Last night’s Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education meeting featured a lengthy public hearing section, where some residents voiced concerns over the appointment of Lorraine Taddei-Graef to a volunteer stipend position.
Several members of the public expressed concerns over giving Taddei-Graef a stipend for a detention proctor position.
Taddei-Graef was one district employee who was apart of the diploma-mill scandal in 2008, along with former superintendent James Wasser. The district said Taddei-Graef received her doctorate from an unaccredited university, and as a result her salary was cut by the district. The teacher has now petitioned the state to reverse that, and a decision from the state has yet to come down.
Board attorney Steve Edelstein said the position of detention proctor is a volunteer position, and the district cannot deny Taddei-Graef because it could be seen as punishment for exercising her rights to petition the state.
“It is unlawful to retaliate for filing a legal petition,” Edelstein said.
The stipend for the position is hourly.
Board President Heshy Moses said, “This is not a plum position,” adding that he does not know many that would be willing to sit with kids for 45 minutes in detention.
Social studies presentation
The meeting also featured a presentation from Social Studies teachers of the district, with what they believe are the essentials of their curriculum, message and goals.
The teachers said the curriculum includes project and discussion based learning. The teachers presented a video from Marlboro High School, featuring students talking about important issues around the world, including war, human rights, global education and poverty.
Howell teacher Stan Koba even played the guitar and sang a song to the board, a variation of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin.’” Koba tailored the lyrics to fit the district and address the board.
Superintendent Charles Sampson said the district Back-to-School Night events were a success, though his plan to visit two of the six schools in the night proved unrealistic. Sampson said he only made it to Marlboro High School, but will rotate between the schools every year.
Sampson is continuing to visit each high school on a monthly basis, meeting with principals and students and sitting in on classes.
“It has been more informative than any report I could read through,” he said.
The superintendent also reported that Howell Principal Zina Duerbig, who was voted NJ Principal of the Year, recently got to visit Washington D.C. with other principals from around the county. While visiting Congressman Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) office, she ran into three FRHSD graduates working in Smith’s office.
Sampson said he doesn’t know of many districts that would have not just one, but three graduates in a congressman’s office.
The district has applied through No Child Left Behind for a grant to find an iPad program. The district is looking to train three to four teachers in each school and figure out how to use the technology under best practices.
The board voted on the entire 24-page agenda with one vote. Agenda items included stipend position approvals, bus driver position and stipend approvals, field trip approvals and more. The board agenda can be found on its website.
The next FRHSD board meeting is a work session on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.. Public session will convene around 8 p.m.