November 21 Elizabeth Board of Education Meeting
The November 21 Elizabeth Board of Education business meeting at Dr. Antonia Pantoja School No. 27 opened with a moment of silence for retired Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. Health and Public Safety Academy teacher Tammy O’Farrell.
During the meeting, Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer presented the student representative to the Board for the November meeting, senior Ashley Giraldo of Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy. Giraldo has shown tremendous dedication to helping others. She is currently the treasurer of student government club at Jefferson Arts Academy and continues to be an active leader in the St. Jude's Foundation, having raised $3,000 for the foundation in the Spring of 2023, surpassing the goal by $500. Giraldo maintains a 4.3 GPA while being enrolled in three AP courses and remaining in the top 2% of her graduating class. She has been attending fashion workshops at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York since seventh grade and achieved one of her goals by being accepted as a student there beginning in the Fall of 2024. Giraldo was recently selected to be a part of the Mark Cuban Foundation Artificial Intelligence Bootcamp, learning about AI and its impact on social media, smart home assistance, facial recognition, and self-driving cars. She continues to be a strong, yet gentle, voice for her school community, bringing the concerns of others to the school government club while involving school administration. She also always makes sure everyone's needs are met whether it is food or clothing collections or academic interventions.
Student performances that took place prior to the official start of the meeting included “El Jibaro” by Lemon Anderson, a poem performed by School No. 27 student Crystal Hernandez, and “La Placita,” a dance routine performed by students of School No. 27.
The Board recognized two heroes of Winfield Scott School No. 2, seventh grade student Tyshawn Odney and school nurse Linette Yanin Castro, whose quick action and timely medical assistance helped save the life of a School No. 2 student. The Board also recognized the Elizabeth High School Marching Band parents and guardians for their extraordinary involvement in supporting and helping fundraise for the band as well as band director Miguel A. Bolivar for his guidance of the band throughout the fall season.