The Monroe Township Board of Education conducted a Zoom meeting on Nov. 19 and discussed the Teacher of the Year award as well as returning students to school.
The board named Monica Giagunto from Radix Elementary as the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year for her dedication to students and the district.
“Ms. Giagunto demonstrates a passion for learning: She is excited and cares about students. She exemplifies that ‘can do and will do’ attitude,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Ficke. “Monica exemplifies teaching that we see in many of our Monroe educators and her enthusiasm isn’t just contained in the classroom, but it permeates the entire school community.”
Ficke presented a plan for students from fifth to 12th grade to return to school. Incoming students in fifth and ninth grade were able to participate in a safe and socially distant orientation when schools reopened on Nov. 16. Both school ambassadors and members of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) were available to help students navigate hallways and classrooms.
“Having been at the middle school and the high school during the orientation, there was just a level of positivity and excitement that our students and staff brought to the orientation,” Ficke reported.
All schools have signage about how to wear masks and keep socially distant in the hallways. According to Ficke, the schools keep an eye on rising COVID-19 numbers and will continue to communicate with students and parents.
“We are recognizing the increase in the positivity rates and we will be reviewing the New Jersey Department of Health and the Gloucester County Department of Health guidelines,” she noted.
In other news:
- Due to COVID, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) winter sports have been delayed, including basketball and winter cheer, until January; swimming and track until February; and wrestling and girls’ volleyball until March.
- During the meeting’s public session, emails between Board President Tony Ayres and members of Monroe Township Council were questioned. According to Ayres, the issue is legally pending and could not be discussed by the board.
- Deb DeFelice, of the nonprofit organization Lead the Way, mentioned a Stuff the Bus event next month and asked residents to bring food and clothing for those in need.
The next board of education meeting will take place on Thursday, Dec. 17.