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The Ewing Public Schools Board of Education BOE Briefs: October 25th, 2021

Immediate Release

October 26th, 2021  

The Ewing Township Board of Education held its monthly meeting on October 25th in the Fisher Middle School auditorium.  

The public session of the Board of Education meeting was live-streamed to the public beginning at 8:00PM. The meeting information and livestream link was widely communicated to the community via Twitter and posted on the district website.   

Board President Lisa McConnell opened the Board of Education meeting at 7:00PM.  The only action the Board took at that time was to move to a closed session where it reviewed a limited number of confidential items.   

Chief School Administrator, Michael Nitti then introduced Ewing High School student ambassador to the Board, Thomas Vellenga.  Thomas Vellenga is a three-year member, two-year officer, and current co-president of the Ewing High School Student Council. He is also a Peer Leader, a member of the National Honor Society, a drum major for the Marching Band, and a captain for the Varsity Soccer, Winter Track, and Spring Track teams.  Thomas shared with the Board and public that EHS Fall Spirit Week is underway, EHS Football clinched the division title and a play-off berth with a 29-3 home win against Northern Burlington on Friday night.  Freshman Teagan Walker finished 10th in the girls 5K at the CVC Cross Country Championships. Winter sports teams started to hold informational meetings to gear up for the upcoming season.  Ewing High School students are also thankful that the district is continuing to promote COVID vaccinations for the student population.  

On the Counseling Department side at Ewing High School Financial Aid Night and Naviance Parent Night were both successful with a great turnout and participation.  The Counseling Department is hosting an AP Parent Night on November 11th to be followed by Ewing High School Open House on November 18.  Both events are virtual.  Over 100 sophomores, juniors and seniors took the PSAT at EHS on October 16th and the SATs are scheduled for Saturday, November 6th at EHS.  This week EHS will host a virtual admissions meeting with TCNJ, Rider University and the University of Miami.   It is RED RIBBON WEEK and this year’s theme is “Drug Free Looks Like Me”.  The high school also embraced the Week of Respect and School Violence Awareness week during the month of October with spirit days and targeting messaging and information via social media platforms.   

In his Superintendent’s Report, Chief School Administrator Michael Nitti thanked the school community for their continued support during these challenging times.  He then introduced Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ishibashi and Director of Counseling Services and Assessment Dr. Antoni who presented on the efforts of the Ewing Schools to focus on students’ mental and emotional health during this public health crisis.  The presentation, based around the district theme of “Staying Strong-Moving Forward” will be made available on the district website and also contains an overview of resources for families.

The Board then moved into the “Superintendent Recommendations” section of the Agenda.  Some items of note:

Finance and Operations

The Board of Education approved the School Board of Election polling hours.  The Board must conform to the laws of the State regarding polling hours for the school board election held on the same day as the general election.  This year the hours that polling places are required to be open are from 6:00AM to 8:00PM on November 2nd.  A reminder that this is a Professional Development Day for staff-N0 SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS.

The Board of Education approved the Annual Facilities Checklist – Health and Safety Evaluation of School Buildings.  This checklist covers regulations by NJDOE, NJDCA, NJUCC and OSHA.  Emphasis is on the health and safety of students and staff even in the absence of a specific Statue or Code. 

The Board of Education approved a Transportation Jointure with Delsea Regional High School District for the 2021-2022 school year.

Curriculum and Instruction 

The Board of Education approved the TCNJ tutors at Fisher Middle School. 

The Board of Education approved TCNJ Clinical Practicum students at Lore Elementary School. 

The Board of Education approved Rider Interns at Fisher Middle School and Ewing High School. 

The Board of Education approved a Princeton Practicum student at Fisher Middle School. 

Personnel 

Dearden Returns to Helm EHS Boys Basketball; Basich Takes Over EHS Wrestling 

Longtime EHS coach and educator Shelly Dearden is returning as the head coach of Ewing High School Varsity Boys Basketball, a position she held for fourteen years with tremendous success. 

Under Dearden’s leadership, the Blue Devils won five sectional titles from 2011-2017. EHS Boys Basketball won a state championship in 2012 and went to four other state title games during this impressive stretch. 

Dearden also coached the EHS 1998-99 Girls Basketball and the 1991 Girls Soccer team to state championships. 

Dearden stepped down from her coaching position in 2019 upon retiring as a teacher, but now returns to lead a program with a rich history of achievement. 

Dearden will be assisted by veteran hoops coach Brian Dudeck and former EHS Boys Basketball All Stater and All-Time CVC scoring leader, Trey Lowe, who went on to play collegiately at Temple. 

“We are happy to welcome back Coach Dearden as the head coach of Blue Devils basketball,” EHS Principal Ed Chmiel stated.  “I truly believe it harkens back to a proud past, and points to a bright future.” 

Ewing High School Wrestling also features a former head coach returning to a leadership role, as longtime Ewing Schools educator Darrin Basich will take over the program this season. 

A veteran wrestling coach and former collegiate grappler at Slippery Rock University, Basich brings a strong skillset and significant experienced to the position.  His previous stint at head wrestling coach at EHS featured a league championship and he also served as the head coach at Notre Dame High School. 

Basich takes over a program that had a resurgence prior to the pandemic, featuring impressive performances at the county and state level by standout grapplers like Wayne Staub and Lavinsky Collins.  Basich will also benefit from a growing wrestling program at Fisher Middle School. 

Basich will be assisted by EHS teacher Sam DeCavalcante.  

“Darren is a student-centered educator who has a wealth of expertise and experience,” EHS Athletic Director Jim

Woidill commented. “We think the program is in strong and capable hands.” 

Former EHS track standout Danny Johnson will take over the Blue Devils Winter Track Program.  Ewing High

School won a sectional championship in winter track in 2020.  Johnson brings extensive experience to his role,

working with track athletes in a number of club and high school programs.    Alexis Terzian will assist Johnson. 

Other EHS Coaching Positions for the Winter 21-22 Season

Daniel Montferrat        Baskeball (G) Coach

Jamie VanHise             Basketball (G) Assistant Coach

David Angebranndt    Bowling Coach 

Amanda Salvitty        Cheerleader Coach

Erin Devlin                 Swim Coach

Michael Ficci             Swim Assistant Caoch

Ewing Schools Welcomes New Staff! 

Kelly Haines will be joining Antheil Elementary School as a Special Education Teacher.  Ms. Haines received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Holy Family University and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. 

Matt Nemes is joining the district’s team of School Security Coordinators.  Mr. Nemes is a retired police officer who has also served in school security leadership roles for the Lawrence and Hopewell Valley schools.  Nemes will be based at Ewing High School but also serve the other district schools. 

Trey Lowe joins Ewing High School as a Teacher’s Assistant.  Lowe has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Temple University.   

Danny Johnson joins the staff of the O’Brien Academy as a Teacher’s Assistant.  Johnson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Strayer University. 

Melanie Rodas-Soto joins the Antheil School Health Office.  Rodas-Soto is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Chamberlain University. 

The following policies and regulations were approved by the Board as “First Readings”.  After review and approval by the Board at its next meeting in November they will become formal Board policy

                  Policy P2415 No Child Left Behind Programs (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P2415.02 Title I Fiscal Responsibilities (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P2415.05 Pupil Surveys (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P2415.20 No Child Left Behind Complaints (Mandated (Revised)

                  Regulation R2415.20 No Child Left Behind Complaints (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P4125 Employment of Support Staff Members (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P6360 Political Contributions (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P8330 Student Records (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P9713 Recruitment by Special Interest Groups (Mandated) (Revised)

                  Policy P2415.01 Academic Standards, Academic Assessments and Accountability (Mandated) (Abolished)

                  Policy P2415.03 Highly Qualified Teachers (Mandated) (Abolished) 

The following policies and regulations were approved by the Board as “Second Readings” and are now formal Board policy: 

                  Policy P1648.13 School Employee Vaccination Requirements (Mandated) (New)

                  Policy P6115.01 Federal Awards/Funds Internal Controls-Allowability of Costs (Mandated) (New)

                  Policy P6115.02 Federal Awards/Funds Internal Controls-Mandatory Disclosures (Mandated) (New)

                  Policy P6115.03 Federal Awards/Funds Internal Controls-Conflict of Interest (Mandated) (New)

                  Policy P6311 Contracts for Goods or Services Funded by Federal Grants (Mandated) (Revised)                    

The next meeting of the Board of Education will take place on Monday, November 22, 2021 at 7:00PM at Fisher Middle School where Principal Kelly Kawalek will present on Lore School.