Thursday, December 11, 2008

School Crimes and Misdemeanors


The year is 2003. Bruce Quinn is a few months into his new job as Matawan-Aberdeen’s Superintendent. Cathy Zavorskas has been elected President of the Board of Education. The voters have defeated a proposed 10% school tax increase. And the dreaded redistricting plan is underway.

That same year, the school board approves three staff changes. The changes appear minor and pass unremarked. Yet, those three changes, five years later, may launch the school district into its greatest legal jeopardy in living memory.

On December 15th, 2003, Helen Rappaport was demoted from Director of Special Services to Supervisor of Special Services (page 11). Present at that board meeting were Bruce Quinn (Superintendent), Catherine Zavorskas (then BOE President), Patricia Demarest (current BOE President), Jan Rubino (current BOE Vice President), Joel Glastein (Deputy Superintendent, Director of Personnel), Michael Gross (School Board Attorney) and current BOE members, Lawrence O’Connell, Gerald Donaghue, and John Barbato.

Ms. Rappaport was demoted because, despite her credentials, she lacked a New Jersey Board of Examiners certificate to be a director. As a supervisor, she lacked the authority to oversee child study teams (CSTs).

Yet, despite a board vote to change her position, Superintendent Quinn maintained Ms. Rappaport as a Director of Special Services and the board looked the other way. The vote was a charade to bypass the numerous state safeguards against a school district employing a person in a position for which that person is unqualified.

The New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) § 6A:9-17.4 states “The chief school administrator of a district shall notify the Board of Examiners when . . . a certificate holder fails to maintain any license, certificate or authorization pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-4.1(b) that is mandated in order for the holder to serve in a position.”

New Jersey also mandates that all districts submit a matrix report, listing each staff member’s position. The state matches that information against its database to flag any person who is not properly qualified for his position.

The board vote allowed the district to inform the state and county that Ms. Rappaport was no longer a director of special services. The district’s matrix report lists Ms. Rappaport as a supervisor.

In addition to submitting fraudulent documentation to the state and county, our district also perjured itself in court. In numerous court hearings involving cases of special needs students, the district submitted sworn affidavits from Ms. Rappaport.

The affidavits attest to the facts that Ms. Rappaport was a Director of Special Services and oversaw the Child Study Teams. Her signature lies under the statement “I hereby certify that the foregoing statements made by me are true. I am aware that if any of the foregoing statements are willfully false, I am subject to punishment.”

Our board attorney will need to explain how, as an officer of the court, he allowed false statements to be submitted to the court. As a matter of conscience, our Board of Education will need to explain how they allowed an unqualified person to oversee our neediest students.

Imagine the following: Ms. Rappaport knows she is unqualified for her position. She knows the administration knows. She knows the board knows. She knows the state has multiple safeguards against her maintaining that position. Why did she feel so secure in her position that she never pursued certification for the director’s position?

We can only wonder but here are some possibilities –

  • As Director of Special Services, she supervised Susan Quinn, the superintendent’s wife, and there may have been a mutually beneficial relationship
  • Cathy Zavorskas, the 2003 BOE President, is widely rumored to have received special consideration for her learning disabled child and there may have been some tit-for-tat
  • The culture of corruption was so widespread in the school district that nobody thought anybody would get caught for anything save the most egregious offenses
One thing we know for sure, Ms. Rappaport’s case was not an isolated incident.

At the same December 15th, 2003, BOE meeting, Ms. Caroline Pond was also demoted from Director of Testing and Special Programs to Supervisor Planning/Research and Evaluation (Testing). Considering that performance is never used as a basis for demotion, we can surmise that she, too, lacked the qualifications to be a director. Sure enough, the district continued to use her as a director and, two years later, she retired as such.

But the prize for sheer outrageousness has to go to the case of Barbara Cholewa.

Ms. Cholewa never received any college degrees. Rather, she is a graduate of Matawan Regional High School, was active in the teachers union, and was once Bruce Quinn’s secretary (and reputedly the godmother of one of his children).

On April 28, 2003, the same day as the school board reorganization, Quinn cleverly concealed Ms. Cholewa’s appointment by including it in a staff array with hundreds of names. On that day, the board elevated Ms. Cholewa, a high school graduate, from secretary to Director of Technology.

By law (N.J.A.C. § 6A:9-5.1) “The district board of education that is considering employing the individual shall assure that the candidate holds all necessary licenses, certificates or authorizations.” Zavorskas wasn’t only the BOE President, she was also on the board’s personnel committee. Plus, like Cholewa, Zavorskas was a lifelong resident of the community, spent lots of time in the administrator’s office, and had a cozy relationship with the teachers union. It’s inconceivable that she was unaware that Cholewa was a secretary who never graduated from college.

Even if Zavorskas (like the other board members) hadn’t properly reviewed the staffing list, how long did it take her to realize the board promoted a secretary without a college degree to Director of Technology?

In this instance, Quinn never needed to fake the matrix report. Director of Technology wasn’t included on the certificated staff list. Rather, her name continued to appear on the non-certificated staff list along with the other secretaries.

This past June, following Dr. O’Malley’s recommendation, Cholewa was reduced to Manager of Information Systems (i.e. secretary), earning $87,000 plus benefits.

According to the grapevine, Cholewa has retained Frank Campbell to sue the district. Campbell is the former law partner of school board attorney, Michael Gross, who called Dr. O’Malley a misogynist at a recent board meeting and was urged by Susan Quinn to continue speaking.

What’s next?

There is ample evidence the district knowingly assigned people to positions for which they were unqualified. There is ample evidence of violations of the New Jersey Administrative Code. There are the fraudulent documents submitted to the state. False affidavits submitted to the courts. But worse of all is the civil rights violations against scores of families with special needs children.

In time, we will learn the legal consequences of our school district’s conduct but no amount of time will wash away our sins. The best we can do right now is to launch an independent investigation to find the truth so we can stop this from recurring in the future.

Note: Special thanks to Board Attorney Michael Gross for showing me NJSA 47:1A-10 that states "data contained in information which disclose conformity with specific experiential, educational or medical qualifications required for government employment or for receipt of a public pension, but not including any detailed medical or psychological information, shall be a government record." >>> Read more!


Anonymous said...








Anonymous said...

Six of the cuurent nine board members were involved in this and it is highly unlikely any will resign. But what about the Deputy Superintendent and board attorney who are still on the payroll. Investigated by who, themselves. Nothing will come of this, but it does point out some arrogance.

Anonymous said...

I hope that everyone who reads this who pays outrageous taxes and/or has children in our schools or know a child with special needs, will join me in sending a letter to NJDOE Commissioner Lucille Davy expressing your outrage and REQUEST A FORMAL INVESTIGATION!! Enough is enough! We have all paid and paid and paid for these arrogant people to unjustly enrich themselves for years! Bruce Quinn and ALL of those who supported or comspired (or both) him should have to answer for their Court! Not that they would be able to keep from perjuring themselves in the process! Citizens of Matawan Aberdeen, join me, in demanding the truth be disclosed in a formal investigation:

Commissioner Lucille Davy
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-4469


Anonymous said...

Mr. Russo thanks for the info and yes I and many others will be sending
letters. I would make one suggestion. Copy any and all correspondence to Governor John Corzine and the Chief Justice of the NJ Supreme Court as well as the Monmouth County Prosecutor.

That way they cannot say they did not know.

Make a difference and make them all accountable. We can make the change happen. THE TRUTH IS COMING!

Anonymous said...


Aberdeener, as I read this posting I would like to know; is a director's pay higher than that of a supervisor. If so, was Ms. R knowingly accepting / receiving a director’s salary when she and the former Superintendent knew she was not entitled to the directors pay rate. It appears she was only entitled to receive the rate of pay as a supervisor?

If so, who approved this expenditure of taxpayer's dollars?

Aberdeener said...

All three people received salaries commensurate with their director positions. Given the time period, we're probably talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Anonymous said...

I hope the township of Aberdeen and the borough of Matawan come together to get back the money that was stolen from taxpayers by this corrupt group.

My understanding is that there is about a $30,000 difference between supervisor and director pay. That's $30,000 wrongly paid out over 12 years of Rappaport's "directorship" alone.

This opens the district up to so much liability to parents who have special needs children that were failed by this system. Who knows what kind of progress could have been made by these children if they had been schooled under a district with a real director? Not to mention Rappaport's "expert" perjured testimony is every mediation and law suit is now questionable. How many parents will now sue the district? And they are surely within their rights to do so.

Every board member who knew about this should be made to step down. They have cheated the taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have cheated hundreds of children out of the chance for a better education.

They should not be trusted with even another dollar and certainly not with another child.

I will be writing letters. This district needs to be investigated.

Thank heavens for O'Malley and his opening up this box for us to see the ugliness inside. And thanks to the Aberdeener for spelling it all out clearly for us.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener, are you aware of the district hiring anyone to take the position of school psychologist for MAMS? Dr. W. is leaving at the end of this month. Helen Rappaport, because of her tenure, is able to take this position if she wants it.

That thought curdles my blood (as I'm sure it does to anyone who has a classified child in any of the lower grades).

I'd appreciate any info you might have on that.

Aberdeener said...

Rappaport can take his position if she wants it. My guess is that she'll try to use it as a bargaining chip in mediation. Ultimately, though, the school district can't stop her from taking it.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener, have you sent a copy of this post to the press? or anyone else? If not I think it would be a good idea. Another great find by you Joey, thanks. Keep up the good fight!

Anonymous said...

We all must understand that this district has coddled, protected and moved personnel around on a routine basis for years. Often as a result of a certain group of teachers or certain shall we say *all too involved* school board members whose meddling and improper involvement went unchecked we have also sent principals, teachers, administrators and more packing to other school districts. We are then powerless to merely watch these same individuals excel in their new school districts.

For far too long the power of this district has been allowed to be in the hands of a small number and small minded groups of teachers and school board members who do not follow directions from those who are not so shockingly supposed to be in charge of them. This goes way back to Marie Panos and other teachers/union representatives over the years who felt they were bigger than the whole.

Unfortunately these same unions and the PTO's dictated to our school leadership, due to their voting numbers, they called the shots or were improperly used as pressure tactics to get their way or agenda across.

One example would be Dan Skelton for example who was forced out of our district only to become and integral and well respected and integral leader in the Middletown School District, to this very day. That one was also very costly financially to the taxpayers and did not set a good example for other administrators or personnel.

The Skelton thing was mostly a BARZA screw up. Their were many such incidents with Klavon, BARZA and Quinn all ending the same way with these administrators leaving for better and higher paying positions simply leaving our district with low test scores, massive debt and far worse.

Now however their may be a price to pay for their actions, deceit and more, which has recently come to light. We shall see. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Great Story Aberdeener! Thank you for being so courageous. Now we know why it was so critical to get Ken Aitkin off the BOE. Too many QUESTIONS. I can only imagine what else is being covered-up. School construction??? Where there is smoke there is usually fire. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Ken for taking Quinn to task and making him, so uncomfortable his only choice was to leave. Now its time for prosecution on all levels. Thank you for hiring Dr. O’Malley, a person who has no ties to the district. It is a shame what they did to you and your family. Isn’t it ironic how BARZA tried to portray you as the one with an agenda? Ken you should sleep soundly every night for doing the right thing. The rest of the board (excluding Kenny, Gambino and Ruprect) should lie awake wondering when a knock will come to your door from the prosecutor’s office, the word collusion comes to mind. Do the right thing for once in your life and step down from the BOE. It’s time to clean house. Term limits for all board members. I say no more than two terms. Anyone interesting in picketing at Zavorkas, Barbato, Rubino, Demarest, O’Connell and Donahue houses and calling for their resignations. As for Quinn and Glastein (yes I’m sure you had your hand in this too), I just want to see them hauled away in handcuffs.

Anonymous said...

Please remember Sametta M. Thompson's article in the APP reporting the reason why the former superintendent left the district. The article reported he was forced out due to a divided board......?

Great reporting Ms. Thompson.

Apparently, the former superintendent was smart enough to realize it was time to "head for the hills" before the deck of cards he and BARZAR created was about to fall.

Thank you Aberdeener for reporting the real reasons and telling us tax payers what our money is being used for........! I hope the APP starts reporting on stories using the real issues and facts.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable- now we are blaming the Press. The reporter is not an investigative reporter. I'm sure she called Mr. Quinn up and asked him why he left and she reported his response. Perhaps the previous author can sing the song, If I only had a brain.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for another great job. I have a question. if each of these three people were overpaid in salaries, wouldn't there have been contributions or calcualtions made to determine pension benefits that would have also been overstated.

Anonymous said...

This latest board of education debacle may have a domino effect.

By the way I have it on good information that many of the school board members who were not so tight with our former superintendent were totally unaware of the shenanigans going on, and obvious favors shown.

I do therefore withdraw my suggestion that all school board members should resign. I do think that those who were so so cozy or controlling of Quinn probably were integral to what was going on and they should resign.

So everyone related and controlled by BARZA get those resignation letters ready and get ready to possibly be interviewed for criminal wrong doing as well as ethics violations.

Ethics violations those are two words that hardly ever get used in and around politics in New Jersey. Right?

We are all soon to find out this was a very costly secret and there may be many more with such skeletons in their closets yet to be discovered in our school district. Can anyone say complete and total reviews of all files and personnel contracts? Just a suggestion Dr. O'Malley.

One last question on how long will it take the school board attorney and Joel G. to step down? Do you think they will wait for the knock on the door from investigators or do they see the writing on the walls? Lets see how smart they really are.

Anonymous said...

I would say picket but the last time the teachers picketed at Larry O'Connell's house when he was board president the contract was completed the next day and the teachers had to give nothing towards their benefits. Clearly that is costing taxpayers, so thanks Larry and all the board members for that one.

Anonymous said...

The post from Anonymous 12/11 9:26 got me wondering about the difference in Director of Special Ed. salaries vs. Supervisor of Special Ed. salaries. But there is nothing in our district stats to compare so I went on Datauniverse ( they list all the employees of all the school districts in the state (that are actually reported to the State). I looked up all of the Supervisors and Directors of Special Ed. in Monmouth County. After printing out the results, I started to break down the number of each in categories such as 2 @ < $100k, etc. The results suprised and sickened me. I also decided to do the same process with Ocean County, again, I was suprised and sickened....and angry. The results are as follows (aberdeener-feel free to verify my findings):


5 < 90k
5 < 100k
11< 110K ( average $105,000)
3 < 120k
1 < 130k
2 < 135k
top 3 highest salaries in Monmouth

1. $134,000--Eatontown/MA/37yrs

2. $131,878--Howell/MA/4yrs

3. $126,710--MatawanAberdeen/other/29yrs--YES, 3rd highest paid in Monmouth County-falsely reported to State as a Supervisor!!!


4 < 100k
2 < 105k
2 < 115k--over half under 115k
2 < 120k
1 < 125k
1 < 135k
1 < 145k
1 < 150k

1. $145,606--Wall/MA/39yrs

2. $142,740--Freehold Town./MA/20yr

3. $130,682--Marlboro/MA/23yrs

And if Rappaport had been reported correctly she would come in at #4!!
4. $126,710--MatawanAberdeen/MA/29y


1 < 80k
2 < 90k
3 < 100k
3 < 105k --of 17 average $103,000
1 < 110k
4 < 120k
1 < 125k
1 < 130k
1 < 135k

1. $132,000-TomsRiver/MA/23yrs

2. $128,882-PointPleasant/DR/33yr


3. $123,081-Brick/DR/31yrs


1 < 100k
1 < 120K
1 < 130k
1 < 135k
1 < 145k

1. $144,146-Lacey/MA/34yrs

2. $133,557-Manchester/MA/35yrs

3. $127,081-Brick/MA/32yrs

(Rappaport $126,710 is just $372 short of being third highest)


So what is the "lesson"?
Ms. Rappaport ranks THIRD HIGHEST PAID in the catagory that Quinn/Glastien reported her as to the State and as of 12/13/03 she was SUPPOSED to be.
Ms. Rappaport ranks FOURTH HIGHEST PAID (only only missing 3rd by $3973)if she had been reported as what she/district have held her out to be "Director"..and what she has been paid as!!!!

While the comparison to Ocean County was just to illustrate a point, as we don't pay taxes there, it is STILL DIGUSTING to realize that Ms. Rappaport also ranks: #3 highest out of Supervisors and #4 highest out of Directors (missing #3 in Ocean by only $372)!!!!

#3 of ALL supervisors in Monmouth AND Ocean Counties!!!
#4 of ALL Directors in Monmouth AND Ocean Counties!!!

WE PAY FOR THAT!!!!!!!@!

I only wish I had been able to do the same comparison for Chowela but oddly enough..there is no title "Director of Technology" listed on Datauniverse!? for ANY school district in Monmouth/Ocean. Perhaps it is an error?? or perhaps it is another made up title Bruce Quinn came up with to justify paying his former secretary $50,000 more a year than she WAS EVER ENTITLED TO!! That is nearly $300,000 over 5-6yrs folks!!!

SHOW UP AT THE BOE MEETING MONDAY!!! Ask WHY we are paying for these FAT salaries--THIS IS FRAUD!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who got a job working for the township and are aware of the shenanigans going on should also resign. After Gallo, don't expect any resignations.

Anonymous said...

Helen Rappaport has officially taken the job at MAMS. Parents started receiving their letters today of the change in case managers.

Aberdeener said...

The comment regarding Rappaport's salary appears correct. She is also the third highest paid employee of our district (after the superintendent and deputy superintendent). All three directors will receive pensions commensurate with their salaries. Also, no one has received a reduction in salary - only a freeze at their current levels.

If Rappaport has taken the job at MAMS, it looks like she's playing hardball and we should be prepared to do the same.

Anonymous said...

1. The board attorney should be held as a part of this too - without a doubt


3. I am sorry but I did agree with the redistricting so that all children were treated fairly. I like the 4 and 5th graders together, though I dont like the 6th graders in the Middle School.

4. I have complaints about teachers too but this BIG MESS seems to be pretty clear of their names. In fact, teachers and administrators have had to feel the wrath of a vindictive and self serving board for the last 10 years - i.e. - the staffing was always moved around where BOE members kids were and how they would benefit. CHECK IT OUT - IT CAN BE PROVED.

5. THE ONLY ones who may be free of ANY wrong doing are Gambino and Ruprecht because they were THE MOST recently elected. DO NOT GIVE OTHERS AN OUT. THEY HAVE ALL BEEN AROUND AND KNOW WHAT GOES ON. Do not take it easy on friends.

6. Skelton was kicked out, brought back, and kicked out again. AND NOW IS WILDLY successful and respected in his new district. AS IS DAVE HEALEY who was sent packing as an Asst. Prin. in our district but NOW IS DOING VERY well as Asst. Super in Middletown. GOOD FOR HIM - he was one of the few my kid said was TOUGH but FAIR and the teacher supposedly really liked him for his approach......

7. My one question is --- My child is not special needs. I have read here before about the special needs complaints - what were or are some of the short comings of how out district treats them? What are other districts doing that WE ARE NOT?

Anonymous said...

I beleve many of the positions being discussed are "bonded". There are two types of bonds - A Blanket bond which covers all employees except for specific individuals who must post their own bond, and the individual bond posted by those not covered by the blanket bond. Included in the terms of the bond is "Faithful Performance" which is a very broad term, and I believe would apply in this case. If there is this insurance protection in place, every effort should be made to collect the $30,000 per year paid. There can be substantial $$$ available to the district from these insurance policies but I'm not sure how one goes about placing a claim. By the way, for the Individual bonds the person positing the bond is personally liable to the insurance company for any payments made, and we know what is said about paybacks!

Anonymous said...

What are other districts doing for their Special Ed population that the MARSD is not?

The list is endless, but let's talk money.

Monmouth County pays $46 million (for 50 some odd districts) in out of district placements. (Aberdeener, this is on the DOE site.)

We pay over 7 million, including transportation costs! (Aberdeener, add up all the BOE agenda items regarding Out of District placements for verification & PLEASE CORRECT ME if I'm mistaken. I SO HOPE I'M WRONG!!)

Let's do the math, folks! What percentage of the total Monmouth County expenditures is the MARSD? ONE DISTRICT is over 10 percent of a TOTAL COUNTY expenditure???

Obviously, other districts are training their teachers to meet the needs of these children & keeping their kids in district.

& if anyone thinks that we are sending these kids to "Cadillac" schools, you are so wrong! These are places like CPC High Point, Costal Learning Center, etc. Horrible placements for "behavioral" kids. Look at past BOE agendas for placement info. (The Bayshore Jointure Commission is exempted from this condemnation, in my opinion; they run a great program & are truly supportive of their families, but there were other finacial inequities that the current lease agreement somewhat rectifies.)

Most of these children became "behavioral" because the previous administrations (& I mean previous Superintendents, like Klavon & Quinn, & Helen Rappaport, as Director of Special Services) did NOTHING to help these kids learn to read.

Yes, folks, special ed kids need to learn to read, write & do simple math, which is what a school district is SUPPOSED to do for all its students.

This is a very typical scenario for a kid that can't read in this district, regardless of the actual disability:

When you can't read & are in a very social situation,(as school is) & are bullied constantly by your peers & teachers, (yup, some teachers are MEAN), you develop BEHAVIORS.

Then you are put in an extremely expensive out of district placement that costs 50K to 70K a year (plus transportation) to go to what is basically a holding tank.

The child learns nothing & no one tries to give the child the tools to self manage their behavior, much less learn to read, write & compute math on the most basic levels.

Our own CSTs never follow up or look in on what we, as taxpayers, are paying for, even though it is required by code. Another thing Helen Rappaport was supposed to adminster, but didn't. She was too busy sueing & bankrupting parents in court to oversee anything! (Somebody please OPRA her legal billings over 23 years)!

Write the check & write off the kid; that is what happens with Helen Rappaport in charge, & please do not forget, SHE HAD BOSSES! 3 of them; the revered Ken Hall, Mike Klavon & Bruce Quinn.

What should happen? Use the RTI program effectively, like in Ravine Drive, the only performing school based on test results. If a kid can't read by 3rd grade, they need a specialized reading program, like Wilson, Orton-Gillingham & Lindamood Bell. Have these people come into the district, train & monitor teachers, to be sure our tax dollars are not wasted and that the paid for program has documented results.

Invest in that - trained teachers - & many, many of them are and HAVE BEEN BEGGING for these programs & have been for years!

I do not exempt any BOE member for not paying attention to what was going on in Special Ed, but when you have people like Bruce Quinn as Superintendent, do you really expect him to bring up to the Board any "problems" in a department his wife worked in? He didn't even enforce what the Board voted on in 2003!!!

& what about the huge issue of Pond & Cholwea? Glastein & Gross? They are all in this together & we need to focus on them. This is actionable & criminal. We, as taxpayers, need to find out which Superintendent started & abetted this situation & WHY. What does Helen Rappaport have on these people that they would put themselves in such a precarious position?

In reality, the BOE should be basically powerless. In the real world, their only power should be to hire a Superintendent. They are supposed to discuss & consider what the Superintendent brings to them, then vote on the item.

They are not supposed to be making deals for their own kids, colluding to suborn perjury or defaud taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above in every aspect but have to modify one:

I teach my kid right from wrong. Make sure they do their work. Watch who they hang out with. Have aspirations for them. Hold them accountable. I know their grades, when tests are, who their teachers are, and when something goes wrong - do not blame the teacher as a FIRST instinct.

I have lived in this town for years. The biggest attribute I see from kids who perform from kids who don't is parental oversight. You can talk programs and CST and money spent - it does not amount to a hill of beans until people in this town take an interest in what goes on. You have no idea how many times I have shown up at parent conferences and have heard that in so many words - the kids parents who should be there= are not.

We have to stop trying to be their friends or buddies and even have consequences upon scholastic or social mishaps. From what I see - many in this town do not. I am not perfect - but from what I see these kids dress in for school and how packed the shopping centers are on school nights - I cannot fully blame the district FOR TOTAL failure until I see a change in how people around here when it comes to working with the schools. How many times on here have people said that no one shows at BOE meetings let alone runs for the position and you have the same crew every election running. Things need to be overhauled in the schools, central office, and in the homes of this town.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't blaming teachers at all, just trying to point out that they will need extra training & guidance, which most of them want, to help to reduce costs in special ed to keep our kids in district.

These "behavioral" kids that I am speaking of really aren't behavioral in a classification sense at all - they are abandoned & betrayed by the special ed system.

They are forced into outbursts & meltdowns to the point that they have to be removed from the general population because they are confused, have processing issues and have not been educated, academically or socially.

There is not a more accountable & responsible group of parents than those with special needs children.

I believe most special ed parents have to micromanage their kids just to get through the day - so most of them do the same as you do; know their child's friends (if they have any), know the test dates & scores, help them study, communicate constantly w/ teachers & the CST, , juggle multiple therapy sessions ,organize playdates, sports, scouts & any other recreational program - where they have to stay - no drop off for us - to the point that that is all these parents do. They have no life outside of their special needs kid.

This is a huge emotional strain on a family, especially in these economic times. That is their lot in life & I do not know one family that doesn't do what I described above. Most of the special ed parents I know will do anything to help their kid & given the administrators we have had, they have had no help from the school district.

The problem lies in the administration of their child's goals & objectives by a woman who is all about NO.

No - your kid can't read.

No - your kid can't learn.

No - your kid can't have that reading program, or that related service of AT, OT, PT, Speech or (fill in the blank)

No - your kid can't go to college.

No - you can't make me. Get a lawyer.

That is what it has been like for special ed families.

& please remember, we have typical kids too! Kids who get less of us, as parents, because we have to watch dog a system that is corrupt because no one else gives a crap about what is going to happen to our kids when we are dead. What happens to our kids then? Not your problem? Guess again.

We are exhausted. But we are still here & will continue to be here & speak up & be pesky until someone fixes this system!

I beg you all - Look to the administrators who betrayed us all - typical & non typical, athlete & non athelte, musician & artisian, all of us.

The perpetrators are Klavon, Quinn, Glastein, Gross,Zavorskas, Barbato, Rappaport, Cholwea & Pond.

This is not just a special ed issue anymore. It is SO MUCH BIGGER THAN THAT NOW!

Make them all accountable to all the taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

The above poster is obviouly someone who is frustrated and at wits end with issues relating to her/his child. I synpathize with this person and wish her family the best. I would caution her however from painting everyone with the same brush.
Many of the people she named, Chowlea,Pond,Glastein have/had no influence in the decision making process for SE students. Make sure your facts are correct before you shoot innocent people.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above posting, this is not really just about a Special Ed issue anymore. I read that editorial in the Asbury Park Press last week and got pretty pissed. What a arrogant person to sue over a salary she had not right to be making and then make comments in the paper saying it's not my fault the district knew. Actually, the district didn't know, a select few "fat cats" knew.I think people otta stop focusing on special ed kids and families with this and realize the bottom line is that it does matter what position the people held or hold. The fact is they were not qualified to hold it and Quinn and Glastein knew it but kept them there even after the board removed them through a vote. In any other company, that would be fraud. It is fraud here too, They knew and stole money from taxpayers like it was no big deal. The one that really burns me is the Chowela one. Going from Quinn's secretary to a tech director with no college or state approval? Taking $50,000 a year like it's something she is entitled to? I want people indicted just like those CEOs of big companies who steal money from shareholders. I plan to be there on monday and I think I will write a letter to Corzine too. Somebody has to say hey, you committed a crime here and we want our money back!

Anonymous said...

It seems that many who are reading this and posting are too young to remember that during the 80's Bruce Quinn was working in the district in the same job as Mr. Gladstien has now. I am curious, Aberdeener, when were these people first given their jobs? Didn't I read in the Independent that Rappaport had the Director job for 23 years? That would mean she started in '85, correct? Well, that would make my theory correct; Quinn gave her a job she wasn't certified for in the first place. No wonder he left her there in 2003. He wasn't going to draw attention to himself for recommending to Dr. Hall that she get the job in the first place. As for Barbara, everyone knows she has been Susan Quinn's best friend forever. Guess it has it's perks. $50,000 bump in salary is quite perk.

Anonymous said...

Glastein is now making over $150,000 a year and bears no responsiblity in what Klavon and Quinn have done? He has been her for all of it. Quinn is gone and his legacy will live on, but I doubt anything will happen to him. But Glastein is still on the payroll at a very high salary and should be held accoutable. Gross is still making a fortune from this district and was involved in all of this. I guess we will see Monday night if anyone from the public demands some accountability. For sure they will not investigate themselves, resign, or take less money.

Anonymous said...

Come on people look up the definition for


This is New Jersey people no one in elected, appointed or pay to play is responsible for anything.

That is what we have allowed to occur due to our complacency and ignorance of the political structure for far too long.

We have allowed the Norman Kauff's of the world to rule the day. All you have to do is read your history books. Going back all the way to the founding fathers the electorate, taxpayers and citizens have NOT TRUSTED politicians.

Need I say more? Whop did you vote for in the last election. Most people voted for the same knuckleheads that have failed us for many years. Cody, Roberts, Pallone...the list goes on and on. Everyone is blaming George Bush for our economic strife. The reality is the Congress and House of Representatives have stopped any changes to put controls in place to forestall this very thing. But we all watch the bobble-heads on the news and believe everything they say. Then you see Sen. Dodd and the bloated Barney Franks point the fingers of blame at everyone but themselves. They were in charge of the very entities that allowed the lack of oversight. They allowed the loan debacle to occur. But it is far easier to blame George Bush. Locally it is far easier for Mayor Sobell to force out a Janice Gallo for daring to look into the funny number$$$$$$$$ of C.M.E. and their billing practices.

Blame yourself for our recently disclosed Board of education problems as well as the corrupt leadership in Aberdeen and Matawan.

Anonymous said...

Edgeview, you may be right about all that but as taxpayers we do expect the people who's job it is-not elected BOE members-to comply with the law(for the most part) and now that it has been exposed we need to hold EVERYONE accountable for stealing from kids and taxpayers. Simply throwing our hands up and not demanding accountability, just perpetuates the very type crap you pointed out. We may not be able to do much about State/National level corruption but we can do something about what happens here.

Anonymous said...

Where and what time is the meeting? Anyone know. Please let me know as i intend to go and just stare at Cathy Zavorkas. I among others feel her time has come and gone. It is quite obvious as of late that John Barbato has accepted his fate. this is all too obvious from his silence. Maybe he is just upset at the fact that his desire to be on the Aberdeen Town Council was recently put asunder by the selection of Fred Tagliarini.

Fred was a wise choice but are there not any dems left in Aberdeen who can be on Normans hand picked and controlled council? After all Norm has to know how important this election will be. I mean it is a good thing Adam Puharic left Aberdeen a few months ago otherwise he may have been the latest republican to be selecte. I mean did anyone read that BS that Mayor Sobel fed the newspapers "they are pleased to have Fred BLAH BLAH BLAH. Don't look now Dave but your nose is growing like pinnochio from all the lies you tell. By the way your comments on FT were sadly laughable
and all too telling of the desperation the dems have about November 2009. You see Norm is not done cashing in.

Once again the only things the dems have to worry about is


Right Norm?

Anonymous said...

Joel G. (150k per year +) and The Board Attorney (who knows - I would to see his BILLED HOUR RECORDS) have been there THROUGH IT ALL.... I heard JG got a kick in salary before Dr. O got there and still has it even though Dr. O was hired. What a joke!!!! They knew the rules!!!

And I will hold the other BOE members who allowed it to go on with the promotion of people who are not qualified. The only two, I agree with an above poster who said ALL are to blame except Gambino and Ruprecht because they just got there relatively recently.

We voted those BOE members in there to watch out for this stuff. They are all poking their noses in each others business so I dont want to hear who did not know what.

Anonymous said...

The meeting is at 8 p.m. at Strathmore. I think you should bring friends and neighbors to stare at her too. Maybe if people comment or ask what the board is going to do about this the lame reporter from the press will actually put it in the paper.

If the council starts seeing district folks taken down, they might start shaking in their boots too. Time for taxpayers to fight back. It's great to talk about doing something here but no one has actually done it yet. Time to put up or shut up, I think. I think you are like minded Kenny.

Aberdeener said...

Joel Glastein got a bump in salary when he was the interim superintendent. At the time, I complained to the BOE that a bonus was more appropriate since raises last forever. I was told, without explanation, that the raise was somehow more cost effective.

Anonymous said...

Many of the people she named, Chowlea,Pond,Glastein have/had no influence in the decision making process for SE students. Make sure your facts are correct before you shoot innocent people.

The poster who wrote the above needs to reread the post that s/he posted to.

The previous post had stated that the list of names were people who had betrayed us all as a community, not who betrayed just special ed families.

All of these people either took or looked the other way knowing someone was taking, a job that that they were not qualified for - costing every single tax payer in this district hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last 12 years.

This issue has gone way beyond just the needs of special education students (though that is a serious issue on it's own).

We need some accountability in this whole mess.

I hope others contacted (as I did) the NJDOE, Gov. Corzine and the Monmouth County prosecutor. There are so many issues of fraud, ethics violations and civil rights issues going on here it is ridiculous. This district will be lucky not to have it's pants sued off of them by multiple parents. And, of course, that money will come once again from the tax payers.

The people who took the money, knowing they were not eligible for it, should have to pay it back out of their own pockets.

I find it reprehensible, if it is true, that Rappaport is being put into a position of authority over the very children that she has repeatedly cheated over the last 12 years as she lied, over and over again (often in court under oath) about her credentials. She should have criminal perjury charges brought against her.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD!!! I haven't had much time to check in with your brilliant writing lately, Aberdeener. But, my friend called earlier and said I had to check it out. I can't stand these people anymore! I couldn't stand Quinn by the time he left and I can honestly say I am a reformed Barza supporter. I am embarrassed to admit it but I used to buy all their crap about rebuilding the district to it's former "glory". I started to see that they were all full of crap after the re-org turned out to be a DISASTER!! I would complain and get fed a line of bull. I totally believe that Barza & their crew knew about most if not all of this. I hope that weasel Gastein gets booted out on his ass after this. I gotta say, wasn't sure about Dr. O'Malley at first but look at all the stuff he has done to fix things here. Maybe I never liked OConnel or Kenny but got to hand it to them for getting Dr.O'Malley to come here. I always liked Ken Aitken because he told it straight out but didn't act insulting about it, so he was ok too. I always thought Jan & Pat were ok too but that was before I started seeing who those four really are. What else can we do besides come to a board meeting? I can't get out at night but hell I should do something. Why should I have to pay those people's fat paychecks when I worry about keeping my house and car? I don't think so! How can taxpayers make the three to pay back that money?

Anonymous said...

This url should be forwarded to the fbi. After reading about all the fraud that goes on in matawan/aberdeen they will investigate and provide proper justice.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to figure out if there were additional cost overuns in the departments that these 3 - Rappaport, Pond & Cholewea - ran?

Because, as upsetting as it is to realize that we have been paying fat salaries/pension/benefits to unqualified people for years, it is also sickening to wonder if there was additional wasted funds due to their lack of education, training and/ or certifications on a DAILY BASIS.

I think I remember the district paid a lot of money for the new Technology roll out a few years ago. Then we bought an expensive program (Pearson?) that didn't work with our system? Who was in charge of that? Bruce & Barbara?

Wasn't there another technology snafu with the previous BA under Quinn? He couldn't use the new software or something? Is this B&B's work again?

Is there any way to really know what these people have cost us, through their ineptitude and greed?

On another related topic, I am astonished to learn that Helen Rappaport would actually accept the open school psychologist posistion!

Does her arrogance know no bounds?

When was the last time she did this kind of a job? Has she been brought up to date on any new procedures that may have been instituted in the last, say, 20 YEARS???

She will be a psychologist for general & special ed kids; for the entire population of MAMS!!

She may have some contact with YOUR child!!

When is the last time she actually evaluated a child?

Or even spoke to a kid, for that matter?


Anonymous said...

I too would like to know how much the inept people in those departments have really cost us. There was a big chunk wasted on Pearson because it didn't work with some other program the distict uses. Aberdeener, didn't you give a figure for rappaport's legal bills at a boe meeting? I want know how much Quinn pocketed himself during all this. I like the FBI suggestion, just don't know if they would come in to our pea-on town with all the CEOs being busted.

Anonymous said...

Do you people that bash Pond know anything about her? She was a huge loss to our district and its children when she decided to retire. It seems that many of the comments on this site are made by people that are bitter and angry people taking out their anger and frustrations about their sad lives on others.

Aberdeener said...

The board attorney's legal bills are normally about $125,000 a year. When I checked the vendor sheet in early September, it was already up to a quarter million. Gross later claimed that most of the increase was due to contract negotiations, that only about $60,000 was related to special ed.

At $130 an hour, that's nearly 2000 billable hours in just over eight months. I guess our board attorney must be a very busy fellow.

Come to think of it, I wonder if we ever got a new teachers contract. It's only been eight months since the contract was ratified.

Anonymous said...


Have you contacted the State or County to find out how come they never figured out that these people are not qualified? Did they think that the problem in '03 was fixed? I just can't figure out how Quinn was able to slip this passed everyone for so long. I thought the State checks this stuff on a regular basis.

I also shutter to think how many more there are. I sure hope we don't start finding out about teachers being unqualified. The gravity of this can be bigger than anyone knows.

Thanks for continuing to expose the corruption all around us.

Aberdeener said...

The state lacks the resources (or the will) to do random spot checks of school districts. Rather, the state relies upon the districts submitting an honest matrix report. Our district simply maintained two records - one for the state and one for the public. The state was told Rappaport was a supervisor. The public was told she was a director.

I don't know when the district became required to submit matrix reports but I imagine that's what prompted the change.

Anonymous said...


I haven't seen any personal attacks on Pond on this site. Perhaps you are just one of the crew that works(ed) for the district that thinks it is OK to allow someone to stay in a job they aren't qualified for. I barely remember Pond and aside from the fact that she collected more salary than she was supposed to get, I really don't care about her. However, the fact remains, she also retired on a pension that she really shouldn't have had. That means all of us are still paying for her.

People all around us are losing their jobs and houses. Wake up! No one can afford your buddy's unjust enrichment! I don't care if these people are saints in their personal lives, they work for us and they have stolen from us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Aberdeener,

I guess all roads lead back to Glastien and Quinn. Hope they get indicted.

Anonymous said...

So, Nsection Joe, Aberdeener, Tony and John from Matawan:

Are you going to show up at the BOE meeting to call the district out? I sure enough people have heard about this by then and show up. The sad thing about this town is everyone gripes but no one seems to have balls anymore. I would have liked to be there myself but I work 7-3 shift.

Anonymous said...

I have not been to a BOE meeting in a long time. I will be at this one. It's time for everyone to come and show their disgust for what the district has been getting away with.

I would also like to know, as the above poster asked, when was the last time that Helen Rappaport worked 1 on 1 with any child in the district, or had any type of training in the last 30 years that she's been (stealing from the taxpayers)working for the district.

I know I would not want her evaluating my child for anything.

Anonymous said...

I am HORRIFIED that Helen Rappaport would be allowed to work with special education students in this district.

I see many law suits coming 'round the bend, aimed at how she has violated the civil rights of students by perjuring herself in court cases.

She hired and fired Child Study Team members when she was not, by law, eligible to do so. These people all decide the fates of the special needs children in our district. Has anyone looked to make sure these people have the proper certification for their jobs? Who knows what's going on in this district anymore?

Yes, Rapport has tenure - for a job that she should have NEVER HELD! Why place her in a position to get back at the parents who have spoken out about what a crappy job she has done for this district, for the children, and for how she has ROBBED the taxpayers?

Aberdeener said...

I plan to attend tonight's meeting.

On the agenda is the New Jersey School Boards Association's presentation on ethics. How apropos.

As for Rappaport, Susan Quinn, and their department, I too am fearful of retaliation against special needs families. I would strongly urge the board to consider outsourcing all special needs evaluations for the near term.

Given the current environment, I don't believe we can rely upon the special needs evaluations to be objective in all cases.

Anonymous said...

Pond was the one that lied straight to my face, and told me she never received my childs exceptional educational records, or glowing recommendations from my childs previous school district, teachers and principal,where we moved from. She refused to see any of the work or accomplishments my child had been doing in the previous school. Refused to place my child in the gifted program, which he was in since kindergarteen, refused to look at PERFECT scores on standardized state testing, because it was from a different state. (No it is not the exact same test, but a perfect score on any state test, proves a child is very intellegent.) And spent most of the time of our meeting telling me about her cat that had cancer. That was my experience with Pond. Too bad I was so new to this town, and had no experience or knowledge of this school district and its incompetent and corrupt leadership. And my child suffered.

ANd I don't think our situation was the exception. I've heard similar stories from others about Pond since. Thank god she's gone.

Anonymous said...

Given the current environment, I don't believe we can rely upon the special needs evaluations to be objective in all cases.

Anonymous said...

I urge everyone reading to contact the School Ethics Commission on this matter.

School Ethics Commission
New Jersey Department of Education
100 Riverview Plaza, P.O. Box 500, Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone: (609) 984-6941, Fax: (609) 633-0279

Anonymous said...

Thanx for the tip Anonymous. I will print another copy of the letter I mailed to Davy,Corzine, Valentin and the Attorney General's office today on my way to work. I might start getting threatening phone calls once "they" find out but I don't really care. I am tired of people
getting away with stealing and cheating with no consequences.

Anonymous said...

Here are some other addresses for those who might want to write:

The Honorable Jon Corzine
Governor of New Jersey
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Office of The Attorney General
P.O. Box 080
Trenton, NJ 08625-0080

NJ Department of Education
PO BOX 500
(609) 292-4469

Monmouth County Prosecutor
Luis A. Valentin
71 Monument Park, Freehold, N.J. 07728-1261

I would also suggest contacting the mayors of both Aberdeen and Matawan to see what they will be doing to rectify this situation (my guess being nothing).

Anonymous said...

Maybe you shouls notify the NRC too since many of the folks on this site are about as stable as a nuclear reactor.

Anonymous said...

So, who is most responsible here? Is there anyone who bares the most responsibility? You will have to forgive me if I sound clueless but I just read all this for the first time. I am so mad! Why is this not in the paper? I think someone should call News 12. They came running for the Jointure parents so I bet they would come for something this bad. Aberdeener, as usual, you put a spotlight on the dirty corners these vermin dwell in. GOOD JOB!

Anonymous said...

The reason no one comes running is because most of these comments are not based in facts. Most of the respondents have an axe to grind. Do you really think if half of this stuff was true the papers wouldn't be doing an expose?

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, What's your beef? Are you a Barza supporter or are you Barza? YOU have to be unstable if you think what these crooks did is o.k.

Anonymous said... sounds more like you have an axe to grind. If you read any of the articles published in our so called would have seen where Rappaport has the nerve to admit she had that job with no certificate! In all three articles! And if you saw what the Editor of the Press printed last week, you would have known that it was not such a rosy picture painted of her. I guess the fact that the Aberdeener NEVER posts what he can't prove also escaped you. Did you click on the links in the article? If you had I doubt you would have called any of it a rumor. It's all there in black and white. Why don't you go back and bury your head in sand? Leave the reality to the rest of us who blindly follow idiots like Quinn.

Anonymous said...

Some other addresses to for people to consider writing two to get these people:

Newark U.S. Attorney's Office
970 Broad Street, 7th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

FBI Newark
11 Centre Place
Newark, New Jersey

U.S. Marshal: James T. Plousis
U.S. Courthouse
50 Walnut Street
Newark, NJ 07102

U.S. Department of Justice
New Jersey Field Division
1 Garret Mountain Plaza
West Paterson, NJ 07424

Anonymous said...

Two hours to the meeting - I can't wait to go either, so I can sit and stare, really hard, at Ms. Zavorskas!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm going and not only will I be staring, but I be scowling at her.

Anonymous said...

We should all through our shoes at Cathy, like that Iraqi reporter did to Bush (this is suppose to be the ultimate insult an Arab can make). We could also yell, “This is the farewell kiss you dog!" That would really show her!

Anonymous said...

Here's another thought:


An untruthful statement about a person, published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person's reputation or standing in the community. Because libel is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. Libel is a form of defamation , as is slander (an untruthful statement that is spoken, but not published in writing or broadcast through the media).


Aberdeener said...

Here's my response to any charge of libel.

Anonymous said...

Looks as though Joel Glastein or Michael Gross got their dander up and have posted the LIBEL posting.

Look you low lifes you broke the law if you knew about it, hid it, or were involved in any form. It is called OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT !

Next time you post something try starting with the definition of


Anonymous said...

In order to meet the threshold for Libel, it is my understanding, one would have to make a FALSE statement that damages a person's reputation. It would be up to the injured party to PROVE that the statements written were untrue. In addition the threshold requires such written statements to rise to a level so agreegious as to be believed as true. A statement such as "so and so has syphilis and contracted it from sleeping with the whole football team". Also, it tends to require a statement made in the newspaper or putting up fliers with the person's name and address on it and plastering them all over the town. The statements made on this blog, are generally understood to be opinion or point of view, not fact unless supported by documentation, such as that which the Aberdeener linked in this article. It sounds to me like Anonymous is feeling put upon by some of the sentiments expressed here. If so, there is the option of logging off and not reading this blog. Anonymous should also be aware that there are laws protecting those who host blogs, as well as, entire law firms devoted to defending any such claims.

Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOOH we are scared.

You idiot.

Those who protest the loudest..

are most often GUILTY.

File the lawsuit we have a couple of hundred questions to ask you about some of the goings on over the years.

Have a nice night Joel. Be seeing you tonight at the school BORED meeting.

Anonymous said...

I hope all your staring really gets your message across to Zavorskas. You guys obviously mean business!

And right on Tony, there aren't enough personal attacks on Pond! Let's make sure we rack up those personal attacks!

Anonymous said...

KennyCB - you were right, is was a BORED meeting!

Anonymous said...

I just got back from the meeting. Man, my eyes are sore from all that staring and scowling!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good job tonight Joey, you really stuck it to her! And you starers - awesome!

Aberdeener said...

Low attendance, a legal response for everything, not worth the baby sitter money.

Or maybe not. Board Attorney Michael Gross made several legal arguments insisting there were no violations or that they were immaterial.

Well, time to hit the books and either verify or challenge what he said.

By the way, spoke with John Barbato. He asks if anyone has any questions for him to please contact him directly.

Anonymous said...

You guys are funny. You say those who protest the loudest are the most guilty but yet at other times you say they must be guilty because they don't respond to allegations. In other words, your small minds are made up and anything the other guy does just proves your point.

Hey, Aberdeener. Low attendance tonight. Really? Or was it just that the room was made up of real people, such as students, honorees, teachers, presenters, parents with kids actually in the district, so much that your issues seemed small.

Anonymous said...

Whew- thanks Aberdeener! My wife and I were looking at a home in the Strathmore section when I overheard someone mention this site. I checked it out and have decided to look at another town. We have three young children and it looks like your community has too many issues. Good luck and thanks for saving us.

Anonymous said...

What? Are only people who have kids in the district allowed to be concerned where their tax money is spent?

So the Aberdeener, who's high taxes (like all of us) go mostly to a district that does not perform, who gives titles away like they are candy, who fails student after student is not allowed to have concerns about his tax dollars at work?

More people should be so concerned about what's going on with their money in this community, not to mention willing to stand up for what's right and fair for the kids who live in it.

Right or wrong, at least he stands up and asks the questions.

Anonymous said...

Last nights school board meeting was another example of the smugness and another shining example of why I hate lawyers. Mr. Gross ESQ with his countering of every point Mr. Warren AKA JOEY WARREN) brought up was nothing more than a play on words.

Whatever the subject or example as soon as Joey brought up another question or example Gross was ready to jump like the snake he is. The ethics presentation was a joke as the person giving the presentation was telling our board how much she respected Gross. I do not respect him like all laywers who do nothing but twist, spin and lie to get their points to be believed.

What will Gross say when Joey warren comes back with the truth?

And one more thing how much does it cost to have Joel Glastein sit there every meeting with that expression of disdain?

I watched a grandstanding move to cut a $40,000.00 administrative position. Between Gross and Glastein you could hire eight administrative positions. Add Martucci and another few other do nothings in this district and we save a million dollars.

Lets see at $13,000.00 per student...thats...


Anonymous said...

Does anyone who attended the Board of Ed meeting last night know the name of a man who spoke up on two subjects last night. He spoke about the music program and performing arts academy. Later he spoke of his wife having been a special ed. instructor. He told of his and his wifes experiences with parents from this district who were not well served contacting her for advice. His statement that much of what parents asked his wife about was mandated and required to be provided in accordance with the law. Why then was it not provided? Such experiences speak volumes and I thank him for his bravery. I and my husband had to get back for our babysitter to go home or I would have thanked him personally.

While I do not want to call him personally if any of my fellow bloggers know this man please thank him for his kind words, concern and for putting himself out there.

I and my husband fear retribution and we have not reached the point of frustration where like this man who strongly suggested that every parent of a special needs child be polled as to their experiences with this district over the past ten years. He was brave enough to suggest that and we shall see if this schools leadership listens to such a suggestion or hides from their responsibility and liability.I and my husband think our school leadership knows what Ms. Rappaport and others have done to parents like us and our special needs students. They need to acknowledge and learn from the mistakes of the past before our district can move forward. We know we are a minority but we will be heard.

Anonymous said...

John Barbato asked Joey Warren to have people contact him directly if they have an issue or question?

Didn't the ETHICS presentation specifically warn BOE members NOT to do that? That they should not handle "problems" themselves or make assurance/ promises to a member of the staff or public, but refer issues/ questions/ complaints to the Superintendent?

It was late, so perhaps I misheard or am misremembering?

Or is it going to be the "same old, same old" with these BOE mambers?

Anonymous said...

I went to the BOE meeting last night for the first time. I was APPALLED at the lack of respect the members seem to have for the public.

Many members actually tittered and all but rolled their eyes when Joey Warren stepped up to the podium.

I don't care if he is a thorn in their side (someone needs to be!), as public servants, shouldn't they at least PRETEND to have respect for the people that they represent?

There was a woman who stood up to express her concerns and was basically chastised by Demerast (or however you spell her name) for airing her personal information at the meeting. Ridiculous! How else will anyone know what's going on?

The public needs to take a deep, hard look at those sitting on that board and how they react to the public that they represent.

No wonder so many parents have expressed fear of standing up for their children to the district, if this is how they are treated when they do it.


Anonymous said...

Do you realize that these meetings are televised to the general public? The woman gave her name, address, child's gender and age.

Anonymous said...

Was it Joe McAlere (sp?) who stood and spoke last night?

Aberdeener said...

Joe McAleer was the one who spoke of special needs families. In the community, he's known as Aberdeen's Code Enforcment Officer. On this blog, he's known as NSectionJoe.

Anonymous said...

To the appalled anonymous:

I believe Joey Warren lost their respect the minute he proliferated false rumors and personal attacks and embraced mob mentality. There's a way to do things and there's a way to do things right.

Anonymous said...

You're asked to give your name and address by the board.

If you are standing up and talking about issues you have with a school, it's a safe bet that you have a child at home.

If your concern is over pedophiles, I'm sure there are easier ways for them to find victims than by watching cable access television for hours, waiting for some poor parent to give up their address.

Anonymous said...

What false rumors have been proliferated? I see nothing that's been stated as fact that hasn't been backed up by paperwork, state code, or the actions of the board itself.

And what mob? I saw no mob at the BOE meeting. I saw a few people trying to get the BOE to take notice that not all is as it should be in the district.

It's all good and fine to throw money at "academies" for the highly motivated and intellectual children of the district, but the kids on the other end of the spectrum have to beg, plead and be in fear of retaliation over the simplest of requests like oh, hey, can you pretty, pretty please teach my 8th grader to read?

I thank the Aberdeener for opening the eyes of more people to the crap that goes on in this district, and for speaking out for those who are afraid to do so for themselves, because it's been proven time and time again that the only thing that comes from speaking out is that your child will suffer the consequences.

Anonymous said...

How is it a false rumor when someone stands up and states what happened to their child? Parent after parent, child after child.

It is those who have been on the BOE for years and have allowed this to happen, that has caused the public to lose respect for them. It was the previous superintendent and administrators that were in control for years and years that caused these problems, allowed them, and it seems worked hard to cover them up.

It seems to me and I'm sure many others, that those who come on this blog and try to defend these actions, or discount people's experiences with this school district, are probably the guilty parties.

Anonymous said...

oops, your small mindedness is showing again with that statement.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, the ability to mock someone without giving thought to what they are really trying to say....I'd bet that post was from a board member!

Anonymous said...


Aberdeener said...

You can see the tallies here.

For someone running in Aberdeen, a thousand votes should be enough to get you a seat.

Anonymous said...

Kevin's Mom,

You are welcome. I have lived in Matawan and Aberdeen since 1963. I have lived in Cliffwood, just off of Main St. in Matawan, Marc Woods, Cliffwood Beach and now the N Section of Aberdeen. I know my area and know the history, its problems and much more. I do unashamedly and strongly suggest my ideas and opinions for positive change for my school and my community. Everyone should do the same or don't complain.

I spoke out last night to tell those who sit on the school board of what I have seen and been involved with firsthand. Whether they listened will be found out in a month or so when I ask if my suggestion that every special needs child and their families be contacted who have been involved and experienced the services provided, restricted or kept from them by those who unfortunately are still involved, whether it be negatively or positively in a system, that when it came to special needs children and their parents, was failed to say the least for many years.

Unfortunately those responsible for the most part are gone or sit smugly with a down turned nose with obvious contempt for those of us who question their leadership, abilities, accomplishments, misspending or outright failures.

I found it most ironic and somewhat laughable that I chose to attend the meeting last night, which included an advisory presentation on ethics. Many on this school board as they listed example after example and who were shown exactly what constitutes an ethics violations, or simply put, what elected or public officials are legally allowed to do and/or not to do, were often guilty of exactly the same types of examples they were just then given, by the supposed experts and those listening to the presentation on the school board who have made a regular practice of such conduct in the not too distant past.

Lets see meddling in school business, contacting or influencing school employees or practices... the list goes on and on. I was laughing to myself after many of these examples were given knowing several of these board members made this a daily ritual of interference and interruption. That is until Dr. O'Malley arrived.

Now these meddling school board members are back to controlling the PTO's, which may be a non-conflict for ethics rules and regulations.

If ethics were really to be adhered to, some of those present last night as elected school board members would have turned themselves in immediately for violating the code of ethics they just listened to. Turned themselves in for violating the exact same things exemplified last night during the ethics advisory if they were at all honest with themselves, much less the public they are supposed to serve.

They know who they are and will not take any such action, as ethics for elected officials in New Jersey is a moronic joke. Just look around. You certainly do not have to look to far to find lapses in ethics in every nook and cranny of New Jersey government.

BARZA's heads must have been spinning, as example after example was given publicly as to what constitutes violations of ethics. Many of them sitting their knew they were guilty of many of the examples given last night, but their egos and holier than though type of existence will not allow them to be honest with the public, much less themselves, and to turn themselves in.

That is our school districts reality, sadly. I am told I should watch my words, and lately supposed legal minds seem to be trying to scare off criticism with words like libel and defamation of character along with veiled suggestions of lawsuits being filed.

Be careful what you ask for as at the next school board meeting it may bite you in the ass. We shall see what the public has to present in response to some legal assertions that many were wrong, time and time again last night.

Legal opinions are just that, an opinion. The legal part of the opinion is just overpriced.

Wrong is a word this school districts leadership is well versed in, as they have been very...WRONG. And far too often.

This lengthy input is meant for those in the school district and its leadership who read the Aberdeener on a daily basis. They think it will help them to preempt the next example of wrong doing or contempt for the taxpayers, students and their parents that personifies this school district.

The examples are there from the inflated budgets of the past, to programs and beyond that do not serve this districts needs and educational standards. $13,000.00 per student it still boggles the mind. The changes Dr. O'Malley seems to making, seem to be working. He has my support, which may be his greatest liability.

This is not a popularity contest. This is about the educational needs of our children. They have been pawns in a failed game of hide and seek and we are seeking, accountability.

Anonymous said...

I attended last night's meeting. Many can criticize this superintendent or the board, but what I saw last night, what all the posts don't talk about is how Demarest (and to some credit O'Malley) have done to bring the board and the staff together for change in this district. I think the presentation on the academies was great and I believe my children will benefit from it. What I saw was a 9-0 vote and teacher after teacher supporting a program for our students. This is a good thing happening in our district. This has not happened in a long time. Please support Ms. Demarest and the new superintendent stop the name calling and legal stampede.

Anonymous said...

Support Ms. Demarest????

Do you really think anythingthat has occurred is an idea of HERS???

The academies are another elitist G&T class - just curriculum specific -& I really actually have no problem w/ that, but let's be honest about this - let's encourage students in ANY WAY WE CAN to stay in district & help raise the standards of the entire district.

But if you think Pat Demarest had ANYTHING to do with this, I want the name of your crack dealer.

Anonymous said...

While there are many positives within this school district and exemplary student accomplishments within the MARSD, it appears that we still need to work through some difficult issues in order to move the district forward. And while the BOE meeting last night continued to shed light on the "festering boil" that has been growing in this district for the past decade or so, it does seem to be reaching it's zenith and may be ready to burst before our very eyes. It appears that the nepotistic culture that evolved during this time may have led to overly cozy relationships among the previous Superintendent his family members, friends and certain members of the BOE. I'll let you be the judge as the relevant facts continue to come out. As is typical in most environments where this type of inbreeding is allowed to occur, imperfections begin to express themselves such as, arrogant behavior, the promotion of incompetents, and even grossly unethical behavior. For example, it has been alleged that a sitting member of the current BOE solicited members of the faculty for campaign contributions during the last BOE election. And since the board votes on contractual issues that directly impacts these very employees, I would consider this an egregious act of unethical behavior. How could it not be? The question for our district now is how deep has the boil penetrated into the "educational body". Are there other manifestations of problems within the district besides the mistreatment of special Ed. students and their families that need to be addressed? For example, why don't our athletic teams perform at the same high level of consistency as they had for the past fifty years? Some blame the students themselves but I don't buy that argument and wonder whether the inbreeding has somehow impacted other groups within the district. The MRTA turned out in force to picket at BOE members homes (citizen volunteers mind you) during recent contract negotiations and these same teachers applauded the insulting defamatory remarks made by an attorney representing District employees at last months November BOE meeting. While there are some excellent teachers in this district, there appear to be some sheep in the flock who may be too enamored with the wolf and have lost focus on their real mission here.
The issues relating to special education in the state of New Jersey are not simple and can be overwhelming in the context of public education. But, the fact of the matter is, parent after parent has testified both privately and publicly about their treatment by Child Study Teams under the direct supervision of the "Director or Supervisor" of Special Ed. in this district. Challenging these parents to sue the district as a means to resolve the highly complex and emotional issues relating to the education of one's child is at the very least a cold and callous strategy. Not only does it waste valuable time and money, it also totally disrupts the entire family. I would consider any Administrator, Director or Supervisor who employed this as a regular strategy to be unethical given the responsibility that an educator in this position has assumed. I believe that the historical inbreeding in this district is in part, an underlying cause of some of the problems that we have and as such, the gene pool needs to be expanded. As a matter of fact, it is possible that a wholesale orgy of sorts might be required in order to dilute some of the mutant genes that have been allowed to establish themselves within our small population so that we can move the district forward without the encumbrances of the past. What do you think? What do members of the faculty think? It appears that the change has already begun and I personally look forward to providing support and encouragement to the new administration as new educational initiatives are implemented by our district.

Anonymous said...

I love that the district is trying to move forward with all these wonderful academies. They will serve the top 10% of our students well.

But what about the lower 10%? Where are all the great ideas for them? Where is our district's special education "academy", where the kids can get special classes and still be mainstreamed for their core classes, like it's suggested the academy children do?

Where is the $25,000 -$50,000 a year for the next three years extra to improve special education?

In this talk at the BOE meeting, I heard people get up and speak about "getting the kids ready for the workforce" and "not making artists, actors and musicians, but making better artists, actors and musicians". That's all well and good, and I applaud the effort and the enthusiasm behind it.

But where is the enthusiasm to make sure that the kids in special ed will be able to read before they hit the high school? Where is the enthusiasm to make sure that they can can a job or go to college after high school? Or write legibly?

I really hope that the board will take NsectionJoe's suggestion to have a meeting (or send out a questionnaire) to ALL the parents who currently have children in special ed and all the parents who have had children with special needs graduate the district for the last 5-10 years. See how they really feel about the services and education their children are getting or have gotten.

I doubt that will happen though. As long as they can push us under the rug, they will.

Anonymous said...

How quickly we forget that Pat Demarest voted against hiring O'Malley? Let the re-election campaigning begin...

Anonymous said...

It is quite obvious from the topics that get the most attention on the Aberdeener that the upcoming election season will be to say the least very interesting.

Not merely the school board elections but the local council elections as well. Their desperate attempt to bring Taliarini into the fold will probably not work as he does not want to have the guilt of Kauff and crew to be levied on him. This is according to a few people I myself who know and trust him. Norman may have another Tom Perry or Stuart Brown on his hands. You wonder if Norm has any replacements in mind should Taliarini be brutally honest.

Only time and THE TRUTH will tell.

Right Norm?

You can be certain that the local political machines will soon start to spew their venom. They will start with glad handing themselves and strategically presenting budgets with monies going here and there as needed to ensure votes go their way.

Little problem with that in Aberdeen where THE TRUTH is coming. But also in the school board election that will be a hot ticket especially citing the recent disclosures, parents of special needs children unrest and the ever present annoyance that is Zavorskas and Barbato, as well as their few slaves. I hear that a complaint has already been filed against Jan Rubino, which should have the rest of them treading lightly.

Similarly Norman Kauff and his crew will hopefully be rounded up in a walk of shame at sunrise, to send a clear message.



Look for it Norm.

Anonymous said...

It is my sincere wish to see ALL corrupt elected officials do a perp walk. However, everyone seems to be losing sight of the FACT that the real culprits in the recent school district disclosures, are BRUCE QUINN, Mr. Gross,Glastien, Rappaport, Chowela and Pond!!! They clearly all disregarded the laws of New Jersey as not applicable to them. The nauseating display of incompetence by Mr. Gross is a prime example of the unjust enrichment at TAXPAYER expense! I can't wait to see State investigators march in!

Anonymous said...

I agree with John from Matawan. There has been a lot of focus on the BOE members, with good reason, but we can't lose sight of who the REAL culprits are. I want to know who made the decisions about who was recommended for hire in these positions. I want to know who chose to ignore the vote of the boe on 12/13/03 and keep Rappaport/Pond in their original positions. I want to know how much money is owed to us as taxpayers in REPAYMENT. The Chowela is actually the worst at over $50,000 a year more than she actually is qualified to make. The taxpayers also paid that slimy Gross $250,000 last year! I have never liked him and hope the board FIRES him for his incompetence.

Anonymous said...

As answered at the BOE meeting, Quinn recommended all hiring, promotions, and changes in title.

And any board member that was sitting when all this happened had to vote on it. Perhaps their's is just a bad act based on not knowing the facts, but shouldn't they have known more about who they were hiring or promoting?

And Cathy Z. can't begin to say that she didn't know about the mess with Rappaport. She was there at the meeting in 2003 when they switched her from Director to Supervisor. As much as she likes to talk about how she has a child with special needs, she has had to have gotten paperwork with the letterhead Rappaport has used with the Director title on it.

In fact the letter Rappaport sent out recently to parents is still sporting "supervisor" letterhead.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Who represents a lawyer when he is caught for wrong doing. Just a Mr. Gross concern I have.

Anonymous said...

Glastein and Gross did not have a problem with it. State officials, the media and more had a problem but not our two idiots. I forgot if O'Malley said anything.

Anonymous said...


Dr. O'Malley was asked to answer the Aberdeener's question regarding whether he had determined Rappaport was not qualified. He stated that he had determined in June that she lacked the proper Certification to be a Director. As for wrong doing on Gross's part, the proper agency would be the New Jersey Bar Association and he would need to hire his own attorney to defend an Ethics charge unless he was stupid enough to try to go Pro Se.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I just heard about this site. Thank you Aberdeener for bringing this mess to lite. I have nothing but horror stories for twelve years of dealing with the incompetent, arrogant child study teams in this school district under the direction of Rappaport.Dr. O'Malley is a God send. Rappaport and everyone else involved in that whole coverup, is a criminal and needs to be held accountable. I was always made to feel like I was wrong and was always spoken down to by most members of the child study teams. When the day comes that they will be in court, I will be there to testify to their incompetence. Thank you again Aberdeener and Dr. O'Malley.