School board welcomes Cali, applauds Mongon in Old Bridge

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By KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

OLD BRIDGE — The Board of Education appointed Jill Cali to serve the remainder of longtime board member Nancy Mongon’s term.

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Board members were caught by surprise when Mongon, whose three-year term was set to end January 2017, announced her resignation at a meeting in June.

Three township residents sent letters of intent regarding the Notice of Board Vacancy including Cali, former board member Matthew A. Sulikowski and Michael W. Spina.

Cali was sworn in at an agenda session meeting on Aug. 9 by School Business Administrator Joseph J. Marra.

Mongon’s resignation, which was effective Aug. 1, came with mixed emotions. She said “due to recent unexpected personal family events” it will prevent her from completing the final five months of her term.

Mongon, who previously served as the district’s business administrator, said she came to the decision to resign and do the right thing for the district and the board to allow time for the board to advertise, interview and appoint an interim member so that a full nine-member complement of the board is in place for the action meetings in August.

“Old Bridge has been my home since 1986, and the past 30 years have flown by in a heartbeat,” she said. “I am so proud to have been a member of this community as a parent, as a PTA (Parent Teacher Association) member, as a district employee and finally as an elected member of this board.”

Mongon thanked her supporters.

“I always did my due diligence and voted my conscience,” she said, adding that it has been a privilege and honor to serve the community.

Mongon said the greatest part of being a board member is the proven education that she has observed not only through her children’s testaments, but through award and Wall of Fame ceremonies and graduations.

“I enjoyed every minute [of my time on the board]. I love the town, and I love the district from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

Board Member Richard Dunn said he has known Mongon since 2010 when he first became a board member.

It was at the time when draconian cuts were made across school districts when Gov. Chris Christie came into office, he said.

“I relied on Nancy to guide me when she was the school business administrator, and I have always respected Nancy,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed her companionship, her knowledge and her insight, and I’m sad to see her go. I’ve not always agreed with Nancy; however, she really brought her perspective to give to the board when necessary, and it was very refreshing.”

Board Member Frank Weber said Mongon has been a tremendous asset when she was in the administration and as a board member.

Board President Donna Andriani said Mongon’s announcement caught her by surprise.

“You have a strong voice and many times the minority voice,” Andriani said to Mongon. “We appreciate all of your hard work, and we’re sorry to see you go.”

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@gmnews.com.

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