Officials: Holly Glen Elementary School Home and School Association robbed of approximately $8,000

Holly Glen Home and School Association looks to turn a negative to a positive.

A police report from the Monroe Township Police Department surfaced Thursday afternoon alerting residents of an alleged theft made by a resident.

The report stated Anne Marie Tobey, a Williamstown resident and former Holly Glen Home and School Association treasurer, depleted the HSA bank account, which had approximately $8,000 in it.

Through an investigation, it was determined Tobey acted alone and no other HSA board members were involved in any wrongdoing. Tobey was charged with theft and released pending court, the report stated.

Tobey could not be reached for comment.

While Holly Glen has been no stranger to adversity in the past, HSA President Regina Iacovelli, HSA Vice President Rosa Aversa and Assistant Superintendent Greg Cappello believe this is the perfect opportunity for the community to rally together and come back stronger than ever.

“We plan to work with the town, the school district is guiding us, helping us through fundraisers to make the money back,” Iacovelli said. “We expect payment from the treasurer once court is finished, but we know that’s not going to happen as fast as we’d like for it to. We hope to rally the community to help us spin this into an ‘all hands in’ project, to make us come back to where we need to be. The money was for the children for when we got back to Holly Glen. We had a lot of big plans for them, they’ve been through a lot – the families and the children – and we plan on doing whatever it takes to get them back to where they deserve to be.”

“Some of the important things we were talking about last week was the family atmosphere of Holly Glen and how generation after generation from Holly Glen has produced this really strong Home School Association,” Cappello said. “One of the things we’re looking forward to when school re-opens in September, which we’re doing everything in the world we can do to make sure it does, is returning the family atmosphere and supporting the students and parents the best we can.”

A true testament to the family atmosphere is Aversa, an 11-year veteran of the HSA who doesn’t even have a student in Holly Glen anymore.

“I’m going on 12 years being there,” she said. “Everybody there, the staff, they look out for your kids. They’re great people.”

Holly Glen alumnus and current Councilman Pat O’Reilly said his goal for this situation is in line with HSA’s, for the town to rally together.

“Whatever support we can lend, we’re going to give,” O’Reilly said in terms of the town council helping remedy the situation.

The HSA uses its money to benefit the school in any way it can. For example, it uses funds for agenda books, assemblies, field trips, picnics and even maintaining the school mascots, Holly and Glen, two geckos. When the school was closed, Iacovelli sought donations for misplaced teachers and received such an outpouring from the community she had to use her garage as a store for the supplies where teachers could come and shop around for what they needed. She received enough money through donations where she could create a wish list online where teachers could place an order with her and she would go out and pick up the supplies for them.

On paper, the funds for the HSA are very important. The message from those close to the current situation is that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Whenever we have a need for school and something happens where we need to get some money together, Williamstown has a great history of supporting,” Cappello said. “We’re going to come up with some fundraising ideas and we’re hoping the community will rally around us the way they always have and we have a lot of faith that they will. We’ve been told the money is not the problem, we’ll fundraise that, we’ll get it. I have a lot of faith in that. This really is Holly Glen overcoming more adversity to make sure the school is as great as its every been and even better for the future. This is just another opportunity for us to adapt and overcome.”

Email Hollyglenhsa@monroetwp.k12.nj.us for donation information.