RANDOLPH, NJ - Al Matos, Randolph Board of Education member for 11 years and president for two of those years, announced his resignation at the end of Tuesday’s meeting. The board is accepting applications to fill the unexpired term, with interviews and approval at the July 24 meeting.

Matos will be moving to Manahawkin and closed on his Randolph home faster than he expected. Despite the late hour, he gave final advice to the board and encouraged each member specifically.

“Some 11-years ago I ran for the BOE with a narrow agenda to aid the athletic community,” Matos recalled. “But I quickly learned that having an agenda on the BOE was not productive and if I was to be effective, learning how to be collaborative with my fellow BOE members was the key to getting things moving forward.”

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During this last speech, he continued to push for more technology in classrooms, as “new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, nanotechnology, block chain are only a few years away from being the norm.”

He believes Randolph is on the right track, but “our students must leave Randolph even more prepared.”

Matos also thanked the teachers for being role models beyond the classroom and rising to the challenge of improving student performance.

With his 11 years of experience, Matos spoke to times of conflict within the district, and the importance of looking at the facts when faced with rumors.

“I know the Randolph school system is a shining star and -- based on facts -- a place where people want to work and parents want to move into the District,” he added. “I saw that first hand with the speed and price of my house sale.”

He referenced independent ratings that enforce this conclusion, and “the vast majority of people I encounter in town who tell me they are very satisfied with the value our students receive and what they have to pay.”

Matos echoed his comments several years ago on the loss of critical thinking skills and the ability “to challenge what is said and analyze data or information to determine facts from fiction. I believe this lack of critical thinking is even stronger in today’s society thanks to social media where people blindly accept or follow what is streamed.”

To the newest board members, he mentioned his early years balancing the opinions of the public with the facts he knew, “but the law prevents you from disclosing.”

To the other long-time members of the board, he thanked them for their character, intelligence and friendship. He encouraged Superintendent Jenn Fano to continue her “excellent work” and  “continually review our practices, policies and be willing to explore and embrace change.”

He closed his statement with the reminder, “without unity and harmony, discord prevails.”