MANCHESTER – At the reorganization meeting, the Manchester Board of Education swore in its two newest members Gayle Mount and Daniel Staples.
Mount and Staples will be joining the Board, replacing outgoing members Pat Barry and Jackie Bermudez.
At the December 18 Board meeting, Superintendent David Trethaway thanked Barry and Bermudez for their service to the district. Barry chose not to run for another term and Bermudez lost her seat in the November 2019 election.
Trethaway praised Barry for his involvement and commitment to the district during his three year stint with the Board, noting that he helped to increase school spirit and was instrumental in bringing improvements to the football field facilities.
“He was really an important part of the district before he became a board member,” said Trethaway. “He was a member and president of the Booster Club, he served on the Strategic Action Plan Committee, and with those roles he did a lot to provide opportunities for our student athletes, for our students in general, and for our sports programs. He was a tremendous resource.”
Trethaway emphasized that Barry was on the Board “for the right reasons.”
“There are no political ambitions, he doesn’t have any agendas, political or otherwise, he’s here for the students, he’s here for the district and he always has been. When making decisions he uses a common sense approach. He listens to everything and the final answer is always based on how does it benefit the students, how does it benefit the parents, how does it benefit the staff, how does it benefit the district,” he said.
Barry thanked Trethaway for his kind words and expressed his gratitude to have been part of the school community, stating “It’s amazing to see the passion and how much you guys care for our kids.”
Although she may have lost her seat in the recent election, Bermudez has put in her time with the Board. She served on the Board for 10 years, acting as board president for the last year. Similar to Barry, Bermudez was active in the district before becoming a board member.
“She was an active member of the Band Parents, she was on the PTA, she just wanted to be involved and she was involved for the right reasons. She always emphasized that we want to provide opportunities for all students…Not only did she get involved with the mandated trainings but she’s been to additional trainings and workshops to become more involved and learn what it takes to be a positive board member,” said Trethaway.
Bermudez served as Manchester’s board president in the past, and she also served as the president of the Ocean County School Boards Association. She was recently recognized at the Ocean County-Monmouth County school board meeting for her service and leadership.
“As president she demonstrated leadership for the board, the district and of course the superintendent. She has always been a positive advocate for our district and has all the qualities to look for in a board member – well informed, knowledgeable, makes decisions based on what is best for all the students in the district,” Trethaway added.
Bermudez, like Barry, expressed her gratitude to have been a part of the school district.
“I did not become a board member because I thought I knew what was best for the district or felt that it needed to be better. I became a board member because I wanted to be a part of this wonderful school district and be involved,” she said. “Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this for the past 10 years.”