The Haddonfield Memorial High School Board of Education meeting on June 29 began with student commendations.
- Elementary-school students who participated in the South Jersey Honors Orchestra. Sophia Baek, Eleanor Sheran, Rachel Peltz, Isaac Lau, Landon Cain, Max King, Ashley Mayer, Jackson Moon and Evan Pirouz
- 2023 South Jersey Festival Chorus participants. Avery Joseph, Kian Cooper, Sophia Nemeth, Louise Leuzzi, Florence Rosenberg, Catherine Ferrilli, Malania Benner, Eve Wadehra, Adalyn Simkus, Gus Kucer, Sarah Brunwasser, Alex Rapada, Blair Pattay and Leah Jones
- 2023 South Jersey Honors Band Elementary participants. Jillian Fitzpatrick, Rachel Grega, Charlotte Mastro, Josh Gorman, Megan Meany, Nora Lovett and Sarah Brumwasser.
One teacher explained that the students were submitted by the orchestra director to a committee based on a rubric, and that the director worked with the students before and after school to prepare them for a concert showcase. A similar process was followed for the South Jersey Festival Chorus and Honors Band participants.
During the meeting’s committee reports, Board President Jaime Grookett relayed some of the issues discussed by the policy committee regarding school facilities and names.
“We’ve been discussing this for years, but one of the things we discussed was in reference to naming buildings, schools, and facilities in response to monetary donations, versus naming something in honor of a person who played a critical role in the district,” Grookett noted.
“And we agreed … that it would be antithetical to the history and mission of the district to name a facility after an individual simply because of monetary donations.”
While current policy already reflects that argument, no action was taken to change it. Moving forward, the district will continue with potential names based on people worthy of commemoration and not those who pay for it.
Grookett reported during the meeting that the board’s policy committee has decided harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) cases will continue to be heard by the full board rather than a panel of three, another option.
The board also approved a number of new hires, including several student educators, bus drivers, educational assistants and teachers.
“We’re doing pretty well; we still have some hard-to-find jobs,” said school Superintendent Chuck Klaus. “There are some areas that are very challenging, so we’re hoping for those.”
In a brief update on Cooley Hall – a building on the Hopkins Parcel the district received in a land swap with the borough – board member Michael Catalano noted that the commissioners have it in their capital improvement plan to pay the cost of building removal, though there is no set date for that yet.
The next board of education meeting will be Thursday, July 20, at 7 p.m. at the high school.