloyd, who will retire after 24, 11 and 25 years at Cinnaminson Public Schools, respectively.

The board approved “Spanish Culture, Language and Customs,” a new course designed for Cinnaminson High School’s multiply-disabled special education classrooms. The course was implemented in September, but the full curriculum was not submitted for review until December.

These students are being offered a Spanish class that previously was unavailable to them as a graduation requirement, Cappello said.

In the board’s closing remarks, BOE newcomers Kathleen Quinn and Ed Kenney thanked their fellow board members and the public for welcoming them to their positions of service to Cinnaminson Public Schools.

“I look forward to learning more and more each time,” Quinn said.