Kevin Ciak recognized for serving Sayreville for quarter-century


SAYREVILLE – After leaving his position last year, one of the longest serving members of the Board of Education has been recognized for more than a quarter century of service to the Sayreville School District.

During an Oct. 19 meeting, Kevin Ciak was honored by the board and district administrators with a plaque commemorating his service.

Ciak joined the Board of Education in 1994 at age 19. He was a member until 2020 for over 26 years of service. Prior to his departure, Ciak had been the longest-serving member of the board. He had also been serving as board president in 2020 for a third consecutive year and held the position for a total of 10 times during his tenure.

In addition to the Sayreville School District Board of Education, Ciak was a member of the New Jersey School Boards Association and the National School Boards Association and had served as president of both boards. A lifelong resident of Sayreville and graduate of Sayreville War Memorial High School, Ciak is credited with launching the Vision 2030 initiative, which works to focus the district on providing the skills that students need for the future.

When Ciak resigned from the board in March 2020, the district was unable to provide him with the customary plaque that is given to former members. At the Oct. 19 meeting, Ciak was able to attend to receive the plaque.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the recognition seeing that [he] probably was the longest running board member or close to in state history,” Superintendent of Schools Richard Labbe said. “I’m talking over 25 years of dedication toward a Board of Education.”

Board member Lucy Bloom also voiced praise of Ciak.

“I always told Kevin he was the fourth child that I didn’t want, but I was only kidding because I really do love him,” Bloom said. “He is well-respected by everyone who knows him and I always felt he was my walking encyclopedia if I needed to know if it was a law, a statute, a regular policy – I just called up Kevin and he told me exactly what I needed to know. So tonight, I take great pleasure, having got a few phone calls out to get a few people to come, and I am honored to give you [Ciak] this [plaque] for your years of service.”

In his comments, Ciak thanked the administrators, staff and board, as well as the Sayreville community for electing him to serve over 26 years.

“When you think about that, that’s two full back-to-back K-12 cohorts that went through the district while I was a Board of Education member,” Ciak said. “It was an honor to serve all of those students and serve this community.

“We don’t always see all of the parents of the children in our district represented in our school board because that single mom who’s working two jobs to take care of their child doesn’t have time to serve on the school board,” he continued. “But they made sure that their voice was heard in the conversations that I had with them, in the data that was reported [and] in the information that was shared with the board and it helped inform our decision-making.

“I truly want to thank the community for absolutely wonderful years. Danny DiPalo, who served the Board of Education for 43 years, looked at me with his wife and says these students, they don’t know who we are and they don’t know what we do, but they know we were here and that’s all that matters. For 26 years it was an honor to be here and for me, that’s all that matters. Thank you.”