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Miller elected president of Howell school board; Bonjavanni elected vice president

HOWELL – Al Miller will serve as president of the Howell K-8 School District Board of Education in 2022.

Miller, who joined the board in 2011, was elected to the position during the board’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 5. This year will mark the first time Miller has held the president’s gavel.

Miller and board members Mark Bonjavanni, Laurence Gurman, Stephen Levine, Denise Lowe, MaryRose Malley, Cristy Mangano, Jennifer Okerson and Ira Thor voted “yes” after Bonjavanni nominated Miller for the position.

Miller succeeds Bonjavanni as the board’s president.

In nominating Miller, Bonjavanni said, “During the last couple of years, I have had the privilege and the honor to watch him in terms of his dedication to this board … and through his participation with the New Jersey School Boards Association and with Monmouth County’s school board association.”

Bonjavanni said Miller “keeps up on every piece of documentation we have ever received … and is often able to go through the agenda and pick out every little thing on the agenda and talk about it. I really can’t think of anybody better at this time.”

When the floor was opened for nominations for the position of vice president, Thor nominated Mangano and said, “It is her sixth year serving (on the board). She did a great job in the last year with community interaction during a really pivotal time in our history.

“She has demonstrated over the years to really have the pulse of the community … being a mother of five children in the district, she has seen a lot in this district from her youngest to her oldest. … I also think it is important to have some new blood in some of these positions, especially as we are trying to develop future leaders,” Thor said.

Miller nominated Bonjavanni for vice president and said, “This is something I have been thinking about all day. Mr. Bonjavanni has led us over the past three years during some challenging times.

“During this (coronavirus) pandemic, he has been active (with the) New Jersey School Boards Association as a group trainer throughout New Jersey … his leadership, his qualifications, his dedication to the township has been excellent,” Miller said.

Miller said he could work with either person who was nominated, but said he believed Bonjavanni was a little more prepared for the position.

After Mangano and Bonjavanni were nominated, Board Secretary Ron Sanasac called the roll and asked each board member to name the individual he or she was voting for to serve as vice president.

Gurman, Malley, Miller and Okerson named Bonjavanni, and Bonjavanni voted for himself.

Lowe and Thor named Mangano, and Mangano voted for herself.

Levine abstained from the vote.

The five votes Bonjavanni received secured the position of vice president for 2022.

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