Board Of Education


Highlands Elementary
Board of Education

The members of the Highlands Borough Board of Education thank you for visiting the Highlands Elementary Schools' website and invite you to spend some time with us to learn more about our students, staff, and community.

Message From the Board of Education


On behalf of the Highlands Elementary School Board of Education, welcome to our website.  We are pleased that your interest in quality education has led you to visit us.    Our school has an idyllic setting that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Raritan Bay with a spectacular hilltop view of the New York City Skyline.    The small seaside community of Highlands is proud to showcase an elementary education that offers our students a curriculum designed to teach and nurture the whole child.

Our Board of Education is comprised of seven community-minded individuals with diverse backgrounds and a wealth of experience.   Together with our dedicated administration, we have raised the level of education and standards for our children from pre-school through 6th grade.   With a focus on individualize learning plans, a well-rounded curriculum in line with the Common Core Standards and a priority for safety; we feel that we are on the road to becoming a landmark school of excellence. 
Our board members work closely with our Tri-District Superintendent, Dr. Susan Compton, to see that our administrators and teachers have the tools and materials necessary to bring the best possible education to our pupils.  Our new building principal, Mr. Daniel Layton, oversees a talented faculty and staff committed to making the education process both challenging and engaging for every child.  Please consider making an appointment to tour our building with Mr. Layton.
We encourage our community to become vested in the process of education, because we know it takes a village to raise a child.   Please join us at our monthly board meetings and voice any concerns or ideas that you feel are important to our children’s education and safety. 

Thank you again for visiting our Henry Hudson Tri-District Website and the pages of Highlands Elementary School. 

Highlands Board of Education

Board of Education President

Mrs. Diane Knox

Term Expires: 12/31/2019

Board of Education Member

Mrs. Regina Melnyk

Term Expires: 12/31/2021

Board of Education Vice President

Mrs. Suzanne Thomas

Term Expires: 12/31/2020

Board of Education Member

Mrs. Nancy Messina

Term Expires: 12/31/2019

Board of Education Member

Mrs. Irene Campbell

Term Expires: 12/31/2021

Board of Education Member

Mrs. Robyn Sanfratello

Term Expires: 12/31/2021

Board of Education Member

Mrs. Rebecca Kane-Wells

Term Expires: 12/31/2020


School Business Administrator/Board Secretary: Christopher Mullins

Superintendent : Susan E. Compton, Ed.D

Board Attorney: Michael Gross

Treasurer of School Monies: Lorraine Gallagher

The Highlands Borough Board of Education welcomes residents, staff members, students, and other interested persons to its meetings. This information, which we believe you will find informative, has been proposed as another means of forging a partnership among schools, the staff, and the community. Decisions of your elected School Board affect the education of our children and the well being of our community. The Board can better represent its constituents when members of the community take the time to observe the Board in action, to express opinions, and to ask questions.

We are pleased to have you here and hope you can join us often.

The New Jersey Constitution mandates, “The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all children in the State.”

The Board of Education is created by statute to perform a state function at a local level. The Board, within the powers delegated to it by law, is charged with governing the School District and is the policy making, legislative branch of the School District.


It is a meeting of your school district for the transaction of the business of the district. It must be conducted in a specified manner because laws and regulations require certain procedures. Board members, as elected State officials, must make sure that they take all the actions required of them at each meeting.

School Board members are unpaid officials elected by qualified voters. They are empowered by the state to govern the public schools at the local level. Board members have no legal status except when sitting with other board members in a legally constituted meeting. Board members are elected to three-year terms in annual school elections, which occur in November. The board president and vice president are elected annually by members of the Board of Education at the re-organization meeting in January.

The Superintendent of Schools, an ex-officio member of the board, and the School Business Administrator/Board Secretary are seated with members of the Board of Education at public meetings. These school officials advise the Board of Education members concerning school and educational issues. They do not vote on matters before the Board of Education.

The agenda is the order of business for the meeting. Based on board policy and procedures, the agenda allows for the efficient conduct of the board’s business. It also provides for public information and general information on the issues, as well as progress and accomplishments within the district.

Comments from the public regarding action items may be addressed to the Board President at the beginning of the meeting as noted on the agenda. Comments on all other matters are reserved for later in the meeting at the second Hearing from the Public. When recognized by the Board President, one should come to the podium, state his/her name and address for the record, keep comments or statements to no more than three minutes. The Board of Education welcomes and encourages comments from members of the community within an appropriate time limit.

All meetings of the Board of Education will be open to the public unless the matter under consideration falls under one of the categories specifically exempted under statute, i.e., personnel, lawsuits, student matters or contract negotiations. Exempt matters may only be discussed in closed session, but final action must be taken at a public session.

Work sessions are planning meetings where the Board receives reports and information regarding the management of the school district from the Superintendent. Agendas and supporting documents are sent to the Board Members in advance of the meeting dates to allow the Board to study and review the information. During work sessions Board members have the opportunity to study and discuss specific topics in depth. Work sessions are open to the public. Action may be taken at a work session. The Board votes at Regular Public Meetings. During the Public Meeting it may appear as if some items are being voted upon with little or no discussion. However, this is not usually the case, since items may have been discussed at length at a committee meeting, work or executive session.

The School Board welcomes your opinions and communications.Correspondence may be addressed to:
Highlands Borough Board of Education
c/o Christopher J. Mullins, Board Secretary
360 Navesink Avenue, Highlands, NJ 07732


OPENING OF MEETING - Call to order by Board President, roll call, reading of the Open Public Meetings Law, comments by the Board President.

HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC - Comments from the public regarding items on the agenda are welcome at this time. When recognized by the Board President, one should rise, state his/her name and address for the record. Speak only to the action items before the board and keep statements to no more than three minutes. Comments on all other matters are reserved for later in the meeting.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - For the previous meeting’s minutes to be placed on file and be considered official, a motion must be made and passed for their approval.
ACTION ITEMS – Motions are presented to the Board for decision. Many of these items were discussed and reviewed at the board’s work session and placed on the agenda.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT - Items presented to the board regarding programs, issues, updates or highlights about different aspects of the curriculum, program or school district in general.

INFORMATION ITEMS - These include reports of committees and other information that do not require action by the board in the form of a motion. The Board may choose to discuss particular items of correspondence, old business or new business.

HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC on non-agenda items.


New Jersey School Boards Association
National School Boards Association
New Jersey Department of Education
Garden State Coalition of Schools
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