The ArbiterSports Interview With Keith Veltre
About Newark Public Schools: The Newark School District is the largest and one of the oldest school systems in New Jersey. Its origin dates back to 1676. Today, the District boasts an enrollment of more than 40,000 students, spread-out over 63 different schools, instructed by 2,886 teachers, with a district-wide staff of over 5,500. The 2021 Newark Board of Education budget surpassed $1 billion not including additional monies earmarked for COVID relief.
Keith Veltre: Well, I’m a Supervisor at Newark Public Schools in the Office of Health, Physical Education & Athletics. I was actually a special needs teacher for nine years, and then became the Athletic Director for Newark East Side High School before moving into an administration role. But all the while, I’ve been a hockey coach and hockey mentor to kids in the Newark area including kids with special needs.
ArbiterSports: We saw that you were mentioned in a New York Times article regarding youth hockey in New Jersey.
That’s correct, I was, along with several of the co-founders of our non-profit called Hockey in Newark. We started with five boys in 2003 and the program has really taken off. We’re one of, if not the only, inner-city hockey squads in the country. We even have a sled hockey program for our special needs kids.
You speak highly of Newark Public Schools, tell us more.
Our district has the most talented kids in the world. If they find their passion, they become incredibly successful. In fact, I was just thinking about one of our hockey players who went on to receive a scholarship to Princeton and is now a highly successful attorney. There are so many stories like that.
You’re a district user of Arbiter Registration (formerly FamilyID). Can you tell us why it was implemented?
I was actually the catalyst for implementing Arbiter Registration. We started it in middle school and it was specifically used for our special needs kids to sign up and register for sports including sled hockey. Of course, it’s expanded far beyond that now.
And what do you like most about Arbiter Registration?
There’s so many things, but we’ve essentially eliminated paperwork and consent forms and all the hassles that go along with managing that paperwork. What’s really great is I use it just like a business card. I have a link to the registration in the form of a QR Code, and parents can sign up for a sport, activity or event, on their phone, right while I’m talking to them. It makes life so much easier for parents and students.
You have our interest, tell us more.
I do want to say that the support and assistance is top-notch for the product, and I’m insisting that you make certain that my contact, Samara McKown, is mentioned here because she’s fantastic. I’m just so delighted with the product and the company. It couldn’t be better. Arbiter Registration really streamlines so many different operations within a school and a district that it’s nearly impossible to think how we existed before it was implemented. That’s when you know a product is really great. When you look back and can’t for the life of you even imagine how we operated without it. I fully endorse and recommend ArbiterSports the company and Arbiter Registration the product.
“During the pandemic, we continued with our sporting events, particularly sports for our special needs kids. In fact, those are the student-athletes who needed sports the most. Having Arbiter Registration made it easier for our students and parents to sign up and register for events during the pandemic. That shows you how critical Arbiter Registration is to the inner workings of a school and a school district.”