BOE and teachers union reach tentative agreement on contracts

Teachers honored at latest BOE meeting

Teachers were the focal point at the latest Monroe Township Board of Education meeting. Interim Superintendent of Schools Richard Perry made an announcement regarding the contract between the Monroe Township Education Association and the board.

“We have come to a tentative agreement with the teachers union,” Perry stated. “I’d like to thank the negotiations committee and also the teachers union for a tentative, successful agreement. More will be forthcoming on that.”

During public comment, Williamstown High School senior Paige Colucci spoke about the importance of the two parties reaching an agreement.

“I had originally come here to speak about the contract, and although it is still being ratified, I still have something to say that I think should be heard,” she said. “I wanted to say, if it weren’t for my teachers, I wouldn’t be trying to go to college right now. Up until a couple of months ago, I had completely written college off.”

Colucci credited a few of her teachers for being instrumental in her life, including Jon Jernegan, and Magan Winters. However it was one of her wrestling coaches, John DeAngelis, who was the most influential.

“At the start of my wrestling season, Mr. DeAngelis told me I would have the biggest mountains to climb, but with that would come big success,” she said. “I’ll be honest with you – wrestling completely changed my life. I have not gone back to normal yet. Every day when I get to third period, I forget about everything, he puts a smile on my face every single day. … He truly believes I could be successful at whatever I put my heart into. He always believed in me, which made me believe in me.”

According to Colucci, time is the most precious resource when it comes to teaching because it’s something that can’t be regenerated.

“The people I mentioned, along with hundreds of others, the teachers here today, constantly dedicate their time to their students. With all of this being said, I would like to personally thank the board for moving forward in negotiations and potentially giving our teachers the contracts they deserve,” she added.

In other news:

  • The board honored the district’s teachers of the year at the meeting. Elizabeth LaPalomento from the high school, Michelle Schill from the middle school, Michelle Brower from Holly Glen Elementary School, Cheryl Batchelor from Oak Knoll Elementary School, Holly Phomsavath from Radix Elementary School and Kathleen Ungvarsky from Whitehall Elementary School were honored by the board and administration.
  • The board reappointed Perry as the interim superintendent of schools effective July 1 through June 30, 2020.
  • High school student and Boy Scout Nicholas Kushner presented his concept for his Eagle Scout project to the board. Kushner requested approval to build a GaGa pit at Oak Knoll Elementary School. It is an octagonal pit used for a game similar to dodgeball. The board approved his project.
  • The next board meeting is scheduled for May 2 at 7 p.m. at Williamstown High School.