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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Board Of Education


   On Tuesday Night the Bogota Board of Education held their monthly meeting and work session. This was the first meeting under the new plan to only to hold the meeting once a month. Before the regular meeting there was a special session in order to fill the vacant Board seat once held by John Mitchell. The seat became open when Mr. Mitchell was elected to Bogota Borough Council. Two candidates stepped forward to ask to be considered for the position. The first was former Bogota Mayor Pat McHale.  Mr. Mchale said that his experience in Borough politics could be helpful with the School Board in working with the Borough Government. He also talked about how he had two children educated by Bogota Public schools and wants to work to help the present and future students get the best education possible. Mr. McHale was question by Board member Mike Connors on a number of points.  One of Mr. Connors concerns was the the fact that Mr. McHale resigned the Mayor's office before his term was fulfilled. Mr. Connors wanted to know if Mr. McHale would stay on the Board even if things became "difficult". Mr. McHale said he would be committed to serving out the term fully. The next point by Mr. Connors was to remind  Mr. McHale that as Mayor he was critical of the Board of Education, and wondered why he would seek to join this Board. Mr. McHale said that he would try and help to work with the other members of the Board to solve the problems he saw  as Mayor.
   The next candidate was John Powner, Mr. Powner  had lost his seat in the last election of the Board of Education. Mr. Powner said that he would like to have a chance to continue his work on the Board talking about some of the improvements to the Borough Schools taht have happened over the last two years. Mr. Powner also cited that  Bogota has had the same Superintendent  for a number of years and how that consistency has helped bring a more positive attitude to the school system. Mr. Powner has questioned by  Board Member Charles Severino  about the fact that someone who had lost an election for the post he is now seeking  again  on how that would be looked upon by the voters of the Borough. Mr. Powner responded by saying that he the to do the best job he could for the Students and citizens of Bogota. After a short recess for discussion the Board voted, 4-2, to select Mr. Powner  as the ninth member of the Board of Education.
   At the regular schedule meeting  Superintendent  Dr. Pantoliano made some opening comments. She talked about her displeasure at the snow removal from around the two elementary schools.  She had hoped, given the week of Winter Vacation, the Borough would have had time to clear the streets near the schools for teachers to be able to park.  At the present time there is still a ban on street parking at those Schools and is upset the some of the teachers are being given tickets.  Dr. Pantoliano contacted Bogota Police Chief John Burke to allow some teachers to park near Bixby if their cars were identified. However teachers still were ticketed with Chief Burke explaining that some of the officers were not informed of that. Teachers Representative Vicki Sheppard, later in the meeting, said that some of those teacher had appealed their tickets in traffic court and had got them overturned.
  In other announcement  Dr. Pantoliano told of the progress in the school building themselves. In Bixby & Steen Schools work has been done to refresh the paint in stairwells. Leeks and the front steps at Steen have been fixed. And how a number of improvement at the High School have happened. Some of those were the replacing of the windows, which has allowed the High School to stay warmer this Winter. A new bathroom on the first floor, new flooring in the Media Center and replacing the old heat sensors with smoke detectors.
Another upgrade was the an improvement to the weight room behind the Gym which was able to be paid for by the money saved from the move of the School Board election to November. There has also been an upgrade in lighting at the High School & Steen School with the help of a grant from PSE&G.
  During the meeting it was voted that a added school day was approved by a 6-1 vote. The added day is Friday 18- April, and will be a single session day.
   At the start of  the regular meeting  the Board honoured the lady Bucs Volleyball  team on their season. Coach Brad DiRupo complimented his team on their fourth straight State Group 1 title and of the 240 school in New Jersey the Lady Bucs are ranked second.  Board President Laura Guimarra then present the team with a jacket and certificate of recognition for the accomplishment.
  The next Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday 18- March starting at 7:30p It will be held in the High School Cafeteria located on the second floor located at 2 Henry Luthin  Pl. Bogota, NJ. The Public is invited to attend.

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The four time State Group 1 Championship Lady Bucs with
 Board President Laura Guimarra & Superintendent  Dr. Pantoliano
A few of the players getting their jackets from Laura Guimarra 

 Pat McHale  being interviewed by the Board. 

 Mike Connors asking Mr. McHale a question.

John Powner being interviewed by the Board

 Charles Severino talking to Mr. Powner

 John Powner (L) being sworn in by Norma Tursi 


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