Some NJ students get day off to celebrate Eagles Super Bowl

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

From the comfort and warmth of a restaurant, Amy Obertholtzer and family watched the Eagles parade on a smartphone while her husband braves the cold on Philadelphia’s Broad Street.

Amy’s fine with that as she reminisces about Sunday’s excitement.

“It was a great game. Amazing. They couldn’t have asked for a better game,” she said.

Scattered across South Jersey, unmistakable signs that this is the Eagles nest. Businesses gave workers off, some even with pay. There were public displays of support and a warning of what to expect: delays for the “major event.”

Schools and districts closed to celebrate the Eagles upset victory in Super Bowl 52, including Glassboro where the superintendent declared the day “Corey Clement, Eagles’ Super Bowl Champion Day.” Clement graduated from Glassboro High School.

“Here we had a situation where they were able to win a Super Bowl, but beyond that what’s even more important, is Corey Clement, who was a star in the game, is one of our students we’ve seen develop all the way through high school and go on to college and come back. And, if there is anything that he teaches students in Glassboro, staff and citizens as a whole, is that hard work pays off and you never quit, especially the fact that he was an undrafted player who fought to get onto the team and did very, very well,” said Mark Silverstein, Glassboro Public Schools superintendent.

Cherry Hill has 19 public schools, 11, 300 students and the superintendent says the decision to keep the schools open came down to this.

“We’re very thoughtful about how we plan for the school days. In Cherry Hill, we’re open 182 days for students, so we are very thoughtful of what that looks like. When we look to alter the calendar for an emergency situation, or for safety, like for weather, there’s a lot of thought that goes in to that because it significantly impacts our students and their families. We have 11,300 children in our school district. We represent about 6,500 families that are here, so to close school has a very dramatic impact on those children,” said Joseph Meloche, Superintendent for Cherry Hill Public Schools.

Meloche says he welcomes the opinion to close the schools because of the historic occasion, but he also welcomes parents choosing to take their children to the parade. He says he’s noticed attendance has taken a hit for students and staff.

“We have substitutes that are in throughout the building. We have a coverage process that we use on a regular basis, if we do not have a sub. It’s always a challenge for substitutes on certain days throughout the year. We would love to have more substitutes that come out and work with us in the school district. I’m sure that in some locations, there are combinations of classes depending on what’s going on, but it is not certainly widespread in the district,” said Meloche.

The superintendent says some teachers are incorporating the Eagles win in their lessons, but for those who argue overall instruction will suffer, Meloche offer this comment:

“One day absent for a child is not going to negatively impact their school experience. We’ll get them caught up,” said Meloche.

The Eagles last won a football championship in 1960, upsetting the Green Bay Packers before the Super Bowl era. Sixty-two-year-old Eugene Menoken of Camden says his father took him to the game. Menoken says a doctor’s appointment kept him from the parade.

“I never doubt them [the Eagles]. I’m sorry my pops couldn’t see them. My sister, she got cancer. So, I bought this shirt for her,” he said.

A shirt and a parade to go along with a memory to last a lifetime.