CLARK — In a new innovation aimed at building a bridge of communication between local realtors and the Clark School District and Municipality, on October 15th a Realtors Day was hosted in the Clark School District. The event was an outstanding success, officials said, with a total of 26 local realtors signing up to participate in the day-long program.
The day commenced with an orientation meeting at the Municipal Building, where realtors were provided with a wealth of information contained in folders highlighting school district contact information, report card information, district data, and information on all four schools within the District. Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso addressed the breakfast orientation meeting, extolling the numerous advantages of living in Clark, as well as the municipal services and recreation programs available to all residents.
The mayor’s talk also underscored that Clark was ranked #24 in Best Places to Live in New Jersey, out of a total of 566 municipalities in New Jersey in the 2010 edition of New Jersey Monthly Magazine, and as #10 “Best Affordable Suburbs” nationally, according to Business Week. Mayor Bonaccorso was then followed by Clark Township Recreation Director Ralph Bernardo, School Security and Residency Officer Robert Sarnecki, and Supervisor of Physical Education, Health, and Athletics Gus Kalikas; each of who detailed their programs and operations. Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops served as master of ceremony, introducing each official prior to their presentation.
After the 45 minute orientation program at the Municipal Building, the realtors boarded buses to Frank K. Hehnly School, where they were provided a half hour tour of the facility and a synopsis of the education program by Building Principal Shirley Bergin. The process then continued with a visit to Carl H. Kumpf Middle School facilitated by Principal Jennifer Feeley and a stop at Valley Road School where Principal Joe Beltrani highlighted the instructional program and provided a tour of the building. Throughout the tours the principals were assisted in presenting their school programs by various students, teachers, and PTA presidents.
At 12:15 the realtors arrived at Arthur L. Johnson High School, where a luncheon was served by the district’s food service. At the luncheon the Realtors were welcomed to the District by Board of Education President Jill Curran; provided an oversight of the District instructional program, five year curriculum cycle, and curricular developments by Director of Curriculum and Instruction Vince Caputo; and addressed by Garwood Superintendent Dr. Teresa Quigley, who highlighted the positive sending-receiving relationship that exists between the two districts, with Garwood sending their high school students to Arthur L. Johnson High School.
After these addresses, Bonaccorso introduced 22nd Legislative District Assemblyman Jerry Green and Assemblywoman Linda Stender, both of whom were in attendance at the luncheon, highlighting the positive working relationship that exists among the legislators and the municipal government. Both Green and Stender spoke very positively about the Clark municipality and school district, with each highlighting facts and figures about the schools and the state of real estate in the community. Realtors in the audience and school officials were very impressed with their background knowledge and expertise in both education and real estate.
At the conclusion of the luncheon, Arthur L. Johnson High School Principal Richard Delmonaco greeted all in attendance and gave a thumbnail sketch of the 830 student high school. Delmonaco then introduced and played a custom created nine minute video titled “Life at ALJ” for all in attendance. The video underscored the wealth of academic courses, extracurricular activities, and sports programs; as well as the rigorous instructional program at the high school. At the conclusion of the video, high school student guides then led small groups of realtors around the high school, providing them with an intimate and detailed view of the high school. By 2:30 Realtors Day concluded, six hours after it had begun.
Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops said he was delighted with the day and the opportunity it presented. “The day’s mission was to build a bridge of communication and articulation between our municipality and schools with the local realtors. It’s important for our realtors to be abreast with our instructional program, course offering, school and district leadership, and educational data. Today’s program was an outstanding vehicle for doing just that. In addition, the day also underscored the positive working relationship that exists between the municipality and school district. Mayor Bonaccorso is truly a visionary who was a pioneer in establishing shared services, collaboration, and articulation between the municipality and schools.
“It was also delightful to have both Assemblyman Green and Assemblywoman Stender attend the luncheon in support of the day. All in attendance were highly impressed with their knowledge and support of Clark, and their in-depth knowledge of both the real estate field as well as the field of education. Certainly we are most fortunate to have such outstanding representation in Trenton. We look forward to continuing this Realtors Day on a bi-annual basis.
In the photograph above, school, township, and statewide leaders take a moment during Realtors Day in Clark to pose for a group photograph. Pictured from left to right are: Arthur L. Johnson High School Assistant Principal David Oliveira, Garwood Superintendent Dr. Teresa Quigley, Assemblywoman Linda Stender, Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, Board of Education President Jill Curran, Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops, Board of Education Member Carmen Brocato, Assemblyman Jerry Green, Board of Education Member Henry Varriano, and Arthur L. Johnson High School Principal Richard Delmonaco.
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