Peng, Romano take leadership roles on Edison BOE


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The Edison Board of Education has reorganized with new leadership.

Board member Shannon Peng was nominated and selected to become board president and Board member Joseph Romano was nominated and selected to become board vice president at a Board of Education (BOE) reorganization meeting on Jan. 2.

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Peng, Romano along with Vishal Patel, who garnered the most votes in the 2022 November general election to serve the three-year terms on the BOE, were administered the oath of office by School Business Administrator Jon Toth at the beginning of the meeting.

Peng and Romano received nominations to serve as board president. Romano told the board he was not interested in serving as board president at this time.

Peng, who begins her third term, is serving as board president for the first time. She thanked her fellow board members for placing faith in her and giving her the opportunity to serve in the board president role.

“The New Year presents us with new hope and a new start,” she said. “This year, this Board must ensure long term stability for our district. That begins with hiring a qualified, competent, energetic superintendent that is committed to our district, that knows our schools, and understands the needs of our students and staff.

“I respectfully submit that we must also double down on our efforts to solve school overcrowding, in a way that provides what our students need but is also mindful of our taxpayers.

“This includes resuming the discussion on Stelton School. I am hopeful that the township administration will have a substantive dialogue with this Board to move forward with that plan.

“Also on overcrowding, I ask that this Board engage in discussions relating to the implementation of an automated residency verification process,” Peng said.

She continued stating the board has heard from parents and educators on several curriculum changes in 2022 including middle school AB schedule that impacted the students’ art and foreign language programs.

“I just want to say ‘We heard you,’ we will re-examine the curriculum change and rectify as necessary,” she said.

Similarly, several committees were eliminated 2022, including transportation and special education committees, Peng said.

“Twelve thousand students and their parents rely on school transportation every day, it is critical to restore the transportation committee to oversee that it’s well done,” she said. “Also, 10 to 12 percent of our students need individualized special care by our district, we must restore the Special Ed committee so their needs will not be ignored.”

Peng asked her fellow board members for their support in “making our school district more transparent.”

“From issues on school district finances, to its operations, to the curriculum being taught in classrooms, it is so important that our parents and residents have accurate, complete, and timely information,” she said.

Peng said she is eager to hear from her fellow board members, as well as from administrators, educators, and residents on how the board can continue to improve the school district and ensure that each student has the tools and resources necessary to succeed.

“After all, that is the only reason we are here,” she said.

During the meeting, Peng made two motions.

She motioned to authorize Toth to immediately issue a request for proposal (RFP) for legal service for general counsel. Board member Mohin Patel seconded the motion.

“In order for the board to function well and make the right decisions, the board attorney needs to provide unbiased legal advice to the board with a reasonable rate,” Peng said.

The resolution received a unanimous vote from the nine-member vote.

In the second motion, Peng said the board must be responsible for Edison taxpayers.

“Given that the district has a daily balance of $45 million stored in the bank, we need to look for banks that will provide us with best interest rate possible,” she said.

Peng motioned to authorize Toth to immediately issue a RFP for bank depositories. Romano seconded the motion.

The resolution received a unanimous vote from the nine-member vote.

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