Monday, April 26, 2010

Official BOE Counts, Upcoming Meetings

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi has posted the official results of the April 20 school board election. No surprises, just confirmation that the Grand Slam team won big.

For three three-year seats:
Wilma Campbell, 1,455; Rasheed Abdul-Haqq, 1,130; Renata Hernandez, 1,021; Mahogany Hendricks, 765; Martin Cox, 652; Danielle Fletcher, 641; Mary Burgwinkle, 627; Jaclynne Callands, 593; Christian Estevez, 585; Catherine Crittendon, 349.

For one one-year unexpired term:
Keisha Edwards, 1,059; Clayton Tucker Sr., 679; Carmencita Pile, 494; Denise Riley, 187.

The only quirky thing about these numbers may be the spread among the winners, with the top vote-getter receiving 30 percent more than the running mate with the lowest tally. Don't know what it means.

Tonight's special meeting is an executive session starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Administrative Building, 1200 Myrtle Ave. There may or may not be any action taken.

Next up is the Reorganization Meeting, 7 p.m. on May 4 at the same location. At this meeting, the school board will choose a president to serve until next April and will designate official banks, newspapers, attorneys and such for the year.

The new board's first work and study session will be at 8 p.m. May 11 at 1200 Myrtle Avenue and its first business meeting will be held at 7 p.m. May 18 at the same location.

The new board will have, by all accounts, a 5-4 majority of like thinkers. It remains to be seen whether these members will act as a juggernaut toward the beleaguered current administration or whether there will be a measured approach to change. Except for interim Superintendent Peter Carter, the last several chief school administrators have been people with no prior experience as superintendents. Tossing out the incumbent, if possible, may just put the district in a holding pattern again while a search is made for a new superintendent.

The turmoil at the top is working against positive moves such as the K-8 configuration to retain students in district schools. The quest for accountability has, in some ways, become conflated with the wish of some to see Dr. Steve Gallon III personally humiliated. The language of the attacks on Gallon goes to extremes that could make any possible successor wary of setting foot into the district's well-known revolving door.

There is much to be done in the weeks ahead. How it will be done and what tone will be set is up to the new majority.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should close the high school and send the kids to surrounding schools. Why?

1- The community and parents continually show how they could care less about education in this city by not voting

2- The inability to have a school board that have the skills to prioritize skills and identify them in a superintendent

3- The lack of concern on the board to work with the community as opposed to dismissing them as thorns in their side

4- Do we have a curriculum?

5- Teachers who are arrogant toward parents because of differences in language and education

The city of Plainfield does not have the skills within its leadership to lead this city. For the sake of the kids, let those who know how to run a school system and teach kids do it - for the sake of the kids.

8:24 AM  
Blogger TwoSmokinBarrels said...

Great article Bernice.


10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about the personal humiliation and abuse Gallon has inflicted on the staff? He deserves everything he is getting and there is more to come. Oh and I won't be surprised if you don't post this because you too have been hoodwinked by this man. He is a festering cancer and he will be removed. Shame on you Bernice, Maria and Dan for not seeing through this and standing up for our children and taxpayers.

6:22 AM  

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