HACKENSACK, NJ - Zonie LeSane was selected to fill a vacancy on the Hackensack Board of Education in a special meeting that ran over five hours on Monday night.
LeSane was one of five candidates who gave five-minute presentations to the Board members. Other candidates were Marlene Somerville, Susan Baglieri, Jennifer Maury, and Demetrius Carroll.
LeSane has worked for Bergen County since 2009, currently in the Parks Department. She is a paralegal specialist and Certified Public Manager (CPM.) A member of the Bergen County African-American Advisory Committee, she volunteers with Bergen County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and the Boys and Girls Club of Lower Bergen County. She called herself an "ally" of the LGBTQIA community. She stated her child is a 2016 graduate of Hackensack High School.
The special meeting opened with a 90-minute presentation from the New Jersey School Board Association, and a closed session to discuss potential ligation. When the meeting re-opened it took comments in a Public Session which lasted until just after 10pm. 28 residents addressed the Board, asking that the school district remain on virtual learning. The district announced last week it will re-open for in-person classes on January 25. The Board had to extend the meeting until 10:30pm, as it has a 10 pm curfew for holding meetings.
The vacancy opened in late November when then-Board member Frances Cogelja resigned after accidently broadcasting herself in the bathroom during the district's virtual November meeting.
Residents who wanted to serve had through January 4 to submit a letter of interest.
LeSane is scheduled to be sworn in at the next Hackensack BOE meeting on Monday, January 25.