HACKENSACK, NJ -- At Monday night’s Hackensack Board of Education meeting, Board Trustees selected Lance Powell and newly-elected Trustee Scott James-Vickery to fill the year-long President and Vice President positions, respectively.
“I feel humbled and excited,” Powell said.
Elected to the BOE last year, Powell now replaces former president Lara Rodriguez, who was re-elected to a new three-year term as a trustee with newcomers James-Vickery and Ira Goodman in April.
Both Powell and James-Vickery were appointed by votes of 6-3, with Robin Coles, Johanna Calle and Leila Amirhamzeh voting no.
"One of the most important things is hiring a permanent Superintendent and Business Administrator,” Powell said. “We have an interim Superintendent and Business Administrator. We can't function like that.”
The board has received over 20 applications for the Superintendent position and intends to make a decision before the end of June. Acting Superintendent Rosemary Marks will receive strong consideration, Powell said.
“We also want to establish a short and long term timeline for school repairs, and create stronger organizational structures," Powell said. “We have to figure out how to best utilize our teachers, paraprofessionals and all staff.”
James-Vickery is a certified special education teacher who ran on the platform of improving education opportunities for students with special needs.
"Having served on a variety of boards throughout the years, I understand the importance of building consensus and listening to our stakeholders and each other," said James-Vickery. "Under President Powell’s leadership, I truly believe we can put the divisiveness that had plagued the board in the past behind us and move forward building a district that is a safe, nurturing, creative, and inclusive working and learning environment for our faculty, staff, and students, especially those students who are differently abled and now must travel to other towns for their educational needs."
James-Vickery will be replacing Tim Hoffman as Vice President. Hoffman's fate on the board remains contested. An election night count showed him leading the polls, but a full count later that week at the Bergen County Board of Elections, which included vote-by-mail ballots, showed Goodman leads by five votes.
Hoffman has not conceded in the race and has filed a petition in Superior Court asking for a recount.