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Board of Education Meeting February 22, 2024

The February 22 Elizabeth Board of Education business meeting at Donald Stewart Early Childhood Center School No. 51 opened with a moment of silence for Victor Mravlag School No. 21 teacher Anthony Joseph Aschettino and Chessie Dentley Roberts Academy School No. 30 security guard Victor DeOliveira.

Elizabeth Public Schools Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer presented the student representative to the Board for the January meeting, senior Jeremiah Laporte of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson (JVJ) STEM Academy. JVJ is honored to have Mr. Jeremiah Laporte serve as its student representative for the Elizabeth Board of Education. LaPorte possesses not only kindness and compassion but also remarkable leadership abilities. One of his notable accomplishments is his active involvement in JVJ STEM Academy’s fundraising committee, where his dedication and resourcefulness significantly contributed to the school’s success. Serving as the Chair of the JVJ STEM Academy Ambassadorship Community, LaPorte effectively bridged communication between students and administration, ensuring that student voices were valued and heard. His commitment to supporting his peers academically is admirable. LaPorte initiated and organized a peer tutoring program that has provided invaluable assistance to students in need. Additionally, his creation of a Buddy System facilitated the smooth integration of new students into the JVJ STEM Academy community, fostering a sense of welcome and support from the start. Beyond his school community, LaPorte 's influence extends as a national motivational speaker, advocate, and poet, with impactful appearances including engagements at the NJ Senate. His academic achievements are equally impressive, as he approaches his studies with rare seriousness and enthusiasm. LaPorte 's excellence in coursework and genuine passion for learning are evident in his insightful contributions to class discussions and his ability to connect concepts across disciplines. He is an exceptional student who embodies outstanding leadership, kindness, and dedication to both academics and community betterment and is the perfect fit to serve the Elizabeth Board of Education as JVJ STEM Academy’s student representative.

After LaPorte came forward to join the other members of the Board, Board President Charlene Bathelus Dorgely presented a video spotlighting Board member Jerry Jacobs who during the month of February is sponsoring the initiative Black History is American History. Throughout the month of February, Elizabeth Public Schools is promoting the vast and exceptional contributions of Black Americans to communities across the United States. Students will be engaged through lessons, activities, events, and performances that will help them to better understand and learn more about the African American experience.

Following the Board Member spotlight video, Hugelmeyer presented a video honoring all of Elizabeth Public Schools’ guidance counselors for their support throughout the year of our 29,000 students not only academically but also socially and emotionally, as well as the community updates for February.