JACKSON – Tara Rivera was sworn in as the newest member of the Jackson Township School Board during its reorganization meeting. Rivera and fellow member Sharon Dey were sworn in by Business Administrator Michelle Richardson.
Both Rivera and Dey won three-year terms on the panel during last November’s school board election.
Dey was appointed on Aug. 15, 2017 to fill the unexpired term vacated by former Board President Barbara Fiero. Fiero resigned from the board and Dey ran for her term which was to end on Jan. 1, 2018.
Dey served nine years on the board prior to that appointment. She served on the district’s Special Education Advisory Council. Dey said during her campaign that she was interested in increasing the transparency of the board and involving the community in the board’s efforts to improve education through sound fiscal and educational management.
Rivera has been a township resident for more than 23 years. She has two children and has a background in education, special education and psychology. Rivera also has experience with advocacy work and with team decision-making processes.
During her campaign she said she was committed to working alongside other board members for the benefit of students in order for them to reach their maximum potential with the district staff. She also felt strongly about providing more transparency to the residents of the district.
Board members voted to keep Scott Sargent and Vicki Grasso in their respective leadership roles as the board’s president and vice president during the reorganization meeting. Sargent and Grasso’s terms began in 2016.
Along with Fiero’s resignation last summer, the panel lost longtime member Michael Hanlon who resigned on Oct. 20 due to his moving from Jackson Township.
Board members voted to appoint professional staff during the reorganization meeting. Those appointments included Robert J. Pruchnik of the firm of Campbell & Pruchnik, LLP as special counsel for Special Education for the period of Feb. 1, 2018 to Jan. 31, 2019.
Board members also appointed the firm of Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP as special counsel for labor on an as needed basis for the period of Feb. 1, 2018 through Jan. 31, 2019.
Brielle Orthopedics, P.A. was appointed as school physician by the board for the period of Feb. 1, 2018 through Jan. 31, 2019.
Other actions included the board’s appointment of Integrity Consulting Group as Broker of Record for employee benefits for the period of Feb. 1, 2018 through Jan. 31, 2019.
George Stone was appointed as treasurer of school funds for the period of February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019. While the firm of Suplee, Clooney & Company was appointed as the board’s auditor for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. The firm will conduct the 2017-2018 audit.
Also appointed was the Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc. Architect, as district architect of record for the period of Feb. 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019.
Richardson was reappointed as the district’s qualified purchasing agent for the period of Feb. 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019.
In compliance with the state’s Department of the Treasury, Affirmative Action Office, the board designated Patricia Senus, as purchasing specialist and public agency compliance officer for the district.
Ed Ostroff was appointed as director for buildings and grounds for the period of Feb. 1, 2018 through Jan. 31, 2019.
One of the more time sensitive projects that the board has been addressing concerns the district’s transportation department which is running out of room. Last month the district’s architect and other professional staff started to examine that department’s needs and the estimated cost involved in creating a satellite facility.
One possible location for such a facility is property owned by the district near Jackson Liberty High School, off North Hope Chapel Road.
Board member Michael Walsh said previously that the current facility, located on Don Connor Boulevard, which has been in use for 40 years, is no longer adequate. “This would be a second smaller facility with a transportation yard,” Walsh said.
Dey said “the original yard was first used when Jackson was half its size.” Sargent said that the project needed to be investigated quickly.