Hillsborough School Board Elects New President and Vice President, Addresses Security and Meeting Schedules

The Hillsborough Township Board of Education convened on January 2nd, electing Mr. Paul Marini as the new board president and Miss Cynthia Nurse as the vice president. The meeting further addressed the introduction of David Stoko as the coordinator of school security operations, the debates surrounding the board meeting schedule, and the discussion on professional travel-related expenses.

Mr. Paul Marini, who was elected as the board president, will lead the board for the coming year. Alongside him, Miss Cynthia Nurse was elected as the vice president. These leadership appointments come after the official announcement of the election results, which saw Cassandra Craig, Cynthia D. Nurse, and Paul Marini elected to serve three-year terms on the board. In the wake of these changes, the board members were administered the oath of office, committing to uphold their duties with fidelity.

During the meeting, David Stoko, the former police chief of the Randolph Police Department, was introduced in his new role as the coordinator of school security operations. His appointment is part of the district’s response to the security department and additional staffing questions that passed in the November ballot. Stoko articulated his dedication to ensuring a secure educational environment within the district.

In the Superintendent’s report, there was a proclamation for School Board Recognition Month in New Jersey, which acknowledged the valuable efforts of school board members. The Superintendent also expressed gratitude to the community for supporting the ballot questions and reassured that the district would adhere to budgetary guidelines when hiring the new staff.

A substantial portion of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the scheduling of board meetings. The board considered replacing Home and School Association (HSA) visits with work sessions where actions may be taken, having only one meeting in December, and potentially reducing the number of meetings, which sparked debate about public engagement and the ability of board members to remain informed. The members expressed varying opinions on the frequency and format of meetings. After extensive discussion, the board agreed to retain the existing schedule temporarily, with an amendment to move the HSA visits to February 12th, allowing time for further consideration of potential changes.

The issue of professional travel expenses also prompted debate among the board members. Concerns were voiced about the cost and necessity of trips to places like Hawaii and Denver. While some members sought to prioritize local professional development opportunities, others emphasized the educational value of these trips. Despite the disagreements, the board ultimately approved the travel expenses, with some dissent on the out-of-state trips.

In educational matters, the board approved new and revised course proposals, including forensic science and various business and marketing courses, as well as a new textbook for forensic science. The board also agreed on several human resources actions, such as resignations, retirements, and appointments, including the lead school counselor position.

Public comments spotlighted concerns about inconsistent heating in school hallways and the allocation of funds for an international conference in Hawaii, questioning the prioritization of resources. Additionally, a teacher and a representative from the Hillsboro Education Association raised issues regarding professional development funds and the workload of administrators. The association also highlighted communication challenges with the board.

The board unanimously approved several motions regarding summer enrichment, financials, and policy reviews. They also discussed the school calendar, with varying opinions on whether to revisit it for potential changes. Updates on the action committee’s discussions regarding final testing policies and bathroom rules were shared, and Miss Craig acknowledged the business office’s efforts in handling tax assessments and shared resources for families in need.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

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