Friday, July 21, 2017

Mr. Frank J. Spano Jr- Long Time Hoboken Public School Teacher, Administrator and Nationally Recognized Sports Official

Mr. Frank J. Spano Jr. 1939-2017
My condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Frank Spano. Mr. Spano was a valued colleague and a mentor and set a high standard for professionalism in his interactions with parents, faculty, and staff of the schools in which he administered. I will always remember his kind and generous words he had when John Raslowsky and I were appointed Superintendent and Asst. Superintendent of the Hoboken Public Schools back in 2007 . -Dr. Anthony Petrosino 

Frank J. Spano Jr.  loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away from this world on July 20, 2017 after a long illness (Details for final arrangement). Born and raised in Hoboken, N.J., Mr. Spano has lived in Manchester Township, N.J. since 2002.  He is survived by his loving wife Gloria (Herbster-Hanson); his three children, Gayle Khoury, Joseph Spano and his wife Kristen, Frank Spano and his wife Christine and their mother Ann, nee Gallo; his 3 step-children, Kristen Spano and her husband Joe, Danielle Bernie and her husband Budd, and Gary Hanson and his wife Johna. He leaves behind 9 grandchildren; Elizabeth and Bobby Khoury, Sarah and Joseph Spano, Frank Spano, Maxelle and Budd Bernie and Alyvia and Gary Hanson; his sisters Marianne Maarleveld, Judith Scarpone and brothers Joseph and Steven Spano. He is predeceased by his parents Frank and Josephine (Monaco) Spano.

He was a member of the class of 1961 of St. Peter’s College, Jersey City, N.J., and received his Masters Degree in School Administration from Seton Hall University in 1966. Mr. Spano served in the Hoboken school system from 1961 through 2000. His career in education started at A.J. Demarest School as a teacher of Business Studies where he later became Vice Principal. In 1972 he was named Principal of Joseph F. Brandt School where he served until 1995, he returned to A.J. Demarest as Principal for the 1995-1996 school year then took over as Principal of Hoboken High School from which he retired in 2000. After retirement he served as Interim Principal in the Englewood Cliffs Public School system as well as the Teaneck Public school system.

Through all of Mr. Spano’s success in his career in Education he also had an illustrious 50 year career as a sports official. Starting as a Little League umpire in 1964 he quickly moved to the high school level and to college baseball in 1967. His 22 year career as a college baseball umpire ended with him being on the diamond for the College World Series. He served as the Rules Interpreter for the College Baseball Umpires Association from 1984-1992. He took up refereeing college football in 1972 spending 20 seasons at the Division 1 level. He also refereed Division III Women’s College Basketball. After retiring from college officiating duties, Mr. Spano worked as a College Scout for the NFL and the Coach/Quarterback Coordinator for the NY Giants as well as the 24 Second Shot Clock Operator for the NJ Nets of the NBA. His love of sports was passed down to his children and grandchildren. The traveling involved in officiating college football became a passion of his. After retirement he travelled the world with his wife, Gloria, family and friends and spent much time in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Francis Church, 308 Jefferson Street, Hoboken, N.J. on July 25 at 11am. There will be no visitation prior to the mass. Friends and family are respectfully asked to gather directly at St. Francis church no later than 10:45 am. Entombment is at Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington. Hours of visitation at Failla-McKnight Memorial Home, 533 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, N.J. on July 24 from 3-8pm. Valet parking in rear of memorial home off Sixth Street. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Frank’s memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014, or

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thanks to those who helped with Father Mike’s services - Rev. Chris Panlilio, Pastor St. Francis Church

Photo: Avalon Zoppo | For
Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who assisted our church with the wake and funeral for Fr. Michael Guglielmelli.

First and foremost is Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her administration. We own them a great debt of gratitude and we truly appreciate all that they did for us, especially, the Department of Environmental Services and the Police Department. Police Chief Ferrante and Lt. Petrosino bent over backwards to accommodate us. All involved were highly professional while being very sympathetic. We all can be proud of these who serve our city.

We would also like to thank our Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp. who stood at the ready for two long days. Carlo’s Bakery, for sending desserts and breakfast. Failla Funeral Home, for sponsoring the catering. Our heartfelt appreciation to the Hoboken Board of Education and Hoboken University Medical Center for their respectful cooperation and the aid and assistance of the Jersey City Police Department and the Hudson County Sheriff.

The Konopka and Lawton Turso Funeral Homes did an amazing job under trying circumstances. Their staffs worked long hours to assure the highest level of service. We would like to express our appreciation for the members of the clergy who participated, especially those who helped organize: Bishop Dominic Marconi, Msgr. Michael Andreano, Msgr. Bob Meyer and Rev. Joseph Scarangella, Rev. Bryan Page and Rev. Tom Rzempoluch.

We would also like to apologize to those that were inconvenienced by the funeral. Our neighbors that surround St. Francis were asked to bear with street closures, major parking issues, extra traffic and crowds. We appreciate their patience.

Everyone’s time, talent and treasure will be paid forward, as we honor Fr. Mike’s lifelong commitment to the poor and homeless, through our free lunch program. It is our wish that God will bless, in a special way, all for their efforts on our behalf.

Rev. Chris Panlilio, Pastor
St. Francis Church

Related Link 1;   Related Link 2;   Related Link 3;   Related Link 4  

Monday, July 10, 2017

American Society of Engineering Education 2017: Group-Based Cloud Computing for Secondary STEM Education (Petrosino and Stroup, 2017)

I recently presented a paper at the 124th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Engineering Education. This work is related to my recent National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant and was by special invitation to all new awardees of NSF research grants. What follows is an abstract of the paper as well as the full paper that was presented at the conference.
Title: Group-Based Cloud Computing for Secondary STEM Education (Petrosino and Stroup, 2017)Presented at NSF Grantees Poster Session
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by designing, developing, implementing, and studying a socio-technological system for group-centered STEM teaching and learning consistent with a nationally recognized pre-service program.The project takes a design-based research approach to creating and studying technologies and materials that support generative teaching and learning in STEM. Sites associated with a nationally recognized and expanding approach to STEM teacher preparation and certification will serve as incubators and testbeds for the project's innovation and development efforts. Computational thinking, including agent-based modeling, and simulation across STEM domains as well as geo-spatial reasoning about personally meaningful learner-collected data will provides an important scientific foundation for the project. This will be achieved by developing a highly-interactive and group-optimized, browser- and cloud-based, device-independent and open-source architecture and by integrating and extending leading computational tools including the NSF-funded NetLogo Web agent-based modeling language and environment. The project will also achieve this outcome by publishing its technology-mediated activities and materials in the public domain and by capturing extensive qualitative and quantitative data on the intensity and nature of use of these technologies and materials. Collectively, the project will foster the growth of educational infrastructures to enable the dissemination and effective adoption of generative teaching and learning in STEM particularly in high school engineering. 
  1. Dr. Anthony J Petrosino Jr University of Texas, Austin [biography]
  2. Dr. Walter M Stroup University of Massachusetts [biography]

Group-Based Cloud Computing for Secondary STEM Education [view paper] Dr. Anthony J Petrosino Jr (University of Texas, Austin) and Dr. Walter M Stroup (University of Massachusetts)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Excerpts from Hoboken Board of Education vs. HoLa and NJDOE Decision

Superior Court, Appellate Division- New Jersey
The following are excerpts from the Superior Court of New Jersey concerning the case of Board of Education of the City of Hoboken, Hudson County (Petitioner-Appellant) vs. New Jersey State Department of Education and Board of Trustees of the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (Respondents-Respondents). The appeal by the Hoboken Board of Education was decided on June 29, 2017. The following excerpts are taken from the June 29, 2017 decision without editing. The full text of the decision is available by clicking here.


1) the original intent of its founders was to implement a dual-language program (Spanish and English) at Hoboken's Connors school (the district's most segregated and poorest school), but Hoboken rejected the plan.

2) Students are admitted to HoLa through a lottery with no interviews. No demographic data is collected until students are registered. In order to represent a cross section of the Hoboken community, HoLa holds open houses and tours and advertises in local publications. It also partners with local organizations to recruit on-site. Dates for the open houses, tours and events, as  well as the lottery, are posted on the school's website and are printed on flyers "distributed throughout the city." In addition, applications and brochures are mailed to every low-income household each year prior to the lottery. HoLa's parents and teachers also canvass subsidized and public housing and help complete applications on the spot.

3) Parents may enroll children in the lottery online, in person, or by a phone call to the school. HoLa has a sibling preference, so that if a child is enrolled in HoLa, that child's younger sibling will have priority over other lottery applicants. On December 23, 2014, HoLa submitted a request to the Commissioner to include a low-income preference in its lottery.

4) A-3690-14T3 N.J.S.A. 18A:36A-8(e), however, states that a charter school's admission policy must seek to enroll "a cross section of the community's school age population." (Emphasis added). This indicates that the entire community, not just the students enrolled in the public schools, must be considered.


5) The percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch decreased for all four Hoboken public elementary schools from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014

6) [A]lthough HoLa enrolls a higher percentage of White students, and a smaller percentage of Black and Hispanic students than [Hoboken], the percentage of White students attending [Hoboken] has actually increased since HoLa opened in 2010 with the percentage of Hispanic students decreasing in that same period. The percentage of Black students in [Hoboken] has stayed fairly constant since 2010. The increase in percentage of [Hoboken's] White students since 2010, along with the decrease in Hispanic students, and the lack of changes to the percentage of Black students indicates that HoLa's enrollment has not had a segregative effect on [Hoboken]. Instead, the data points towards an overall population shift in the last ten years in the City of Hoboken, which began before the opening of HoLa Charter School.


7) [A] Charter School should not be faulted for developing an attractive educational program. Assuming the school's enrollment practices remain color blind, random, and open to all students in the community, the parents of age eligible students will decide whether or not to attempt to enroll their child in the Charter School and any racial/ethnic imbalance cannot be attributed solely to the school.


8) Hoboken does not, however, show that expanding HoLa will increase racial imbalance as it did in North Haledon. To the contrary, the percentage of white students in Hoboken schools increased since HoLa opened.

9) The evidence showed that HoLa's policies are geared toward admitting a cross section of the school-aged population, economically as well as racially and ethnically. HoLa canvassed and advertised in Hoboken's subsidized housing developments. On December 23, 2014, HoLa submitted a successful request to the Department to include a low-income preference in its lottery. Hoboken fails to convince us that the facts regarding economically disadvantaged students lead to a conclusion that HoLa should not be permitted to expand.

10) Hoboken does not argue that the financial losses surrounding HoLa's expansion would impede Hoboken's ability to provide a thorough and efficient education. It mounts only general, non-specific and unconvincing attacks on the entire charter school scheme and does not separate HoLa's impact from the impact of the other two charter schools.

11) HoLa provides quality education to a cross section of Hoboken's children. As a dual-language school, HoLa allows students to become bilingual in a curriculum with a multi-cultural content, and thus advances public policy goals. Hoboken has not shown that the Commissioner's decision to allow HoLa to expand was arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable.