ELIZABETH—On Tuesday, April 13, the Elizabeth Board of Education formally dedicated the district’s newly opened, Terence C. Reilly Gifted and Talented, School No. 7. The ceremony was held in the auditorium and attended by school and district representatives, as well as local, county and state dignitaries. The school is located at 436 First Avenue.
The namesake of School No. 7, Terence C. Reilly, was a former gifted and talented student at Elizabeth Public Schools who lost his life in a tragic motor vehicle accident. Terence was an outstanding scholar who excelled in academics and the arts. After his passing, Terence’s mother Katherine Reilly gave the district permission to name one of its gifted and talented programs after Terence. In honor of her son’s memory, Mrs. Reilly attended the dedication ceremony and shared a few words.
Pablo Muñoz, Superintendent of Schools, noted, “At Elizabeth Public Schools, we strive to continually offer our students the best educational opportunities and services. The opening of Terence C. Reilly Gifted and Talented, School No. 7 is an extension of this commitment and I am very proud to be a part of this milestone and to share it with the Reilly family.”
The ceremony featured keynote speaker Donna K. Vaupel, president of the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children. Vaupel, a former school administrator, has dedicated her efforts to promote excellence and leadership in gifted education through the development of appropriate programs, resource networks and community advocacy. She spoke about the importance of serving the needs of gifted students.
Highlights of the ceremony included the playing of the Reilly Tribute song; performances by the school chorus and band; food and beverages; and tours of the facility. School No. 7 boasts a remodeled facility, which combines original architecture from 1922 with modern day upgrades including classrooms equipped with StarBoards (white boards linked to computers for specialized instruction); and a state-of-the-art media center.
“The naming of School No. 7 after a former gifted and talented student is very significant. The name of Terence C. Reilly will provide many students with a role model that they can identify with throughout their academic careers,” said Elizabeth Board of Education Vice President, Carlos Trujillo.
Elizabeth Board of Education President, Francisco González believes “Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 serves as an example to everyone that through continued commitment and dedication, Elizabeth Public Schools can offer educational opportunities that are second to none.”
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