Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Board Hears Calls for Educator

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Board Hears Calls for Educator

Article excerpt

LITTLE FERRY -- About 60 parents, residents and children rallied outside Memorial School on Tuesday night to protest the school board's failure to renew the district's contract with Superintendent Frank Scarafile.

The group assembled on the sidewalk for nearly an hour before the school board meeting. Some wore blue-and-yellow T-shirts bearing slogans such as "Parents 4 Scarafile. He Cares," and holding signs urging passing motorists along busy Liberty Street to "Honk, Honk, Honk for Mr. Scarafile."

The motorists obliged, with passing cars and trucks honking in response. Two 11-year-olds stood in an empty flower box and performed a cheer to the chant, "Little Ferry schools need Frank to rule."

"We are here to save Frank Scarafile," said Tracie Clemens, who, like her children, was carrying a sign and marching.

"He is important to our children. He is important to our district and he is important to the town. We don't want him to go."

On Feb. 21, six board members met to discuss extending Scarafile's contract, but deadlocked 3-3. Five votes were needed to approve a contract extension.

Tuesday's protest was the first of two planned by a group of parents who say they are displeased with the board's failure to retain Scarafile and that they want him to remain with the district for at least another year, preferably three.

The parents argue that Scarafile's departure when his contract expires on June 30 will be too much for a student body that has had to deal with two hurricanes, the loss of two principals and cuts to school programs over the last two years.

They said the children need stability, and Scarafile has been a visible presence in their lives, most notably after superstorm Sandy wrecked many of their homes.

"We are hoping that this has a positive outcome," said Joann Fytros, the second vice president of the Parent Teacher Association. …

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