By KAYLA J. MARSH
ABERDEEN — The Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District Board of Education has unanimously approved Kevin W. Ahearn as a new member to fill an unexpired term.
“Our esteemed board member, Ms. Africa Nelson, unfortunately has moved to another town, so we have a vacancy until the end of the year,” said Anissa Esposito, board president.
During a July 25 meeting of the Board of Education, the board interviewed two candidates who applied to fill the vacancy.
According to the ad seeking qualified candidates, the board looked for someone who would work cooperatively with the existing Board of Education, remain non-partisan with a child-centered focus and share the values of the district as outlined in its mission statement.
The board unanimously approved Ahearn, a resident of Matawan, to fill the remainder of Nelson’s term.
“I’ve been in education now for close to 45 years,” he said. “I’ve been a superintendent for the last 13 and a half [years] in the Carteret School District.
“It’s been a very long, very interesting and very fulfilling journey, and my feeling about applying for the board is that I feel that I can give something positive back to the community.”
When asked what his understanding is about what the Board of Education does, Ahearn mentioned a few tasks, including budgeting and supporting.
“Schools are a big business, so the first thing you have to do is monitor your finances,” he said. “You have to make sure that your people have adequate resources within the budget [and] you have to plan it strategically.
“[The board] also … makes sure that the instructional programs are working well for [the] children.
“[It] hires, evaluates and supports [the] superintendent, approves and works on the vision and mission statements for [the] district, operates … so that you are accountable as well as transparent and basically [the board should] be a great and knowledgeable ambassador for the school district to [the] community.”
Ahearn’s term will run until the reorganization meeting of the Board of Education in January.
In November, the position will be placed on the ballot at the annual election.
“The process as followed will be Mr. Ahearn will come into the office early next week to be sworn in, at which time he will become an official member of the board prior to the next board meeting at the end of August,” said Superintendent Joseph Majka.
Matawan resident Toni Servance was also interviewed for the position on the board.
“I’ve been a Monmouth County resident for 27 years,” she said. “Currently I am a financial consultant.”
When asked about her understanding of what the Board of Education does, Servance mentioned many items including making sure that the best education is being provided to the students.
“I am interested in joining the school board because I want to see our children excel and I want them to go beyond just community college and feel like they can compete with other people who go to Ivy League schools.”