The abolished two English teaching positions and one World Language teaching position last week. The eliminations, also known as a reduction in force, were due to an overall downsizing of the English Department, according to Communications and District Projects Coordinator Nakell Williams.
According to the state law listed in the district’s resolution, “a Board of Education may reduce the number of teaching staff members employed in the district whenever, in the judgment of the board, it is advisable to abolish any such positions for reasons of economy or because of reduction in the number of pupils or of change in the administrative or supervisory organization of the district or for other good cause.”
The three teachers were recommended for abolishment due to “economy and staffing needs in light of student enrollment and scheduling”, the resolution stated.
Because the teaching eliminations are a personnel matter the district is unable to release the names of the teachers who have lost their positions, Williams said. However, students, parents, and some staff came out in defense of English teacher Jesse Grabowski, who allegedly was one of the teachers whose position was being abolished, at the last Board of Education meeting.
For over an hour, people pleaded with the Board not to eliminate Grabowski’s position during public comment; Grabowski’s defendants characterized him as “inspiring”, a “mentor”, a “father-like figure”, and an “excellent teacher”.
Grabowski also ran the Drama Club at Manalapan High School and has been a full-time faculty member for almost three years.
Superintendent Charles Sampson said that the three positions being cut were all non-tenured positions so the eliminations were selected based on seniority.
The Board unanimously voted to pass the resolution abolishing the three full-time teaching positions.
According to Williams, the teachers whose positions were terminated are not considered “fired” or non-renewed and they can apply for other positions within the Freehold Regional High School District.