HOWELL – At the most recent Howell Board of Education meeting, officials honored members of the Howell Middle School North’s Hornets cheerleading team and the Howell Middle School South’s Huskies wrestling team.
Girls cheerleading Coach Leonardis, alongside members of the board and Middle School North Vice Principal Joseph Fiore, presented each member of the team with a certificate of recognition for their hard work throughout the season.
“This year’s accomplishments took hard work and dedication,” said Fiore.
Following this, Coaches Veracierta and Morello of the Middle School South wrestling team, alongside Fiore and board members Cristy Mangano and Jennifer Okerson, presented each member with a certificate of recognition for their accomplishments. Veracierta noted that the team “dominated the competition,” this season.
“What an amazing team this is,” he said, remarking that they were ranked within the top 20 teams in the nation.
During the meeting, O’Brien and Superintendent Joseph Isola also took a moment to honor the memory of a beloved Howell teacher that recently passed.
“It’s a great loss,” said O’Brien.
Barbara Fernandez was an employee with the district for 30 years, 29 of which she spent working at Taunton Elementary. Fernandez passed away on Feb. 16 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
“Her legacy is the impact she has had on people,” said O’Brien. “She will be missed.”
Isola called her a “staple of Taunton Elementary School,” noting that when she began teaching, she taught 6th grade, then moved on to teach 5th grade, and finally ended teaching 2nd grade for the last 12 years.
“She was a teacher, that defined her life,” said Isola.
He noted that the board plans to officially honor her memory with her family members at a future board meeting. They also plan to honor her with brick in the school garden.
MaryRose Malley, Chairperson to the Operations Committee, noted that all classrooms will be outfitted to have air conditioning over the next 18 months. She proudly announced that these units will be added with no additional impact on the district’s budget.
She also remarked that the Howell Basketball Club has made a generous donation of six backboards to the district. Four of these backboards will go to Land O’ Pines Elementary and two will go to Newbury Elementary.
To close her report, Malley requested permission from president O’Brien and other board members to send a letter to the Solid Waste Advisory Council and the Board of Chosen Freeholders advocating for a more in depth traffic study related to the proposed waste transfer station at Randolph Rd.
Board members were strongly in favor, expressing concern over the potential effects to the district’s bussing routes and schedules due to the traffic changes associated with the site.