EBOE Meeting February 15, 2023
At the February 15 Elizabeth Board of Education meeting at George Washington Academy of Science & Engineering School No. 1, the meeting opened with a moment of silence for the passing of former Winfield Scott School No. 2 teacher Susan B. Ackerman, former John Marshall School No. 20 teacher Christine E. Kroyer, and former Madison-Monroe School No.16 cook manager Joanne R. Russo.
Several performances took place before the start of the meeting that were inspired by and in celebration of Black History Month, including “Stand by Me” performed by students from Nicholas Murray Butler School No. 23; “It’s a Different World, H.B.C.U Know,” Part 1 performed by students from Mabel G. Holmes School No. 5; African-American quotes and “You-Nique” performed by students from Jerome Dunn Academy of Mathematics, Technology, and the Arts School No. 9; “I am Somebody” performed by the First Ladies from both George Washington Academy of Science & Engineering School No. 1 and Jerome Dunn Academy of Mathematics, Technology and the Arts School No. 9; “Underground Train”, “Wade in the Water”, “Down by the River Side”, and “This Little Light of Mine” performed by students from George Washington Academy of Science & Engineering School No. 1; “Strength Behind Us, Greatness Ahead of Us” performed by students from Winfield Scott School No. 2; “It’s a Different World, H.B.C.U Know,” Part 2 performed by students from Mabel G. Holmes School No. 5; an African dance routine performed by students from Benjamin Franklin School No. 13; “Freedom is Coming” performed by students from Nicholas Murray Butler School No. 23; and “My Mind & Pledge”, a poem written and recited by Jeremiah Laporte, student from JVJ STEM Academy.
Also prior to the official start of the business meeting, Reverend George Britt, pastor of Mount Teman AME Church, introduced retired Elizabeth Police Department detective Darin Williamson of the NAACP Elizabeth Branch who presented the NAACP Elizabeth Branch 2022 Freedom Fund Gala Education Award to Board President Iliana Chevres. The award was received by the Amistad Collaborative (a collaboration among Mount Teman AME Church, United Youth of New Jersey, NAACP Elizabeth Branch, New Jersey Association of Black Educators, and Elizabeth Public Schools) at the November gala.
During the meeting, the student representative of the Board from Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, Camila Conza, was presented by school principal Dr. Mona Wanis. Conza is class president of the student government who is a very active leader within in her school community, meeting regularly with school administration to ensure student concerns and voices are heard and addressed. Her leadership extends outside the school, serving as a youth leader for the Institute of Music for Children. She loves to work with children and inspires them to be young artists by helping them to develop their creativity and imagination. Her generosity, reliability, and leadership make Camila an excellent person to serve as the student representative to the Board on behalf of Jefferson Arts Academy.