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Not So Rotten In Brick – Hometown View

You might have heard last week that the Brick Township Board of Education reversed an earlier decision and granted tenure to elementary school principal Allison McConnell.   That ended a near two-month ordeal for McConnell who along with three teachers was denied tenure in an earlier decision by the board.

Drum Point School
Drum Point School (Brick Public Schools)

In her case this was clearly a matter of “there is strength in numbers” as hundreds of parents made their feelings known that she deserved to be tenured and remain the Principal at Drum Point School.

Almost forgotten is the fate of the other three teachers who will get a chance tonight to state their case for tenure during a special hearing.  Among them is former Brick High School football coach Patrick Dowling, who based on what I know is a victim of school board politics more than anything else.  Dowling was the controversial and unpopular choice of Superintendent Walter Hyrcenko to succeed the legendary Warren Wolf three years ago.

Without rehashing old news that decision resulted in major changes on the board following the next election with Wolf himself among those elected although he has since stepped down.  However it came as no surprise when the Board announced that Hyrcenko would not be rehired when his contract expires at the end of this month and getting rid of Dowling as a Special Education teacher seems to be part of the housecleaning.

Adam Sacco, who was an assistant coach to Dowling, was one of the other teachers denied tenure and both will get to speak at tonight’s special hearing.  Dowling, like McConnell did last week will do so publically while I’ve been told that Sacco will meet with the Board in private session.

Last week I did a story on Middletown North High School senior basketball standout and the effort to raise nearly $20,000 so he can travel to California and have surgery for Keratoconus, an eye disease that will eventually lead to blindness.  Among those who read my story was Rob Meleo, who is co-chairman of the James Volpe Foundation which is named after the former Jackson Memorial High School baseball player who was killed in a car accident just over a year ago.

Jason Huelbig
Jason Huelbig (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

The non-profit foundation was formed by family and friends to honor the memory of James and they felt that helping the Huelbig effort fit perfectly with their mission statement.

I put Rob in touch with Middletown North basketball coach Mike Iasparro and this morning Meleo emailed me that they are going to make a $1000 donation to help the Huelbig family.  I have pledged to help the Volpe Foundation in their efforts which include a golf outing next Monday.  For more on that visit james volpefoundation.org.  What a way to honor someone’s memory than to help others!

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