VOD - August 25, 2014 & September 22, 2014 Board of Education Meetings
Due to technical difficulties, the above meetings have not been posted to the VOD website (http://somatv.pegcentral.com/).
We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and hope to
have it resolved soon. You may view the board meeting agendas by
clicking on the following links: August 25, 2014 September 22, 2014
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The school district posted this update today with information on the next public forums related to the superintendent search and the notification that the next school board meeting on October 13 will be held at Columbia High School:
Board of Education is pleased by the thoughtfulness and volume of community
input to the superintendent search process.Approximately 650 online surveys have been completed and there have been
200 participants involved in interviews, focus groups and open forums.
There are two remaining opportunities to provide
input to the development of the leadership profile and search criteria that
will be used to identify and evaluate superintendent candidates:
Monday, October 6thin the District Meeting Room, 525 Academy St,
Elementary & Middle School Parents focus group 7:00-8:15 pm Open
Forum, open to the community 8:15 - 9:30 pm
Thursday, October 9thin the Columbia High School Library
and Support Staff 3:45 - 4:45
Middle & High School parents focus group 7:00-8:15 pm Open Forum,
open to the community 8:15 - 9:30 pm.
Monday, October 13th the Board will open in public session in the Columbia High
School library and move immediately to closed session to review the leadership
profile and finalize the superintendent search criteria developed based on
community input.Following the closed
session, the Board will return to public session at 8:30 pm.When the Board returns to public session, Dr.
Nunery of HYA Associates will give an overview of the leadership profile and
search criteria. There will then be an opportunity for hearings from
individuals and delegations (public speaks).This will be followed by a discussion and vote by the Board on the
superintendent search criteria.
On Monday, November 10th the Board will meet in
executive session to select the candidates that will be invited for a first
round of interviews.
first and second round of interviews will take place in December.The Board will invite the 3 BOE candidates
that win in the November 4th BOE election to observe these interview sessions
and participate in the pursuant Board discussions about candidate
qualifications.However, only current
Board members will be involved in selecting the candidates that return for the
second round of interviews. The identity of the candidates participating in
the first and second round of interviews will be kept confidential.
the Board of Education Reorganization meeting in early January, the Board will
select thefinalist(s), conduct further
interviews and approve a new superintendent.The new superintendent will start on or before July 1, 2015
grateful to everyone who has provided input and thank the community for their
cooperation in this process.
Although a bail reduction was denied for accused Columbia
High School teacher Nicole Default on Friday, her attorney believes it may be lowered
in the future. He also said she may be able to cover the current $500,000 bail
amount as well.
“As we accumulate additional information, if we did
come into possession of evidence or information favorable to a defense position
there would be a justification for a renewed bail reduction application,” said
Timothy Smith, Dufault’s attorney, who spoke with Maplewoodian.com Monday. “There
is also the possibility that our client will make bail. A bond could be posted,
she has an extensive family network who care deeply for her.”
Dufault, a nine-year CHS teacher, was arrested two weeks
ago and charged with sexual assault on five 15-year-old students. Prosecutors
also confirmed the existence of a video that allegedly shows Dufault engaged in
sexual activity with at least one of the victims. The 35-year-old mother of two
was denied a bail reduction Friday.
Smith also pointed out that, contrary to earlier reports
by some news media at the time of her arrest, Dufault’s three- and five-year-old
children were not taken from her custody. He confirms they were sent to live
with family members at Dufault’s request.
“I dispute the suggestion that my client’s children were
involuntarily removed from her care and control,” Smith said. “To the contrary,
these allegations, which my client is presumed innocent of, have nothing to do
with her children and by all accounts my client is a model parent.”
He said state Department of Children and Families officials
visited her home prior to her arrest and found no improper care.
“It is my understanding that an independent assessment
by the state deemed my client’s children to be very well-kept,” Smith said. “Any
suggestion to the contrary is truly repulsive given the hardship that she endured
during pregnancy complications and how hard my client worked as a single mother
to care for her children.”
Smith was referring to what he has previously stated is
a medical condition that might have played a part in the alleged incidents, a
shunt inserted in Dufault’s brain to stem fluid build-up after an incident during
one of her pregnancies. He said the shunt is manipulated and operated by an electronic
He also claims she has been a single mother for at least
a year after a break-up with her ex-husband.
“In the end, this case may not be about all it seems at
this time,” Smith contends. “Once the facts are fully developed this case is
not going to appear as it is being currently reported.”
Dufault is due in court again on October 24 for a
pre-indictment conference, Smith said.
THEATER PROJECT PRESENTS THREE PLAYS IN THREE WEEKS AS A LIGHT-HEARTED SALUTE TO EDUCATION
(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- The Theater Project may be on a
mission to find out whether there's a limit to the number of roles one
actor can play in a single production. Each of the next three plays
presented by The Theater Project will challenge a cast member's
metamorphosis quotient. The first show, RUSH LIMBAUGH IN NIGHT
SCHOOL (October 2 – 5) is a fantasia about a famous conservative talk
show host's foray into liberal land and Greenwich Village. In this one
man epic, local favorite Harry Patrick Christian plays "the great man
from the right" and transforms into 25 of the "lefties" he encounters on
his journey. MRS. MANNERLY (October 9 -- 12) is playwright
Jeffrey Hatcher's semi – autobiographical retelling of the etiquette
classes he endured as a boy in Ohio, taught by a lady with a very
mysterious past. Jason Gillis plays Jeffrey and each of his little
classmates, and Noreen Farley is the mysterious lady. PS 69 – A
TEACHER GROWS IN BROOKLN (October 16 – 19) will feature its author,
Susan Jeremy, portraying the teachers, administrators, parents and
students she encountered on her way to becoming an educator. Ms. Jeremy
takes the audience through the bureaucratic mazes and chaotic corridors
of the New York City school system, illustrating the ironies and
absurdities teachers encounter daily. Ms. Jeremy has performed this
acclaimed one-woman show throughout the United States and Europe. "New
Jersey seemed like the next logical step," she commented. The New York
Times said: "Ms. Jeremy slips seamlessly in and out of 24 roles." Artistic
Director Mark Spina explained, "A single actor creating multiple
characters, using only their voice and body, is an enormous challenge,
and a celebration of talent and theatricality --- a real joy to watch,
and we are proud to be able to share this with our patrons." Two
other characteristics common to all of the productions in the three
week series is that each is set in a school of one kind or another, and
each one is a humorous salute to educators. Teachers can receive
discounted tickets by contacting info@TheTheaterProject.org . Actors will greet the audiences for talkbacks after each performance. All
three shows will take place at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing
Arts, 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ. Tickets are available at www.thetheaterproject.org and at 908-809-8865. At the door admission is $30 adults, $15 students. Special discounts
are available when buying tickets prior to October 1: purchase tickets
to see three plays for $45, two plays for $40, or one play for $25. The
Theater Project, an award-winning company that has just celebrated its
20th anniversary, presents its main stage season at the Burgdorff Center
in Maplewood. It offers subsidiary programs, including classes for kids
in theater, juggling and music, in Essex and Union Counties, all on
display at their web site: TheTheaterProject.org After September's back-to-school frenzy subsides, come relax at The Theater Project!
Maplewood Police sent this out as an addition to the earlier police report:
On September 17that about 10:20 PM Maplewood Police received a
call from a resident of Yale St. The resident reported that a male was seen in
the caller's rear yard with his genitals exposed. Upon being observed, the
suspect fled the area. The only description of the suspect is that he is a
dark-skinned black male about 5'8" tall, with a slightly muscular build,
wearing light blue jeans and a red belt. Officers responded to the area and
conducted an extensive yard to yard search; however they were unable to locate
any suspects. Detectives are actively investigating the incident.