MARLBORO — Two newcomers and a former member have been sworn in to serve three-year terms on the nine-member Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education.
Annette Siewert, Valentina Mendez and Michael Lilonsky were elected to the school board in the November 2022 election.
Lilonsky served on the board from April 2007 through January 2017. His service included terms as vice president (2010) and president (2011-16).
Siewert, Mendez and Lilonsky took the oath of office during the board’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 3.
During 2023 they will serve alongside Kathleen Amster, Aldo Patruno, Jessica Piernik, Christina Russotto, Susan Shrem and Jill Strafaci.
After the new members were seated, the floor was opened to nominations for board president. Patruno nominated Amster for the position. No other nomination was made. On a roll call vote, all nine members voted “yes” for Amster.
Following her election to the position, Amster said, in part, that she was “thrilled to have this opportunity” and she thanked her fellow board members for the opportunity to lead the board.
Amster thanked community members who have supported her during her four years on the board.
Following Amster’s election as president, the floor was opened to nominations for vice president. Patruno nominated Russotto for the position. No other nomination was made. On a roll call vote, all nine members voted “yes” for Russotto.
During her remarks, Russotto said, in part, “I am extremely humbled and invigorated at the road ahead. … I vow to always do my best. … I will consider every child of every ability.”
Russotto is beginning her second year on the board.
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.