CLARK — At the Oct. 9 Clark Board of Education Meeting, the Board held a special “Showcase of Success” to celebrate the many accomplishments and honors bestowed upon students and staff alike, as well as the District’s climb from #101 to #40 in New Jersey Monthly Magazine’s ratings of public schools in New Jersey.
On hand to honor, speak, and hand certificates to the honored staff and students were Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, 18th Legislative District Assemblyman and General Assembly Education Chair Patrick Diegnan, and 22nd Legislative District Assemblywoman Linda Stender.
Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops served as moderator for the hour-long program in the packed Arthur L. Johnson High School auditorium. Knops began the program by congratulating the students and staff on their many accomplishments and thanking the parents for their support of the educational system and their active involvement in their children’s education. He then introduced Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, who personally thanked the administration, staff, students, parents, and community for their support of the township schools. Mayor Bonaccorso stated how proud he was of the schools and community on the impressive honor bestowed upon the District by New Jersey Monthly Magazine and the numerous honors received by staff and students alike.
Diegnan congratulated the District on their numerous accomplishments, stating that Clark was a model community and his only regret was that Clark wasn’t part of his Legislative District. The Assemblyman shared his upbringing as the child of immigrant parents, and the high esteem he holds of the value of hard work and education. He congratulated all in attendance at their remarkable achievements and expressed his delight in being the part of the celebration.
Stender was the third speaker of the evening. The Assemblywoman, who represents Clark, stated how proud she was of the community and schools for their numerous educational accomplishments. Assemblywoman Stender stated how much she enjoyed participating in events with the Clark School District, including the fourth graders’ visit to the Statehouse. The Assemblywoman congratulated district parents, students, and staff on the District’s numerous accomplishments.
The first recognition of the evening was bestowed upon Joe Bonaccorso, a senior at Arthur L. Johnson High School. Joe was recently designated an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction for his remarkable achievement of receiving the highest possible score, 5, on each of his Advanced Placement tests. Joe delivered well-articulated remarks to the packed auditorium, thanking his teachers for providing him with a quality education. Joe was presented his certificate by Diegnan and his uncle, Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso. Also recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction was recent Arthur L. Johnson High School Class of 2012 Graduate Jenna Van de Water. Due to her having an evening class at Rutgers University, Van de Water was unable to attend the ceremony.
The next recognized student was Arthur L. Johnson High School Freshman Victoria Gennaro, who was lauded for reporting a neighborhood fire to the fire authorities, and being the first reporter, thus averting a potentially disastrous situation. Both Mayor Bonnaccoro and Knops thanked Gennaro for her insight and proactivity in averting what could have been a disaster.
The next two groups to be recognized were Advanced Placement Teachers for their role in Arthur L. Johnson High School being named to the National College Board Honor Roll for the past two years based on an increased number of students both taking AP Tests and an increased number of students receiving a score of “3” or higher on their AP tests. Arthur L. Johnson Principal Richard Delmonaco read aloud the names of the AP Teachers while Diegnan and Mayor Bonaccorso presented the teachers with certificates.
This was then followed by teachers and administrators selected to present as part of the Celebration of Curriculum Workshop at the New Jersey School Boards Association Workshops in Atlantic City later this month. Knops commented that of 25 presentations in the Curriculum Fair, 12 would be made by Clark teachers and administrators. Director of Curriculum Ed Grande read aloud the staff member names as Diegnan and Mayor Bonaccorso presented certificates.
The next segment of the Showcase of Success was the honoring of students for remarkable educational achievements. Each of the four building principals called the names of students while Stender and Mayor Bonaccorso had the honor of presenting certificates. The groups of honored students included: Students receiving top scaled scores of 300 on NJASK-3 in Mathematics, NJASK-4 in Mathematics, NJASK-4 in Science, NJASK-5 in Mathematics, NJASK-6 in Mathematics, NJASK-8 in Mathematics, NJASK-8 in Science, and Sixth Grade Mathematics Students from the Carl H. Kumpf Middle School who came in first place in the Union County Math League.
The final presentation of the evening was to Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Andre Dias, who attained a top scaled score of 300 on the Grade 11 High School Proficiency Assessment in Mathematics. Andre was recognized by Delmonaco and presented his certificate by Stender and Mayor Bonaccorso.
After the evening’s award ceremony, honored guests, parents, the Board of Education, administration, and dignitaries adjourned to the high school library, where special cakes were made and served to honor the staff and students along with cookies and other refreshments.
Knops remarked, “It was a delightful evening that provided us with a wonderful forum to celebrate the success and achievement of our students, staff, and educational program. We are very proud of our schools and we appreciate the support we received from parents and guardians who filled the auditorium to join in the celebration. I was personally grateful to Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, and Assemblywoman Linda Stender for taking time from their busy personal and professional lives to come out in support of our schools. This was a wonderful night for our school community.”