Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting brings discussion about forced transfers


Emily Boyle ('23)

An East student holds up a sign protesting the plans to transfer nine East teachers.

Cherry Hill’s Board of Education meeting brought heated discussion concerning forced transfers on Tuesday, April 26. Teachers, parents, students, and alumni spoke passionately on the matter, urging the board to reconsider plans to remove nine teachers from their positions at East.

Teachers who spoke emphasized the importance of experienced staff with the qualifications necessary to fulfill their roles.

“Rather than keep Mr. Rosenberg… Dr. Meloche has decided to force a certified AP teacher with 17 years of experience teaching a college level course to start anew at the middle school level,” said history teacher Mr. Tom Howard. “This simply does not make sense, and it most certainly does not ‘best benefit the educational program of the district’”.

There also was an expressed concern for the well-being of students. Teachers spoke highly of bonds they had gained from their many years at East.

AP US History I teacher Mrs. Meghan Mikulski said, “A student from the class of 2010 actually surprised all of us AP History teachers with these t-shirts before she graduated,” and turned to show those seated the custom shirt she wore. “This is an example of making student connections, and Mr. Rosenberg has been making these connections for all of these years.”

In addition to staff speaking on behalf of their colleagues, those personally influenced by the decision spoke as well.

“My world professionally has been turned upside down by this move,” said Physical Education teacher Mr. Mike Melograna. “I accept the transfer as a new challenge, and a new way of looking at things, and a new opportunity. But the relationships I formed at East are immeasurable.”

The main concern from students was losing meaningful connections they created with teachers.

“I think I can speak for everyone when I say that [East] feels like a family, and it’s solely because of the teachers and their enthusiasm, passion, and support,” said junior Emily Pober (‘23). “Especially the last few years, [we] had so little interaction with other students, and relied on [the] teachers to build these important bonds every single day.”

Multiple East alumni also attended the meeting, and spoke on behalf of their former teachers. Many sought to preserve the memory of East that they remembered.

“I am very proud of the teachers I remember that changed my life,” said Laura Sontag (‘82). “I’m calling to speak about Susan Dollarton– ‘Mrs. Nic’. She is the heart of your school, and the superintendent knows that, and so do the board members.”

The general tone of each speaker was one of passion, with personal anecdotes and specific people often referenced. The meeting ended with words from Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche, reflecting upon the topics discussed.

“I know there’s a lot that’s been shared tonight. The board…with their responsibility, will continue to be thoughtful and deliberate in all that [they] do,” said Meloche.

He then thanked teachers, students, and alumni for their time and respect.Tuesday’s board of education meeting brings discussion about forced transfers