Clifton Board of Education Welcomes New Commissioners


photo credit: Paula LoBue

Every year following elections, the Board of Education chooses a new president and vice president. The president serves several vital functions. He or she assigns commissioners to the various committees which allows the Board to address specific areas of need in small groups, is responsible for running the public meetings and maintaining order during them, and serves several other important functions which are vital to the workings of our school district. The vice president acts as a second-in-command and takes over these duties in the event of the president’s absence, disability, or disqualification.

At tonight’s meeting, following the swearing in of three new commissioners - Mark Brunciak, Richard Mejia, and Anthony Santiago - the Board opened the floor for nominations.

Feras Awwad nominated Jim Smith, who has served in this role for the past two years. By unanimous vote, he was elected to serve again as Board President. Mr. Smith then opened the floor to nominations for Vice President. Judy Bassford nominated Dr. Lucy Danny and Feras Awwad then nominated Ms. Bassford, who declined to accept. Newly sworn Richard Mejia nominated Fahim Abedrabbo, who also declined. With one abstention from Mr. Abedrabbo and support from the other commissioners, Dr. Danny was elected to serve as Vice President.

When asked about the response to her nomination Ms. Bassford said, “We all wanted to start this New Year off with unity. The children, staff, and residents deserve it.”

President Smith asked the commissioners to read aloud the School Board Code of Ethics. This code outlines the various obligations and ethical responsibilities of the Board commissioners, as laid out by the New Jersey Department of Education.

The Superintendent had no report to deliver at this meeting and instead made a brief comment. “As long as we keep the best interests of children at the heart of our decision-making, we’ll always do the right thing,” Dr. Robertozzi said as he congratulated the newly sworn-in commissioners and wished the best to the entire Board.

Joe Canova, outgoing commissioner, was honored with a resolution, thanking him for his service.

The next Board of Education meeting will be on January 19th. There is only one meeting in February, on the 9th. You can check the district website for meeting dates and agendas.

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