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New Superintendent Brings New Hopes for Students

Mrunmaee+Bansode+24+asks+Dr.+Edward+Aldarelli+a+question+on+the+Edison+Township+school+district+during+a+press+conference+in+the+Media+Center.
ARANIEE SOTHILINGAM ’25
Mrunmaee Bansode ’24 asks Dr. Edward Aldarelli a question on the Edison Township school district during a press conference in the Media Center.

In October, the new Edison Board of Education superintendent, Dr. Edward Aldarelli, visited Edison High for a press conference with select staff from The Eagle’s Eye and students in the new journalism elective. The conference has sparked some ideas and thoughts for “The Eagle’s Eye” editorial board.
Dr. Aldarelli was charming, entering with laughter and enthusiasm and finishing with time to speak directly with students. He mentioned his extensive experience in education and educational leadership throughout the press conference, lending to his credibility and passion for teaching. His answers were people-oriented, as he spoke about prioritizing the growth and needs of staff and students above all else. For example, Dr. Aldarelli said he would like to generally “focus on curricula, climate, and culture, because you don’t learn in a space you don’t love.”
For one, It was refreshing to hear Dr. Aldarelli’s thoughts on the role that artificial intelligence can and should play in the classroom. In fact, he listed a few effective ways of using chatbots like ChatGPT in creating exemplars, making edits, or unlocking a new learning tool. His openness to AI in an educational setting, despite the risk of cheating, suggests that he is open to new and modern approaches to education, even if that initial shift may seem daunting at first.
However, the needs of a large district can be daunting. With a fresh face added to the Edison BOE administration, we hope for fresh ideas for problems that have bothered the student body and staff for the past few years. When asked about the increase in student use of vapes and e-cigarettes, Dr. Aldarelli suggested that educators tell students that these are things that can hinder aspects of their lives and stressed the need for policies that put consequences in place. While these are all valid approaches to the problem, they have been attempted with little effect. We don’t envy Aldrelli, nor any present-day Superintendent, tasked with viable solutions for these complex problems.
As students, we hope that Dr. Aldarelli’s time as superintendent will be as impactful as to include the effecting and enforcing of no-tolerance policies, offering of resources for recovery from vaping addictions, or the installation of vape detectors. Taking one step further that includes both research and data-driven preventative and restorative measures can make all the difference in his role as our superintendent and, by extension, curating that space that students love.

Focus on curricula, climate, and culture, because you don’t learn in a space you don’t love.

— Dr. Edward Aldarelli


Additionally, the buses have been a topic of concern, an issue raised to Dr. Aldarelli during the conference. Like before, he encouraged a code of conduct after listing several necessary considerations, including the potential worsening of the situation and its financial burden. Indeed, for us students, a better future at Edison High School would mean a comfortable, safe, and time-efficient experience in transportation to and from school. The lack of space in school buses and the instances where students are brought or picked up late take away valuable time and leave frustrations lingering throughout the day.
A possible solution that would improve the poor circumstances would be making room in our district’s budget to offer more bussing and troubleshooting the constant traffic around Edison High at vulnerable times.
Furthermore, the problem of overcrowding was discussed. With many students struggling to navigate the packed halls and focus in full classrooms, we were eager to hear a solution. Rather than focusing on the present, Dr. Aldarelli turned to the future, speaking of the analysis of student population growth demographics to determine the BOE’s next course of action. Through these considerations and in time, we hope that a plan will be developed in order to optimize the space we do have for the comfort of our students. We would love to see a smoother flow of students between passing time through an expansion or making better use of the space we do have.
All in all, from bussing to overcrowding to AI implementation, we look forward to Dr. Aldarelli’s initiatives in creating a space to love and, therefore, to learn.

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About the Contributor
ARANIEE SOTHILINGAM ’25, Photography Editor

Araniee Sothilingam has been contributing as a staff writer and photographer for "The Eagle's Eye" since her sophomore year. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music, or taking pictures for different school events. She can also be found after school at Student Council, DECA, Film Club, or with the EHS orchestra.

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