“…The most wonderful time of the year.” Many parents smile at this annual “Staples” TV commercial. I always loved the beginning of a school year – catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, the anticipation of new challenges. I cannot believe my son begins eighth grade, and I am elated he is going to Hoboken High School.
As a new trustee of the Hoboken Board of Education, I feel a special kind of excitement - the promise of an outstanding new year for the students of the district. There will be many friendly faces to greet them. Although there were recent retirements, many veteran and experienced teachers, staff, and administrators are returning to devote their talents to the children of Hoboken.
A special welcome to Mr. Reilly, who is taking the helm at Wallace – the district’s largest elementary school. Mr. Joy, the interim principal for Hoboken High School has returned. He has made outstanding improvements to the educational programs and facility in his short time with us. Three specialized educational consultants (Language Arts, Mathematics, and Special Education) offer direct, in-classroom support to the teaching staff. Ms. Coppola, formerly from Wallace School, is the new director of the popular Early Childhood Program.
We welcome Laurinda Pereira, the new principal at Connors, and Dr. Anzul, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Personnel. Fresh faces also include new music teachers at Connors, Calabro, and Hoboken High School, a new math teacher at the high school, a new Spanish teacher at Connors and new counselors and social workers throughout the district. We wish them all a successful year!
What is new and exciting for the students? The One-to-One Laptop Program will be starting for seventh and eighth graders, along with a professional development component for the staff. This season, the Rockin’ Redwings Band will be sporting new uniforms. Every classroom in the high school has been fitted with air conditioning units. The eighth graders have moved into the high school building. This change will provide the students access to a variety of programs, clubs, and challenging courses not accessible to them previously. For example, Algebra I for eighth grade returns, which was missing from the district for two years. The High School will be offering Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which parents were requesting for years.
Most importantly, many of the programs and improvements mentioned come at no cost to the district; instead, they utilize grants or gifts solicited by our administrative staff. We are especially grateful to Hoboken resident Eli Manning, whose generosity enabled the high school to acquire additional Smart Boards, LCD Projectors, design software, and other electronic equipment.
There will be many new friends joining the students, as enrollment has increased throughout the district. I am offering a warm welcome to the families, new and returning, and especially the students. It is going to be a great year. Study hard and have fun!
Jean Marie Mitchell
Hoboken Board of Education Trustee