Ryan Green, who is a former member of the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education, has been appointed to fill an open seat on the board.
Green was appointed in a unanimous vote of board members during the panel’s April 5 meeting.
John D’Amato of Manalapan, who won election to a three-year term on the board in November 2020 and joined the panel in January 2021, resigned from the board on Feb. 2. D’Amato’s term was scheduled to conclude in December 2023.
District administrators announced that a vacancy on the board existed and solicited candidates to fill the open seat.
Because D’Amato was one of Manalapan’s eight representatives on the board, only residents of Manalapan were eligible to seek the appointment. Englishtown has one resident who serves on the nine-member board.
Nine residents of Manalapan applied for the appointment to fill the vacant seat: Michael Levenson, Claudio Alvarez, Jamie Herr, Stacey Einziger, Kelly Lukas, Max Berent, Jim Gibbons, Christy Minetello and Green.
Interviews with the nine residents who sought the appointment were conducted by the board members in executive (closed) session on March 15, but no appointment was made that evening.
When the board convened on April 5, Green was nominated for the appointment to the open seat and elected in an 8-0 vote. His appointment will run through Dec. 31.
The final year of the term D’Amato won in the 2020 election will be on the ballot in November. In addition to that one-year term, there will be three three-year terms on the board on the November ballot.
Green, who works as an administrator in the Franklin Township Public Schools in Somerset County, was initially elected to the Manalapan-Englishtown school board in April 2005 and served until Dec. 31, 2009. He left the board to join the Township Committee in January 2010 and served two three-year terms on the municipal governing body.
Regarding his current appointment to the school board, he said, “I am very excited to join the board at this time and I am grateful to the members of the board for giving me another opportunity to serve the school district and our community.
“There was a thorough interview process and significant interest in the open seat, and I feel fortunate to be selected from such a strong group of qualified candidates.
“As a board member, I want to make a positive contribution to the board and the district. We have a great school system and I want to make sure we continue to provide a high-quality education to our children, especially as we deal with ongoing budget issues, including the recent reductions in state aid.
“In addition, on matters regarding the pandemic, I will be a strong advocate for in-person instruction whenever possible and I support keeping masks optional in our schools,” Green said.
Green said he is “well-versed in educational issues, from special education to supporting mental health in schools. I plan to use this experience and knowledge as a board member.”
He and his wife and have a daughter in third grade in the district.
Green joins Manalapan residents Brian Graime, Gerald Bruno, Christine Parisi, David Kane, Ryan Urgo, Dotty Porcaro and David Ferber, and Englishtown resident Jesse Tossetti on the school board.
Graime, who is the board’s president, said, “After a very thoughtful and diligent process, we selected Ryan Green. We want to thank the other eight qualified candidates for their interest in the position and hope they continue to show support at our meetings. It is great to see so many folks who want to be part of such an incredible school district.”
Bruno, who nominated Green for the appointment, said, “Ryan brings a lot of experience and professionalism to the board.”
Parisi, who seconded the nomination, said, “All of the candidates did well (in the interviews). I feel confident in Ryan’s ability to keep the district moving in the right direction.”
School board members in New Jersey serve without compensation.