‘School security is a topic I’m extremely passionate about’

Retired Randolph police chief becomes Hillsborough Township School District's first coordinator of school security

0
479
The Hillsborough Township Board of Education approved the appointment of David Stokoe, who comes to the district as a retired police chief of the Randolph Township Police Department, at the board's reorganization meeting on Jan. 2. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Hillsborough Township School District has a coordinator of school security operations.

The Hillsborough Township Board of Education approved the appointment of David Stokoe, who comes to the district as a retired police chief of the Randolph Township Police Department, at the board’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 2.

He began his new role on Jan. 3. His annual salary is prorated at $82,000.

“I’m honored and privileged and consider myself very fortunate and blessed to be here,” said Stokoe, who retired as police chief in 2021. “School security is a topic I’m extremely passionate about. I thank Superintendent [Michael] Volpe and his team for putting their trust and confidence in me to head up the school’s security initiative.

“School security is something that we all play a vital part in and have a responsibility for. I look forward to supporting and complementing the team here, the staff, parents, faculty, students and helping continue to make Hillsborough School District a safe and secure environment that is conducive for learning and student development.”

At the meeting Volpe thanked the voters for the passing of the two referendum questions during the November election.

“We have been very busy hiring,” he said, saying they are proud to announce the hiring of Stokoe and two others during the meeting.

On the board agenda and future agendas, hires will be noted as hires through the referendum.

In November, voters headed to the polls to decide on two referendum questions – one on school security and one on bringing back 20 staff positions that were cut due to targeted state aid decreases. The questions were the effort of the district’s Build the Boro Back initiative.

“People chose to have school security as a priority,” Volpe said, who was proud to introduce Stokoe as the district’s first coordinator of school security.

Along with the appointment of Stokoe, through the referendum, the board also hired Swati Vakani as school counselor at an annual prorated salary of $67,540 and Danielle Basilone, an interventionist for literacy grades 5-6 at an annual prorated salary of $64,840.

Volpe noted that with the hires they will not exceed the amount of the approved referendum.

For question one, Hillsborough Township and Millstone voters were asked if they wanted to provide the safest possible environment for all children by increasing the tax levy $934,636 to create a districtwide, K-12, security department.

For question two, Hillsborough Township and Millstone voters were asked if they wanted to bring back staff positions that were cut due to targeted state aid decreases that have hurt Hillsborough by increasing the tax levy $1,901,880 for the purpose of reducing class sizes and adding program offerings, interventionists and mental health supports.

Volpe shared that he and Stokoe had a full day of interviews for building monitors on Jan. 5 with the hopes of hires on the agenda for the Jan. 22 board meeting.

Reorganization

Incumbents Paul Marini, Cynthia “Cindy” DeCavalcante Nurse and newcomer Cassandra Kragh were sworn in to their three, three-year seats on the dais.

Marini was nominated and elected to serve as board president for another term and Nurse was nominated and elected to serve as board vice president for another term.

At the meeting Marini announced chairs and members of the board committees.

Nurse will chair the Human Resources Committee and it will include Board members Danny Lee, Allison Laning-Beder and Kragh.

Elaine Jackson will chair the Education Committee and it will include Board members Jane Staats, Lee and Kragh.

Joel Davis will chair the Operations Committee and it will include Board members Jean Trujillo, Laning-Beder, and Marini.

Marini will chair the Governance Committee and it will include Board members Davis, Nurse and Jackson.