Sharon Cantillo will continue to lead the Brick Township Board of Education in 2015 following a unanimous vote Thursday night at the board’s reorganization meeting.
At the same meeting, John Barton, elected in November, was sworn in as a new board member and took his seat for the first time.
The reorganization ceremony and a number of annual resolutions were the only items the board handled at Thursday’s meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes.
“I have run for a few years, and I’ve run against every person on this board,” said Barton. “It’s really a miracle that I’m here. It was the hands of God that pushed the buttons for me. I’m confident that I can do this and serve well as a board member.”
Barton, who ran unsuccessfully in the last several school board races, defeated incumbent Larry Reid in November.
Cantillo will continue on as board president, a role she has held since 2011. She was nominated as president by board member Karyn Cusanelli, who said Cantillo’s “experience and expertise is invaluable.”
“I’d like to thank my fellow board members for having the trust and belief in me to do this job,” Cantillo said, who also took a moment to extend a welcome to Barton. “We do everything we can to help each other out, and I want to extend that to you as a new board member.”
“Hopefully I can be an elevator, you can take me up with you or you can take me down,” said Barton, who added that he looked forward to “reaching a consensus” with the other board members on district issues.
Superintendent Dr. Walter Uszenski said he was looking forward to working with the new board.
“As superintendent, it’s always a pleasure and an honor to work with people who volunteer their services for the betterment of our school district and our students,” he said.
While board members exchanged pleasantries and pledged to work together, the board may run into some complications this year. With the addition of Barton, four out of the board’s seven members will have conflicts of interest on certain matters pertaining to district contracts and personnel matters, meaning the board will be forced to invoke what is known as the Doctrine of Necessity. The concept was discussed as part of a previous article on Brick Shorebeat.