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Brand, O’Sullivan, Williams sworn in to three-year terms on Freehold Township school board

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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Renata Brand, Elena O’Sullivan and Jeffery Williams were sworn in to begin serving three-year terms on the Freehold Township K-8 School District Board of Education during the board’s 2023 reorganization meeting on Jan. 3.

In the November 2022 election, Freehold Township residents returned O’Sullivan to the board and elected newcomers Brand and Williams to their first terms on the panel.

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Brand, O’Sullivan and Williams will serve alongside board members Michael Amoroso, Mary Cozzolino, Neil Garguilo, Michelle Lambert, Meg Thomann and Kerry Vendittoli during 2023.

After the election winners had taken their seats, the board members moved on to the selection of a president and vice president for the upcoming year.

Business Administrator/Board Secretary Robert Devita opened the floor to nominations for president. O’Sullivan nominated Lambert, and Garguilo nominated Amoroso for the position.

Five votes were needed to win the position. A roll call on Lambert’s nomination took place first and Amoroso, Cozzolino, O’Sullivan, Thomann, Vendittoli, Williams and Lambert voted “yes” on her nomination. Brand and Garguilo voted “no.”

By a 7-2 vote, Lambert was elected president. She then selected Amoroso to serve as vice president and Amoroso’s selection was approved by the board members.

Lambert began serving on the school board in 2010. She has served as president and vice president in previous years. Lambert is a member of the board’s Personnel Committee.

Amoroso has served on the school board since 2011. He served as president in 2019. Amoroso served as vice president for the past two years. He is a member of the board’s Finance-Facilities-Transportation Committee.

During her remarks, Lambert said she welcomes public participation during board meetings.

“I believe upping public participation will be a huge help. The idea of public participation is very important for these meetings. I want to hear the ideas the public is bringing to the board.

“I welcome the new board members (Brand and Williams) and the returning member (O’Sullivan). I hope for a lot of learning and a lot of activities. I look forward to the rest of the school year and wish everyone a happy and healthy new year,” she said.

Brand and Williams were welcomed to the board by the incumbent members and those in attendance at the reorganization meeting.

According to the New Jersey School Boards Association, “The school board has a dual role: To represent the concerns of the citizens, taxpayers and parents to the school administrators, and to represent the needs of the students and school district to the citizens, taxpayers and parents of the community.

“The school board does not operate the district on a day-to-day basis; that is the job of the superintendent, who is the district’s chief executive. Rather, the school board sets the policies, goals and objectives for the district – and it holds the superintendent responsible for implementing the policies and achieving the goals,” according to the NJSBA.

School board members serve as volunteers without compensation.

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