Mahwah School Board Elects New President and Addresses Goals for 2024

In a recent reorganization meeting, the Mahwah School Board appointed Dr. Prema C. Moorthy as the new board president for the 2024 year. Alongside the presidential election, the board welcomed three new members—Richard A. DeSilva, Jr., Benjamin A. Kezmarsky, and Michael Galow—who took their oaths of office following their success in the November 7th, 2023 election. The meeting, which was open to the public and live-streamed, focused on establishing leadership, discussing strategic goals for the upcoming year, acknowledging exemplary performances, and addressing the issue of partisanship in board elections.

Dr. Moorthy’s reelection as board president marks a notable moment for the Mahwah School Board as she outlined an ambitious agenda for 2024. Her goals include the development of a strategic plan, negotiating contracts, improving transparency, and enhancing communication within the school district. In her remarks, Dr. Moorthy thanked her family for their support and shared her vision for guiding the board through the challenges of the new year. She emphasized the importance of working collaboratively with the community to meet the district’s educational objectives.

The newly elected board members, DeSilva, Kezmarsky, and Galow, expressed their gratitude to the residents of Mahwah for their trust and support. Following the election results and the swearing-in ceremony, the board conducted its roll call for 2024, with all members present. Subsequently, nominations and elections for the first and second vice presidents were held, resulting in Richard DeSilva, Jr. and Benjamin A. Kezmarsky being elected to these positions, respectively.

A notable item discussed was the introduction of the “Saring Thunderbirds” recognition program by Superintendent Michael DeTuro. This initiative is designed to celebrate the achievements of Mahwah’s students and staff who exemplify certain key pillars. The board received this program positively, recognizing it as an opportunity to foster excellence within the school community.

The Superintendent also took the opportunity to commend the girls’ basketball team for their outstanding performance, encouraging the board to continue supporting the school’s sports programs. He acknowledged the hard work of the athletes and coaches, reinforcing the value placed on extracurricular activities in promoting a well-rounded educational experience.

Additionally, the board approved the retirement of Sharon Tio, a respected member of the faculty, with members expressing their appreciation for her dedication to student academic progress during her tenure.

The meeting also addressed the sensitive topic of partisanship in board elections, which had been a point of contention. During the public participation section, concerns were raised about the increasing politicization and bitterness associated with the elections. Dr. Moorthy responded by discussing the appropriateness of accepting endorsements from political parties for candidates and shared her personal views on the matter, emphasizing the board’s focus on education rather than partisan politics.

After the official business was concluded, the board members made several remarks. They expressed mutual gratitude and support, with specific praise for the previous meeting’s outcomes and excitement for future interactions. Superintendent DeTuro spoke on the importance of professional development, reinforcing the value of teachers sharing expertise and growing in their roles.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Michael DeTuro
School Board Officials:
Prema C. Moorthy, PhD, Richard A. DeSilva, Jr., Benjamin A. Kezmarsky, Michael Galow, Trista Daveniero, John Dinice, Christopher L. Hughes, Lynda Zaccone, Matthew Park, PhD

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