In a decision that will be welcomed news to residents, the Board Of Education (BOE) has reviewed Policy 1340 – the policy that addressed the removal of Charles Costanzo’s name from the Aldene School sign – and will propose to return his name to the sign which was specifically dedicated to him in 2003. His name was removed from it in the summer of 2010 in accordance with policy 1340.
The first reading of the amended policy was read into the record by Patrick Spagnoletti, the school superintendent, during the January 18, 2011 BOE meeting. The proposed amended policy reads as follows:
The Roselle Park Board Of Education recognizes that on occasion a school and/or community-based organization may wish to honor a retiring building principal with an interior building commemorative plaque in celebration of his/her years of service to the school district. So as to maintain consistency and establish appropriate decorum for such events, the Roselle Park Board Of Education hereby promulgates the following:
- To be eligible for a commemorative plaque, a retiring building principal must have served in Roselle Park a minimum of 25 years, of which, at least the last 10 were spent as principal in any one particular school building.
- The requesting organization shall submit a formal request to the Board Of Education explaining the purpose of the commemorative plaque, and shall include a detailed picture indicating its full inscription. The plaque shall be provided at no cost to the district.
- Upon approval from the Board Of Education, the Superintendent shall determine the placement of the plaque in perpetuity inside the building.
- With the consent of the superintendent, a commemoration ceremony may be held concomitantly.
- Exterior commemorative signs currently placed in front of schools Robert Gordon and Ernest J. Finizio Jr. Aldene shall remain provided they are in good condition. At such time they become aesthetically worn out or are able to be removed, a commemorative plaque shall be placed inside their respective schools. Principals will be notified when action, whether it be by any changes or removal due to disrepair, will be taken on the signs. The cost of any such future conversions at Ernest J. Finizio Jr. Aldene and Robert Gordon schools will be the responsibility of the Board Of Education. Placement of exterior commemorative signs on school grounds shall not be permitted in any future considerations.
During the second public portion of the meeting, two residents asked for clarifications of the proposed changes. Andrew Casais asked how does the amended policy affect the Aldene School.
“The understanding is that they will remain and in the case of Aldene, they will be restored to how they were originally put up,” Mr. Spagnoletti responded, specifically addressing the returning of Mr. Costanzo’s name.
Tanya Torres also addressed the BOE and asked about the wording of the policy and how it only states that the only person who could receive a plaque was a principal.
“Perhaps someday there may be an extraordinary librarian that may want to be remembered or even a janitor or someone that also may do something special at the school other than a principal,” Mrs. Torres proposed, “To just specifically make it for principals should be something that could be reconsidered.”
“You’re absolutely correct in terms of dedications,” Mr. Spagnoletti responded to Mr. Torres who respectfully corrected the superintendent when he addressed her as ‘councilwoman’, stating she was speaking as a parent, “This policy only speaks to building dedications but absolutely, other things can be dedicated.”
The second reading of the amended policy, when it is to be adopted by the Board, is scheduled for February 1, 2011.