By Matthew Sockol
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – For meeting and achieving several goals, administrators in the Freehold Township K-8 School District have received merit pay bonuses.
On May 24, the Board of Education approved certification of merit pay bonuses to Superintendent of Schools Ross Kasun and Assistant Superintendent Pamela Haimer for meeting and achieving quantitative and qualitative merit goals.
According to the board, Kasun and Haimer achieved the quantitative goal of beginning a strategic planning process by leading the District Evaluation Advisory Council and School Improvement Panel teams to create three surveys specific to staff members, students, parents and community members. The administrators will analyze the data from the surveys and create a report which will be a foundation for the board’s strategic planning process.
Kasun achieved the qualitative goal of increasing communication and transparency through direct involvement in enhancing the use of social media in the district. An increased presence on social media has promoted the district and provided greater transparency for the school community, according to the board.
Haimer achieved the qualitative goal of facilitating the creation of the third course for Personal Financial Literacy Study Skills (PFLSS), a course for middle school students in the district. According to the board, the course development process will involve a team of stakeholders including teachers, technology specialists and coordinators, supervisors and administrators.
The certifications will be sent to Lester Richens, the interim executive county superintendent of schools. Upon approval from Richens, Kasun will receive a quantitative merit bonus of $5,445, which is 3.33 percent of his annual salary, and a qualitative merit bonus of $4,125, which is 2.5 percent of his annual salary. Haimer will receive quantitative and qualitative merit bonuses of $2,958, which is 2 percent of her annual salary.
The board also approved certification of merit pay bonuses to West Freehold School Principal Edward Aldarelli and Supervisor of Instruction Anne Kuras for meeting and achieving quantitative merit goals.
Certification of merit pay bonuses to Katie Harms, supervisor of gifted and talented and social studies K-8 and science K-5, and Charlene Marchese, supervisor of mathematics K-8 and science 6-8, were approved by the board for meeting and achieving qualitative merit goals.
According to the board, Aldarelli and Kuras used LearnBop, an assessment and intervention tool which will increase the scores of fifth grade students who obtained an 80 percent or lower result on their pre-assessment tests by 10 percent on their post-assessment tests.
Harms, along with Haimer, facilitated the creation of the third course for PFLSS.
Marchese facilitated the first year of the district’s work with the North Carolina State University Scaling Up Digital Design Studies (SUDDS) project, which designs and investigates learning environments to address problems in education.
Aldarelli, Kuras, Harms and Marchese each received a merit bonus of $2,125.
Board President Christopher Marion, Vice President Jason Levy and board members Michael Amoroso, Kay Poklemba-Holtz, Edward Hudak, Michelle Lambert and Staci Triandafellos voted in favor of the merit bonuses. Board members Daniel DiBlasio and Jennifer Patten abstained from the vote.
In other business, the board approved a transfer of assignment for Rebecca Winters, principal of the C. Richard Applegate School. For the 2016-17 school year, Winters will be transferred to the Early Childhood Learning Center to serve as its principal, succeeding Penny Goldstein, who is retiring.
Winter described her transfer as bittersweet.
“I have been the principal at Applegate for eight years and in that time have accomplished so much with the support of an amazing community of staff, students and parents,” she said. “I am excited about this new chapter in my career and know I am stepping into big shoes as my colleague Penny Goldstein retires. I am eager to begin working with the staff and parents at the ECLC and will start by developing relationships during the summer extended school year program.”