HIGHTSTOWN: Board of Education recognizes June retirees

Hightstown High School principal among those moving on

By Matt Nelson, Special Writer
   HIGHTSTOWN — Monday night, the Board of Education recognized a dozen staff members retiring at the close of the academic year.
   Hightstown High School Principal Alix Arvizu will retire after seven years in the school district.
   ”Her personal and administrative skills have created an inclusive environment for all members of the Hightstown High School family,” said Diana Chase, who is the Hightstown assistant principal. “Alix has set high standards for her diverse student population and staff, and many have met her challenges.”
   Walter C. Black Elementary School Principal Heidi Kitzmann-Franzo will retire after serving 40 years in the school district.
   Ms. Franzo was a teacher at Melvin H. Kreps Middle School from 1973 to 1980 and a half-time assistant principal at Walter C. Black School from 1980 to 1983.
   Ms. Franzo became assistant principal at the Perry L. Drew Elementary School and Kreps School from 1983 to 1988 before she was named full-time assistant principal of the Kreps School from 1988 to 1995.
   She returned to the Walter C. Black School in Hightstown as an assistant principal in 1995 and was promoted to principal in 1997.
   Ann Goodwin, a retiring teacher of the Walter C. Black School, said, “Mrs. Franzo built a school community that supported our students academically, socially and emotionally.”
   Ms. Goodwin has taught at the school for 33 years.
   ”She has been consistently recognized as a positive and demonstrative teacher toward all of her students and supported the social, emotional and learning needs of hundreds of children,” Principal Franzo said.
   Elaine Franzblau is set to retire from the Ethel McKnight Elementary School, which serves the Twin Rivers community in East Windsor, after working in the district for two decades.
   Ms. Franzblau began her career as a special education teacher in the Walter C. Black School in 1993 for one year.
   Following a brief assignment at the Grace N. Rogers Elementary School, Ms. Franzblau began teaching at McKnight where she teaches fourth-grade students.
   ”Her caring and warmth for students and her dedication to support them are always at the forefront of all she does,” said David Bilenker, McKnight assistant principal.
   Janet Oldak also will retire from the McKnight school. She is a speech and language therapist and also worked at the Drew School and Hightstown High School during her career with the district.
   Assistant Principal Bilenker said, “Her adoration for children and desire to do what is in their best interest was always evident in her work.”
   Iris Landau will retire after 25 years in the district as a school-based occupational therapist.
   ”Mrs. Landau has supported the growth of students towards independent and self-advocacy so they can navigate through the real world,” said Mark Beckman, supervisor of student services.
   Eileen Hampton will retire after serving after 22 years in the district. Mrs. Hampton worked in the Rogers, McKnight, and Kreps schools throughout her tenure and has worked at the Walter C. Black School since 2005.
   ”Mrs. Hampton has made exceptional contributions to the learning of her students,” Principal Franzo said.
   Carole Boccanfuso will retire from the Perry L. Drew Elementary School in East Windsor after serving 25 years in the district.
   She also worked at the Melvin H. Kreps Middle School, McKnight School and Hightstown High School.
   ”Carole is an educator who keeps children first and will always make sure they succeed,” Drew School Principal Robert Dias said.
   Sarah Kluxen will retire from the Rogers School after 22 years as an English as a Second Language and bilingual teacher.
   Dore Weiss will retire from the Grace N. Rogers School in Hightstown as a member of the special education department.
   ”Sarah has been an advocate for the education and the needs of English language learners and their families,” Principal Gayle Parker said.
   Ms. Weiss joined the school in 1998.
   ”Mrs. Weiss has always been a dedicated and hardworking professional, always dedicating herself to whatever is in the best interest of children,” Principal Parker said.
   Mary-Ellen Burns will retire from the Kreps School after 22 years as a social studies teacher.
   Kreps School Principal Lori Stein said, “Her personality and sense of humor allows her to deliver her instruction quite effectively.”
   Business Administrator and Board Secretary Kurt Stumbaugh will retire from his position after serving seven years in the district.
   Mr. Stumbaugh also worked for the State of New Jersey, the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, Newark Public School District and Clayton Public School District before coming to East Windsor in 2006.
   ”Kurt helped us get through the budget crisis of 2010 and helped improve efficiency in transportation, and we certainly appreciate his services with the school district,” Superintendent Edward Forsthoffer said.
   Several companies and individuals also were recognized for making donations to the district.
   Fouad Aziz and Orlando Fernandez, who own Exxon Mobil on East Windsor, nominated Hightstown High School for the Exxon Mobil Education Alliance grant.
   Joseph Hooven, gasoline sales manager for Consumers Oil Corporation, helped facilitate the nomination, and the school received $500 for the math and science departments.
   Edimar Trancozo also facilitated a grant with Exxon Mobil Alliance and awarded $500 to the Kreps school, which will be used for its greenhouse.
   Lawrence Haddock, of East Windsor, made a $5,000 donation to the Kreps school. The money will be used to purchase a new greenhouse.
   Board member Alice Weisman donated more than 100 books to the Walter C. Black school, which will be used in the classrooms, the library and for the Student Council’s annual book sale fundraiser.
   Cookie Cummings of the Hightstown Woman’s Club facilitated a $100 donation to each school in the district. The donation will help meet the needs of their students.
   Thomas McCafferty of Hightstown High School donated a treadmill to the athletic department.
   Brooke Reader from Endo Pharmaceuticals donated more than 15 cases of three-hole punch paper to the Walter C. Black School.
   The next board meeting will take place 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 24, in the Hightstown High School cafeteria.