Dear Hackettstown and Great Meadows Regional School community members,
As the summer season fades with the start of autumn there is much to do in the upcoming months to continue our success in our commitment to moving our districts forward. Allowing change where necessary has resulted in many of our accomplishments. So, welcome to the start of the 2017-2018 school year!
As I am sure you are aware, the districts have been underway with the feasibility study focusing upon altering the existing send-receive relationship between the districts. This feasibility study will place an emphasis on the Hackettstown and Great Meadows Middle Schools respectively, with the possible merging of the 7th and 8th grades between the two districts, if found. Recognizing new obstacles and finding solutions will continue to help us transcend our success. As such, the districts sought the services of former Department of Education Commissioner, Mr. Hespe, to research and present this study. Throughout the summer months my offices have and continue to hold meetings with Mr. Hespe, inter-district administration, and representatives from Liberty, Independence, and Hackettstown Mayor and Councils. The goal of the feasibility study is to discover if altering the send/receive relationship between the districts is feasible academically, programmatically, athletically and fiscally and if not, found how that impacts the 18-19 school budget for each respective Board of Education and township. The feasible study will be presented to the public by Mr. Hespe at our special joint meeting of the Boards of Education on November 21, 2017 at 7pm, in the Great Meadows Middle School gymnasium. I encourage all community members to attend in order to understand and conceptualize factual information presented prior to any final decisions made by the Boards of Education.
At the conclusion of last school year, both districts embarked on several construction and beautification projects. A Strategic Plan objective was to enhance the security at each building. By summer’s end, we will have met this goal by installing seven vestibules and security features within all the schools. Aside from the vestibule installations at all three Great Meadows schools, wide scale painting was completed in our continuing effort to advance the district’s initiative to create a positive and safe learning and work environment. The Great Meadows Middle School’s Media Center was completely renovated and, in the future, will host our Board of Education meetings.
At Hackettstown Middle School and High School, we will also see the completion of our vestibule project and partial roof replacements. Hackettstown High School is also completing a Hall of Fame addition outside of the new gymnasium and “Snack Shack”. The “Snack Shack “will help with the fundraising efforts of our Booster clubs while hosting home events. In addition, renovation is underway in our TV studio which will afford our high school students the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers and staff while learning hands on 21st century work place skills. Last, but certainly not least, our high school students, staff, and community members will return from the Labor Day holiday to a 21st Century, State-of-the-Art Media Center to enhance their educational experience. Our Media Center will host a ribbon cutting ceremony later this month to honor Mrs. Patricia Miller, a long time Independence resident, an iconic Biology teacher at our high school and former Great Meadows Board of Education member and Board President, by naming the center in honor of her. Once the date is finalized it will be posted on to the districts’ websites.
I would like to welcome some old but familiar faces to our inter-district administrative cabinet and school communities. Former Assistant Principal of Hackettstown High School, Mr. Kyle Sosnovik has been named Acting Principal at Hackettstown High School, effective August 1, 2017. In the Shared Services Director of Curriculum and Instruction position, Mrs. Debra Grigoletti, former Assistant Principal at Great Meadows Middle School, began her new role July 1, 2017. Last, Great Meadows Middle School has hired Mrs. Jessica McDonagh as the new Assistant Principal. I would like to congratulate them on their new positions as they assimilate in their new roles.
Hackettstown is entering into its last year of the current Strategic Plan and many of the existing goals in the district’s Action Plans have been met and continue to be revised and reinforced. However, the Great Meadows Strategic Plan will conclude in 2019 and we will continue to follow suit with many Action Plan objectives having been met and continuing to be revised and reinforced. Going forward, any decisions made by the Boards of Education with regard to the feasibility study will mold and steer future academic, program, facility and fiscal plans within the 2018-2019 budget cycle and beyond.
David C. Mango
Superintendent of Schools
Great Meadows Regional and Hackettstown Public Schools