East PTA holds its first meeting of the year


Aine Pipe ('20)

Parents gather at the first PTA meeting of the year.

The Cherry Hill East Parent Teacher Association (PTA) held its first meeting of the school year last Thursday in the East library from 7 p.m. to approximately 8:30 p.m.

The meeting covered a span of topics, from a PTA fundraiser to new administrators and StopIt. East principal Dr. Dennis Perry as well as assistant principals Mr. Ted Beatty and Mr. Aaron Edwards were in attendance.

The bulk of the meeting was a beginning of school report by Perry. In his report, he spoke about issues with hiring a new nurse to replace Nurse Joy Atkins. He also introduced Beatty and Edwards to the parents in attendance, lauding their skills in the departments they oversee, saying he finally felt like he had a “full team.”

Perry also spoke about students using Juuls in the bathroom, stating that many girls had been caught in the bathroom over the past week.

“We’ve been having folks…go into the bathroom…we will search students. We don’t have the same rules as police,” said Perry.

Perry then spoke praisingly about the school’s new emphasis on learning goals and on charging teachers to use students’ names. He also praised East’s efforts to move from a “didactic” and “student-optional” model to a more inclusive model with increased student discussion.

Also touched on by Perry was the upcoming bond referendum, which the Board of Education plans to approve on Tuesday and on which the township is expected to vote in December. He spoke about plans to upgrade the East auditorium and the football field, in addition to making basic, but much-needed repairs to the building.

“[There are] lots of opportunities here…in this building to be spruced up…but significantly the auditorium…and the stadium, to have a stadium with lights, and a stadium stadium,” said Perry.

Perry also spoke about the StopIt app that has become a center of much ridicule from students, stating that while the app has been misused, it has had its benefits.

Perry floated some exciting new things that have come to East – like the new lunch system and the upcoming Maitre Gims concert – and projects that may be coming to East, including new electives and new elective levels (as in, honors level classes for electives that currently do not have them), as well as a possible phase-out of finals in favor of more cumulative, comprehensive projects.

“In the past, there’s been a need for us to negotiate…if we’re adding a class, which class are we taking out…” said Perry. “There’s a future teachers class that’s being suggested, there’s an AP…environmental science class that’s been suggested.”

Perry mentioned also the success of the new Chinese program at East and suggested that the board may hire another teacher for next year.

As far as the rest of the PTA meeting, the PTA approved its two budgets for the year – the general operating budget and the Project Graduation budget – and its new by-laws, which make official the term limits the association was already using.

Vice President of Hospitality Marcia Liebman reported on the results of the PTA’s mums sale, the deadline for which has been extended due to lack of sales. Communications Director Jayne Feld spoke about the weekly newsletter for the PTA.

The next PTA meeting will be held on November 16 at 7 p.m. in the East library.