BERNARDS TWP., NJ -- Leadership on the Bernards Township Board of Education has changed. Three board members, including a write-in candidate elected in November, were also sworn in at the school board's first meeting of 2018.

Robin McKeon was elected president on Tuesday, Jan. 2, and Karen Gray was elected vice president their fellow board members. McKeon succeeds Beverly Darvin Cwerner, who remains on the board. The role of president typically requires more work so it is common for the burden to be shared by different members every year or two, said Superintendent Nick Markarian.

New board member sworn in along with two incumbents

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At the reorganization meeting, Jennifer Korn and Linda Wooldridge were sworn to new three-year terms, and Jennifer White began her first three years. All were elected – Ms. White by write-in – on Nov. 7.

The school board has begun a process of advertising a vacancy created by the resignation of Rhonda Dunten, who announced her resignation Dec. 18. She said she was moving out of the district. The board is seeking resumes from applicants. The board will select someone who will serve through 2018; the seat will be up for election in in November for the remaining one year on the term. Applicants should request a packet of information from Jennifer Nicholson at the Board of Education office at 908-204-2600, ext. 106, or via email at jnicholson@bernardsboe.com. Completed packets must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

A committee of members of the board will review applications and select candidates to be interviewed at the Monday, Jan. 22, school board meeting. Applicants must be available to attend the meeting at Ridge High School at 7 p.m. The successful candidate will be sworn in and begin serving immediately.

McKeon has been on the BOE since 2009 and previously served as board president from 2013-2015. She is an instructor at Rutgers Graduate School of Education and is completing her Ph.D. in education theory, organization and policy. She and her husband Jeff have lived in Basking Ridge for 18 years and have six children. Three of their children graduated from Ridge High School in 2013, 2015 and 2017 and the others are a junior at Ridge, a sixth grader at William Annin Middle School, and a second grader at Liberty Corner School.

Gray was appointed to the school board in July 2014.  She and her husband, Bruce, have been township residents since 1998.  Three of their children graduated from Ridge High School in 2011, 2013 and 2015, respectively, and their youngest child is a sophomore at Ridge. 

McKeon faces election this year and Gray’s term on the board continues through 2019. 

Cwerner and Karen Richman will need to decide this year whether they will run for additional terms. Michael Byrne’s term expires in 2019.