New year will bring change to Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education as board president resigns

The Hopewell Valley Regional School District administration building in Pennington.

The new year will bring change to the Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education.

Current President Deborah Linthorst, whose term runs through 2024, announced her decision to resign from the school board at the final school board meeting of the year on Dec. 12.

“It is with regret that I announce my decision to resign from the board effective at the end of this calendar year,” she said. “This is not a decision I came to lightly, but is one I make for both personal and professional reasons. It truly has been a privilege and great honor to serve as a member of this board representing the citizens of Hopewell Township.”

Linthorst, who represents Hopewell Township, resigns early from her second term on the school board that began in January.

“I feel grateful for the opportunity to serve this amazing district, alongside some fantastic and dedicated fellow board members both past and present,” she said.

Linthorst was first elected to the board in November 2018. Her first term began in January 2019.

“This board has served through some of the most challenging times in our history [including] a pandemic and hiring of a new superintendent,” Linthorst said. “I am proud of the work we have done together, and I thank you for putting your trust in me to serve as president of this body for the past three years.”

The board also said goodbye to board Vice President Jessica Grillo and board members William Herbert and John Mason, whose terms expire on Dec. 31. Grillo represented Hopewell Borough and Herbert and Mason represented Hopewell Township for the board.

The three board members did not seek re-election to the school board in the 2022 November general election.

In January, Mark Peters will represent Hopewell Borough and Michael Wilson and Ou Liu will represent Hopewell Township on the board.

Superintendent Rosetta Treece thanked the outgoing board members for their service.

“I first want to thank Ms. Grillo, Mr. Mason and Mr. Herbert just for your commitment to this position. I know how time consuming it is as you are juggling children and full-time jobs and you are bringing your business acumen, your knowledge, your sensibility, the voice of the community, honesty and the hard questions to this board to make sure we are doing what is best for kids,” she said.

Treece also praised Linthorst for her work on the board and service as president.

“To Ms. Linthorst, I could not ask for a better board president. I don’t know how you juggle all of it, being a mom, shuttling children not just your own, running the food pantry or helping with the food pantry, helping us with the way we put out our communications,” she said.

Treece added that they really could not have gotten through the pandemic and everything that has occurred in the last three years without her.

“So, you will be missed. I am grateful to have started my career with you all,” she said.

The board is expected to make an appointment to fill Linthorst’s unexpired term and vacancy.

According to the school board, the appointment will run until December 31, 2023. The remaining year of the term will be placed on the ballot in the November 2023 general election.

Applicants for the vacancy must be available to attend a special meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the District Administration Building for an interview.