The Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education said goodbye to two of its members who reached the end of their terms on Dec. 20, the final board meeting of 2012.
Frank Neglia, who served for six years and was the board’s vice president, had run but lost in a bid for another term on Nov. 6. Deborah Orme, who served nearly seven years on the board, had begun to campaign but discontinued her bid in September.
Both outgoing members spoke for a few minutes about their time on the board, thanking the public for the opportunity to serve.
Neglia, who said he’s “always tried to do the best I can,” mentioned that being on the board offers a different perspective from sitting in the audience.
“There’s always some regulation or rule that prevents you from doing what you really want to do,” he said.
Orme thanked the district’s teachers, administrators and other staff for what they’ve taught and shared with the board over the years.
“I want to thank our faithful audience who are here with us every meeting, reminding us there are so many reasons why we do this and why we’re here every month,” Orme said.
She said she might even consider sitting in the audience in 2013 and “seeing what the other side of the table looks like again.”
Board member Susy Golderer admitted she and Orme haven’t always agreed throughout the years but applauded the outgoing member on her dedication and commitment as chairwoman of the board’s teaching and learning committee.
“I don’t think there will be anybody in the years to come who will give the commitment you have to that committee,” Golderer said.
Board member Anthony Mancuso called both outgoing members “thoughtful,” while member Fran Orthwein said it has been an honor to both serve with them and call them friends.
“I’d like to acknowledge Frank and Debbie for their countless years of dedication to our children and this board,” resident Sandy Giercyk said. “You will both be incredibly missed.”
Board members also thanked Dr. Frank Calabria for serving as the board’s president. Although he was one of three to win terms starting in 2013, another member could be named president during the board’s reorganization meeting Thursday.
Orme thanked Calabria for serving as a mentor to her and other board members.
“Dr. Calabria, you’ve delighted us and you’ve frustrated us,” Orthwein said. “It’s been a wonderful year, and I thank you for taking on the challenging role of board president.”
Calabria ended the meeting by saying the board members are a “unique group of individuals” that often disagree on many issues.
“I think, out of that, there come some good things,” Calabria said. “Out of a democracy, you want that. When everybody is the same, we all better run for cover.”
In addition to Calabria, James Carifi will take the oath of office Jan. 3. Joanne Mancuso, who had won the third seat, decided not to be sworn in.
After the swear-ins and reorganization, the board will begin the process of filling Joanne Mancuso’s seat. Traditionally, the public is advised of a vacated seat and interested candidates submit their resumes. The board then interviews the candidates and selects the next member by majority vote. Although Mancuso was never sworn in as a member, Calabria and board attorney Katherine Gilfillan previously said the board will stick close to the traditional policy.