On Tuesday-19-December the Bogota Board of Education held their final meeting for 2023. During his reports Superintendent Mr. Damian Kennedy first introduced Student representative Ms. Ashley Urena reviewed the latest events that took place in the High School. Then Superintendent Kennedy announced that a third Fourth Grade classroom will be added in Steen School. He continued saying that over the Summer of 2024 the District will hold a re-registration for all Students attending Bogota Public Schools. This will ensure that all Student attending Bogota School are legal resident of the Borough. Superintendent Kennedy also informed the Trustees that additional vaping and smoke detectors will be added to the restrooms in both the High School and the Middle School. Then he introduced Arborist Ms. Elizabeth Stewart. She is also the Arborist of record for the Borough of Bogota and has been hired by the district to oversee and advise as the tree specialist for the refurnishing and reconstruction of Fiegel Field and the ball field on the eastern side of Olsen Park. Ms. Stewart evaluated 36 trees in the study area. This was up from 32 on the original survey. Her findings were that 29 trees need to be removed. The reason ranged from the change in grade that will occur to raise the elevation of the ground to be placed out of the flood plain. Also, many trees were suffering of physical damage, disease and infestation that causes them to unsafe in a publicly used area. She added that four Weeping Willows on the edge of the park could be retain if proper landscaping and maintenance is use. In Ms. Stewart report it is said that about 70 new trees of native species, will be planted. The full report can be read at: https://www.bogotaboe.com/domain/641
After this presentation and Public Comment that followed the Trustees voted on the Consent Agenda. All resolution were passed by unanimous vote. Items of note were the approval of the 2023 Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Grant, which will provide books for the school's libraries. Other grants approved will go for School Based Mental Health Provider activities through a partnership with Fairleigh Dickinson University. Along with an American Rescue Plan grant to fund afterschool programs. Also, the creation of a Student Activity fund.
Another item approved was the hiring of Ms. Stephanie Pontidis as a Vice Principal in the High School. She will enter the district in the Spring after her current commitment has ended. She will be a second Vice Principal in the High School joining current Vice Principal Dr. Malcom Lash. Dr Lash was approved to be the Athletic Director at the meeting on Tuesday-21-November stating in January of 2024.
The final order of business was to thank out-going trustee Mr. John Ortega. Mr. Ortega is an Alumni of Bogota High School Class of 2015. First Board President Mr. Frank Miranda thanked Mr. Ortega for his three years as a Trustee. Along with being the youngest person to be elected to the Board of Education. Mr. Miranda continued by saying that Mr. Ortega brought a new and younger voice to the Trustees. Superintendent Kennedy said he was honoured to be a Principal, Superintendent, and then a colleague all while watching him mature as a person.
In his remarks Mr. Ortega thanked everyone who helped educate and guide him as a Trustee. With that the meeting was adjoined for 2023. The next meeting will be on Tuesday-2-January-2024 at 7:00p This will be held in the High School Cafeteria located on the second floor of 2 Henry Luthin Pl. and online. This will be the swearing-in of the trustees who won the seats during the 2023 General Election. Videos of this, and other Board of Education meeting can be seen at; https://www.bogotaboe.com/Page/2145