We extend our sincere heartfelt condolences to the Vellon family. Ralph was a good man, an advocate for the parents and students of Belleville, an model civil servant, and a true friend to the community. As a Board of Education Trustee, Ralph held true to his values, exemplified integrity and was a major proponent of the necessary change we see in our district today.
He will be greatly missed not only for his contribution to education but also as a colleague and a friend. Ralph’s legacy will live on for generations to follow.
We will keep the Vellon family in our hearts and prayers.
Belleville Education Association
Brothers and Sisters,
As the school year draws to a close, it’s time to evaluate the goals we set for 2017/2018. Looking back, there are so many encouraging things to high- light the benefits of being a union member. On a state level, education as we know it, has taken a turn for the better with the election of Governor Murphy, who is in line with the reality we face as educators. We have made great strides locally with the election of our endorsed candidate and educator, Michael Sheldon, who will join Nelson Barrera, Liza Lopez and Tom Grolimond in moving our district toward the positive change we so desperately need. This year our focus was on broadening the lines of communication among our membership as well as with the BOE and Administration. Also, we aimed to be more involved in the community in which we serve. One more step closer to our long term goal of a Better Belleville… BellevilleUnited.
For the first time in 5 years we are working in con- junction with our Superintendent and Administration on all things educational. We are now an integral part of the process of screening and selecting our future school leaders as well as evaluating our current admin- istrators, as a tool to improve communication and gar- nish relationships. Our BOE and Superintendent are requesting teachers to serve on committees to choose text books, assist in school policy, determine the status of our technology and give their input on current and future programs.
On the home front, we are concluding a second successful year of our Listening Hour. This has been a great opportunity for us to get reconnected with our membership. Our website, bellevilleunited.org, is updated with easy accessibility to our contract, bylaws, Rep. Council Minutes, Budget, and community involvement. We have kept our membership well informed, through our social media and group email messaging. The BEA has come together to form committees for issues that affect our schools and our work environment such as our Evaluation Committee, Transition Team, Health & Safety Committee, Administration Interview Committee and Negotiations Committee. I personally thank all who took the time out of their busy lives to get involved in strengthening, developing, and progressing our Association.
BEA involvement in our community has exceeded our expectations. Our Pride/FAST program has hosted tables in every district event as well as school specific events. We served with community members on a variety of committees: to dedicate a nursing program after the late Ralph Vellon, to assist in the process of transitioning the 6th grade back into the elementary, and to help evaluate the current student dress code policy, are among a few.
Upon reflection, I would say we reached our goals and beyond. But this is no surprise because we are a part of family of the hardest working, most dedicated professionals in the state. Thank you for your commitment to the students and community of Belleville and for your loyalty to strengthening and unifying our Association.
President, Belleville Education Association