Passaic Valley Regional High School support site

Passaic Valley keeps teacher, not coach

- May• 17•17

Moves are part of ‘programmatic’ downsizing by board



LITTLE FALLS – Carolyn Macchia will remain employed at Passaic Valley High School, but teacher and coach Lisa Clark will be terminated at the end of June.

Board members reappointed Macchia, a teacher in technical occupation and television production technology at Passaic Valley High School, during a special meeting on Monday, May 15.

Clark, a physical education teacher and assistant girls lacrosse coach, will be terminated June 30.

Macchia’s position was slated to be eliminated on June 30 as part of a “programmatic” downsizing affecting certain course curriculums to bring them in line with classes offered at the college level.

As part of the downsizing, the board on May 9 proposed to eliminate Broadcast Journalism I, Broadcast Journalism II Honors, Broadcast Experience I/II and Computer Programming I Honors classes. They were to be replaced with Digital Journalism I and Digital Journalism II Honors.

“We want the students to be well-informed digital citizens who understand how to distinguish what good news is, what good research is, and how to translate that into becoming responsible digital writers and citizens,” said Superintendent of Schools JoAnn Cardillo.

Macchia is co-adviser of PVTV, the school’s television station, along with Stephanie Roberts.

PVTV teaches television production basics and telecasts school activities, including the school’s annual Girls Show — a longtime tradition that combines elements of a Broadway musical, an athletic competition, and an intense step and cheer competition into one performance.

Due to public comments made at the meeting on May 9, the board decided to hold the special meeting on May 15 to discuss Maccia’s position and other proposed cuts and changes to staff and curriculum.

Dozens of alumni, current students and parents made pleas May 9 for the board to keep Macchia as well as Kevin Ketcho, a business teacher and adviser of the school’s Future Business Leaders Club.

“ Despite pleas, the board terminated Ketcho’s job and position at the May 9 meeting.

Ketcho was put on administrative leave with pay in March. According to Cardillo, the business teacher position was eliminated due to budget restraints and was unrelated to Ketcho’s administrative leave. His termination will be effective June 30. Pleas continued at the meeting May 15 as dozens of students, parents and alumni spoke in favor of Clark. They also gave comments in favor of Macchia and Ketcho.

Elimination of the business teacher position was proposed as part of the $29.9 million school budget for 2017-18. The board approved the budget at its April 25 meeting. The proposal to cut the technical occupation and television production technology teacher had also been made as part of that budget.

Cuts were also made to accommodate 37 special needs students who are coming to Passaic Valley High School next year.

Among other changes, new computer courses will be offered in the fall as part of a STEM program, Cardillo said. They will be offered in a sequence that will allow more students to enroll.

The board on May 15 also approved creating a Fine and Performing Arts Department, moving a course in web design from the Technology Department to the Fine and Performing Arts Department, and cutting the Computer Programming I Honors class. The board approved moving teacher Caren Atamian from the English Department to the new Fine and Performing Arts Department, and Stephanie Roberts from the Business Department to the English Department.

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