PSFA grants $5,000 to Skills USA national trip

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After much discussion and debate at a monthly meeting Thursday night, the Parent Student Faculty Administration voted 13-7 in favor of granting $5,000 to help cover costs of the Skills USA national trip to Kansas City.

“I think it’s a no brainer,” said Beautification Committee chairperson Sophie Weiner, “see[ing] their enthusiasm and dedication.”

Juniors Sarah Gleason of Ocean and Austin Smith of Hazlet, seniors Gabby Maurer of Avon, Jessie Kraus-Lavy of Marlboro and Ally Kowalski of Shrewsbury and advisor Kelly Harmon spoke for the club, which includes 20 percent of the student body and offers competitions for students in different areas of the work force.

12 of the students in the club placed first in the state for categories such as entrepreneurship, crime scene investigation and job interview. They also received invitations to compete at the national level in Kansas City, and 10 of those students plan on attending the conference if costs are covered. The cost per student to attend the trip is $1000, which has been brought down to $667 through district funding.

PSFA co-president Debbie Talamo noted that the original allotment for student grants from the PSFA was $5000 for the year, and $2500 had already been spent on grants to other clubs such as Photo and STN. Any remaining money would come from the general fund.

The unprecedented request resulted in some scuttlebutt among the members, who contributed contrasting comments.

“We can only pay for what we can afford to pay for,” said co-president John Talamo.

As the year comes to a close the PSFA has $36,100.26 in its account, over $14000 of which came from a particularly successful dinner, dance and gift auction event March 3. The Talamos also mentioned that graduation costs will be covered this year by the Monmouth County Vocational School District.

“We are in a good position to do it [fund the trip] this year,” said Mr. Talamo, noting, “There’s no guarantee next year.”

After crunching the numbers, treasurer Isabella Grove determined there would still be enough money left over in the account for upcoming expenditures and to start out the new year if the grant were passed.

Principal James Gleason also reported on a successful incoming freshman orientation for the accepted class of 2016.

With 58 of the 85 accepted students being female, Gleason said, “the imbalance of Communications High School will continue for another year.”

Gleason also ball-parked that the graduating class accumulated over $5 million in scholarships this year, up significantly from $450,000 last year.

Upcoming events for students include the drama production of Neil Simon’s Rumors Friday and Saturday at the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove, spirit week starting Monday, the junior class trip to NYC Wednesday and Mr. CHS next Friday.

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