Christie Encourages Kids to Get Healthy

Governor Christie, who has been open about his weight struggles, told a roomful of students that he feels better when he exercises and doing so could help improve their school work too.

Board votes to readvertise for superintendent's position

The Asbury Park Board of Education has reopened its search for a new district superintendent. Causing the board to reopen the search is the addition of two new board members — Kenneth Saunders, Jr. and Felicia Simmons — who were appointed to fill two vacancies last month. In order for the two members to take part in the selection of a new superintendent, the process must start over from scratch, said Board Attorney Kim Belin.

Asbury Park schools get new state monitor

A new state monitor has been appointed to oversee the Asbury Park School District as the Board of Education reopens its search for a permanent superintendent.

Back to School: New Security Measures After Newtown

As students return to start a brand new school year, they'll notice some security changes. Following the massacre at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary, schools across the nation have invested in safety, including new door buzzers, security cameras and the presence of law enforcement.

Asbury Park BOE hires new attorneys

The Asbury Park school district has entered into a new agreement for professional legal services. The Board of Education at their June 12 meeting appointed Cooper Levenson April Niedelman & Wagenheim, P.A. as their new attorneys.

Asbury Park Is Doing Big Things on the Baseball Field

ASBURY PARK --  The Asbury Park Middle School Baseball Team just wrapped up their regular season with a 12-7 victory over Henry Hudson, enabling them to win their first division title in school history, according to Head Coach Robert Cuccurullo. The Blue Bishops ended the season with a record of 8-1-1, capturing the Bayshore Middle School Baseball League Division title.

The team was lead in home runs, stolen bases, RBIs and strikeouts by Nasir Jones with 2, 12, 23 and 79, respectively. Jones also had the highest batting average of .700. Devin Nash led the team, which finished the season with only 12 errors, with the most runs – at 23.

The other team members are: Luis Rodriguez, Tahjmir Beradesco, Jamere Cancel, Jael Cordero, Garland Henley, Quameire Mohammed, Kyrie Moore, Alexander Peavey, Kavon Robinson and Andre Spann.  

Playoffs begin Wednesday, May 28, 2014, where the Blue Bishops will face Henry Hudson at Asbury Park High School.

In addition, Asbury Park High School Senior William Wells was elected by the Shore Baseball Conference Coaches Association as a member of the MONMOUTH COUNTY ALL-STAR TEAM and the ALL B-CENTRAL DIVISION TEAM.

He was among the Shore's Leaders in batting average and stolen bases and was even named Player of the Week in early April.  Wells is the first player in school history to earn both of these awards simultaneously in the same year.

Asbury Park Honors Teachers of the Year

ASBURY PARK – The Asbury Park School District recognized four district teachers Tuesday night as they were honored for being teachers of the year for the 2013-14 school year.

The honorees were:

Denise D’Alessandro is a special education teacher at Bradley Elementary School. She has been a teacher in the Asbury Park School District for 20 years.

Sharon Stevenson is a third-grade teacher at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. She has taught in the district for 30 years.

Michael White is a language arts and literacy teacher for seventh-and eighth-graders at the Middle School. He has taught in the district for 13 years.

Toni Gahn is a science teacher at the High School. She has been a teacher in the district for 17 years.

In addition to earning Teacher of the Year honors for their respective schools, each recipient received a certificate from Gov. Christie as part of the Governor’s Teacher Recognition program, which was created in 1985 to acknowledge teachers who exhibit outstanding performance. This program promotes excellence and rewards teachers who strive to prepare students to be college and career ready.

The four Asbury Park School District teachers will join their peers at the Governor’s Teacher Recognition Program/Education Services Professionals Program on May 23 at the Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury. 

Asbury Park Students Honored by Elks Lodge No. 128

ASBURY PARK – Several Asbury Park students were recently honored by the Asbury Park/Wall Elks Lodge No. 128 as part of its Americanism Contest.

Students with special needs ages 9 through 14 from throughout the area were asked to color a poster, write an essay or even record their thoughts on why they are proud to be an American.

The winners were: Philip Surles, Ny'Jaha McDowell, Sheldon Stephen and Jalen Asher. Their teacher is Robert Cuccurullo. The students’ projects also will be on display at the New Jersey State Elks Convention and parade in Wildwood in June 2014.

Blue Bishops Win Eighth-Grade Basketball Championships

The Blue Bishops know basketball. Over the years, the teams have shown that they know what it takes to win. That winning tradition continued this year with both the eighth-grade girls and boys basketball teams bringing home championships. On Feb. 21, both Asbury Park Middle School teams won the Bayshore League Championship, defeating Union Beach. The Lady Bishops defeated Union Beach 33-32, thanks to 14 points by Nalah Tinsley, and eight by Amani Turner. Tierra Gamble scored six key, second-half points. Deyonna Carter was instrumental on the defensive end, shutting down Union Beach’s star player, according to Head Coach Robert Cuccurullo.

Despite the last-minute comeback by Union Beach, the Lady Bishops were able to hold on to the one-point victory. The win was particularly sweet because a few weeks earlier, Union Beach had defeated Asbury Park 34-31, giving them the number one seed and home-court advantage in the tournament. 

The Lady Bishops finished the season with a league record of 6-2, and 10-5 overall. Tinsley was the named by Cuccurullo as the team’s Most Valuable Player, showing her talents not only on the court, but also in the classroom. Carter was named Defensive Player of the Year, while Gamble was named Most Improved Player. Yvonne Newsome earned the Sportsmanship Award. Next year’s returning players include: Tinsley, Carter, Amani Turner and Amyah Bryan.

The boys team was also crowned champions as they handily defeated Union Beach 54-36, led by Tywan Thomas and Donte Abrams, who each poured in 14 points. Nazreon Reid had 11 point, three of which were NCAA-caliber dunks. Tahjmir Berardesco and Javin Higgs played outstanding defense to help seal the win -- not only in this game, but throughout the season -- according to Head Coach Barry Baity. 

The Blue Bishops finished the regular season with a record of 19-1. The boys also won the Asbury Park Middle School Invitational Championship by defeating Hubbard of Plainfield 49-37.  The boys will continue their off-season play during the Garden State Basketball Tournament at Rebounds in Neptune, where they will take on Irvington Middle School on Feb. 27 at 6:15 p.m.

This year’s wins mark the second consecutive year that both Asbury Park Middle School Eight-Grade Basketball teams have won championships. Last year, the girls and boys were crowned champions of the Shore Intermediate Scholastic Basketball League (SISBL).

Members of the girls basketball team are: Mollie Bland, Yvonne Newsome, LaTarra Irizarry, Tierra Gamble, Amani Turner, Nalah Tinsley, Deyonna Carter and Amyah Bryan. Members of the boys basketball team are: Javon Higgs, Nazreon Reid, Xavier Banks, Kymar Ponds, Tahjmir Berardesco, Tywan Thomas, Javione Pearson, Jaking Agostini, Kyrie Moore, Donte Abrams, Miguel Diaz and Michael Morris. 

Congratulations to the student-athletes and coaches for their hard work and for positively representing the Asbury Park Middle School, the district and community. 

Students Get Live Lesson in Black History

ASBURY PARK, N.J. – Staff of the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School decided to celebrate National African-American Read-In a little differently this year. In the past, they brought in famous keynote speakers to interact with students. But this year, they decided to look no further than their own community for everyday heroes who are making a different right here in Asbury Park, according to Sharon Stevenson, third-grade teacher, and Veronica Patterson, reading specialist, event co-organizers.

“We always search high and low for leaders who have done great things, and we have them right in our community,” said Principal Mark Gerbino. “It’s time our young people look at who’s around them. Everything is attainable!” 

The panel was composed of five community members including: Asbury Park Mayor Myra Campbell, Asbury Park Firefighter Marcus Blackmon, Bradley Elementary School Principal Kathy Baumgardner, Airman and Bradley Beach Police Officer Rafiq Pickett and Asbury Park Police Officer Tyron McAllister. All presented to the students in their own way what Black History means to them. The student emcee for the program was Lissette Contreras.

In addition to exposing youth to the importance of black history, the goal of the interactive program was also to have studnets begin to take ownership of their destinies now.

Foodtball Standout Signs with West Virginia Wesleyan

ASBURY PARK — Congratulations to Daquane Bland-Bennett, who officially signed today with West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Bland-Bennett, a running back/defensive back for the Blue Bishops, will be attending the co-educational, liberal arts college on academic/athletics scholarship and playing slot on offense and special teams as a returner.

He has been playing football for Asbury Park since his junior year. He helped the team advance to the Central Jersey Group I Semi-Finals for two consecutive years. 

Bland-Bennett finished the season with 1,005 all-purpose yards and was named to the All-Class B Central Division Coaches Team. He had 445 yards rushing and six touchdowns on an average of 8.7 yards per carry. He will receive the Coach’s Award at the Blue Bishops team banquet later this month.

West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats Coach George Shehl said he is thrilled about this year’s recruiting class of student-athletes.

"It's a truly exciting time for us," Shehl said in a release.  "Our staff has put in a ton of effort this off season recruiting high quality kids and we are excited to officially welcome them to our family."

National Signing Day, usually the first Wednesday of February, is the first day that high school seniors can sign a binding National Letter of Intent for college football with a school that is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).