Fort Lee Education Association

"Fort Lee's Brightest"

Good Deeds and Accomplishments

FLEA President Bruna Capalbo’s AP U.S. Government & Politics Class Holds Mock Election

Kudos to our President and FLHS Staff Member of the Month for February, Bruna Capalbo, for her dedication to her students and their knowledge of the electoral procedure! It is no surprise why she was voted “most influencing educator” by this year’s Senior Class. Quoted in a Bergen Record article, Ms. Capalbo explained her motive for the civics experiment, “Because it is a presidential election year, and this is a really important presidential election, as we know, I wanted to be able to motivate them to be involved in the political process, and what better way to do that than show them what it’d be like to be running for president.” Here is Nicholas Pugliese’s article in it’s entirety: Fort Lee High School government class conducts mock presidential election.



Jae-Kun Kim (People’s Voice Party)







Hana Badivuku (Human Advocates for America Party)

Demba Mane Wins Coaching Awards

This year’s success of the Fort Lee High School boys’ soccer team has brought attention and honors to their devoted coach, FLEA member Demba Mane. As his team had a 14-2-2 record and won the league title, Coach Mane was voted Bergen County Coach of the Year and selected to coach in the Bergen County Boys’ Soccer All-Star game. He was also voted the league and state sectional Coach of the Year. To top all of this off, Coach Mane was elected by his peers to coach in the state All-Star game.

demba1       When he is not coaching, Mane works as a custodian at School 2. A 1995 graduate of Fort Lee High School, Mane came to the United States at the age of 13 when his father was sent here to work as a diplomat from the small African nation of Guinea Bissau.

“I like working in the Fort Lee Public Schools because it provides a sense of community,” Coach Mane said. “I feel like I am doing a service to my community.”

During his high school years, Mane played soccer and ran track. Sports were an outlet for the immigrant child whose father was often too busy working to be with him.

In addition to being employed as a custodian in the school district for 18 years, Mane has contributed to the borough in other ways. In 2002 he started working as a coach and in 2012 he was named head coach of the Boys’ Soccer team. He continues to live in Fort Lee with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, 5-year-old Juliana and 6-month-old Daniel.


“I like to work for the school because I feel that I’m doing service for the community and society,” he said.

Mane, who graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in computer science, says he likes to coach because it enables him to help young people grow and develop. Based on this year’s success of his team, Coach Mane has certainly succeeded in helping his athletes reach their potential on the soccer field.

One of his former athletes, Rex Flores, a class of ’09 graduate of the high school, later worked as Mane’s assistant coach during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

“Coach Mane was a player himself and he knows the sport and the strategy,” Flores said.

According to Flores, Mane was one of the few coaches he had while growing up who had also played soccer. “You technically don’t have to be a player to coach, but you learn things as a player,” said Flores, an immigrant from El Salvador.

The former player said he considers Mane a mentor to him and it was nice to see their relationship change when they coached together.

“He has the trust of the players,” Flores said. “He demands hard work but he has a balance of being tough but also kind. It is hard to find that balance. He is the perfect amount of both.”


Maryann Ciraulo Spearheads Events for the Rebecca Serkey “Follow Your Dreams Foundation”

Rebecca Serkey was a flight paramedic who tragically lost her life while trying to save another in 2014, at 29 years old.  This past year School #2’s Maryann Ciraulo, a personal friend of Serkey,  had the honor to help organize events for the foundation that honors this courageous young woman’s life. In September, the Foundation held a successful fundraiser with all proceeds supporting scholarships for aspiring paramedics and EMT’s in Bergen County.

If you’d like to assist Maryann in furthering the Foundation’s mission or for more information, please visit: Rebecca Serkey Follow Your Dreams Foundation’s Facebook Page




Ms. Lembo Completes her M.Ed.

Congratulations to Ms. Elizabeth Lembo who recently completed her M.Ed. in the Advanced Study of Special Education. She received her Masters from Concordia University-Portland. Elizabeth is a Special Education Teacher in the Autistic Program at School #2.



Mr. Yoon’s Big Ride – Cycle for The Cause

Every September hundreds of riders and crew members come together and embark on a journey like no other: Cycle for the Cause. Together they train, fundraise and prepare to make the roughly 275-mile trek from Boston to New York. Some are veteran riders and some have never cycled before, but they all share one common thread: their dedication to the cause. Jang Yoon, FLHS Teacher of Mathematics and the 2014-15 Educator of the Year, has participated for the past two years. He reports, “the riders truly come from all walks of life. They are LGBTQ and their straight allies of friends, parents, sons, daughters, etc. Some of the teams who participate are Team Goldman Sachs, Team Google, Team NYPD, among others. This was the event’s 21st year and there were about 200 riders and about 50 crews. It is an annual event, which is a shorter but more intense version of it’s West Coast counter part – AIDS/Lifecycle ride (7-day,  600-mile ride from San Francisco to L.A.). Collectively, we raised more than $800,000 for this year’s event. I have raised $4640 so far and still hopeful to reach the $5000 goal soon (the donation site is still open and any support is welcome). I am truly thankful for the wide and deep support from all the staff and colleagues”.

The second picture may need some explanation, “traditionally, the second day of the Cycle for the Cause is the Red Dress Day – All riders and crews are encouraged to wear something red to create a human chain of the red ribbon, the universal symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness to enhance the visibility of our ride on the road. The range of imagination and creativeness displayed on this second day red dress costumes is something to be witnessed first hand. I, however, chose a bit of conservative outfit of a red tutu which was certainly more utilitarian than red latex corset worn by some other riders”.

Congratulations Jang! We look forward to seeing you sport the red tutu on Dress Down Day…  😉

To pledge your support, please visit: Jang’s Donation Page.

For more information, visit the website: Cycle for the Cause.

jang_startimg_0370 jang_finish