Wallkill Valley BOE appoints new member
HAMBURG — The Wallkill Valley Regional High School Board of Education lost one member last week and said hello to another as it accepted the resignation of William Castiglione and approved the appointment of Marianne K. Nichols to fill his seat an election is held to fill the remainder of his unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2015.
“In order to (find a superintendent), we need a board that is fully staffed," board president Guy McHugh said. "There is a spot vacant in Hardyston. Yes, we did get Mr. Castiglione’s letter of resignation.
Although the letter sent to McHugh was dated April 29, it was sent during a board meeting in which he was unable to access the e-mail and, thus, the official start to the 65-day search was April 30. By statute, the board has 65 days to fill a vacant spot on the school board, otherwise the Sussex County Superintendent of Schools must choose a replacement.
But McHugh did not want to wait 65 days. In fact, the board was prepared to interview and vote in a new member the same night, after the vacancy on the board was posted on the Wallkill Valley Regional High School website.
With two candidates having expressed interest in the position, only one candidate — Nichols — showed up for the scheduled public interview on May 27.
“It would be a privilege to be part of the Board of Education," Nichols said. "I think the education of children is crucial and I would very much like to be a part to help our community have the best education for our children as possible. I grew up in Hardyston, and lived in the community a majority of my life."
A graduate of Seton Hall University, Nichols chose to move back to Hardyston to raise her children. Both graduated from Wallkill Valley and are college students.
“I have the opportunity now and the time and I just truly have an interest in helping our community give it the best we can,” Nichols said.
Board member Ron Neal briefly discussed his feelings on the matter.
“She’s at the board meetings all the time and I think she’s involved," he said. "She’s here right now, so I think it’s good,” Neal said.
Although Nichols was aware of the important timing of her arrival on the board, with the ongoing search for superintendent, she also was made aware that she is only appointed until the November election, in which case she will have to run for a seat for an unexpired term, which only would only be for a year. Then she would have to run again.
In the absence of any other candidates, the board unanimously appointed Nichols to fill the vacant seat.
“If he (the other candidate) is not here, as far as I’m concerned, I will make a motion to appoint Ms. Nichols,” said McHugh.
With the entire board answering “yes,” Nichols was sworn in by Joseph Hurley, Jr., Board Secretary, and took a seat on the board.
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