School board members begin terms in Sayreville


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 SAYREVILLE — The Sayreville Board of Education inaugurated three members and elected the board president and vice president during its reorganization meeting.

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Incumbent Kevin Ciak, former board member Thomas Biesiada and newcomer Anthony Esposito were sworn in for three-year terms on Jan. 5. The members ran unopposed for three open seats in the 2015 election.

Ciak has been a Board of Education member for more than 21 years, first elected to a three-year term in 1994. This marks his eighth term with the board. During his tenure, he has been elected board president seven times, most recently in 2014. He was also elected vice president in 2012 and 2013.

Biesiada was previously elected to a one-year, unexpired term on the board in 2006 and served two three-year terms from 2007 to 2012. After losing his bid for re-election in 2013, he is prepared to resume his duties as a board member in 2016.

Biesiada thanked the voters who supported his return to the Board of Education.

“I’m happy to serve,” Biesiada said. “Again my main goal is to look for the education of the students involved in our district — to make (their education) better, to make improvements throughout the district. Hopefully, the three years will be very productive.”

Esposito will serve his first term on the Board of Education in 2016. He informed his fellow board members he was honored to be with them and was motivated to run after receiving support from his wife and three children.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside all of you and with the administration who run our school from day to day and do a great job,” Esposito said.

Following the installations, Michael Macagnone was unanimously voted to continue as president after being nominated by Beth DePinto.

A member of the board since 2005, this is Macagnone’s second consecutive year as president and the ninth year he has been elected. In addition to 2015, he held the position from 2006-2010, 2012 and 2013. He was also the vice president in 2011.

Phyllis Batko was elected vice president in a contested race against Ciak after both were nominated for the position. Batko was nominated by Daniel Balka, and Ciak was nominated by Lucy Bloom.

The vote went 5-4 with Balka, Biesiada, DePinto and Macagnone voting for Batko, while Ciak received votes from Bloom, Esposito and John Walsh. The two nominees voted for themselves.

In a speech given by Batko prior to her election, she explained that she sought the position of vice president because she could successfully work alongside Macagnone and Superintendent Richard R. Labbe.

“We have a new superintendent now and I’d like to sit by and work with him more closely to achieve his goals,” Batko said. “I think I could do a good job working side-by-side with him.”

As with Macagnone, Batko has been on the Board of Education since 2005. She previously served as president in 2011, the same year Macagnone was vice president.

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