RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Board of Education selected Jeanne Stifelman to fill the seat vacated by Sheldon Epstein, who announced his resignation at the March 19 meeting. Stifelman was a BOE member from 2010 to 2013, and during her tenure served as Chair of the Finance, Facilities and Transportation (FFT) Committee and Chair of the Negotiations Committee. She is a former President of the RHS PTSO (2016-17) and also former President of the RHS Choir and Theater Booster Association (2013-16).
Stifelman's experience appears to be an exceptional match for the open seat, as Epstein chairs FFT and is a member of the Negotiations Committee, as well.
During her opening statement, Stifelman said, "I wanted to come back to the Board because the core of me and the core of what I think is important is public service, and that is individuals stepping up in their communities to serve their communities."
Frank Dunn and Lia Timpanaro also came forward as candidates for the open seat, and each brought a different perspective to the discussion.
Dunn currently works as a substitute teacher in Randolph and Roxbury, and was a full-time teacher for 19 years prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, he served in the Army and worked as a salesperson and plant manager. Dunn's comments largely focused on allowing teachers to be as effective as possible.
Timpanaro graduated from the Randolph public schools – Fernbrook, RMS and RHS – and has returned to the community with her own family. She is a working mother and active member of the Fernbrook PTO. Timpanero spoke at length about engaging families who are new to Randolph and families with younger children.
Board members held a brief, closed-door session following the open interviews, and then announced their selection. They thanked all of the candidates and encouraged them to remain involved.
Current BOE members also spoke at length at the end of the meeting about Epstein's many valuable contributions and his leadership on key programs, including the recent referendum and Transition House.
Other BOE news:
The April 30 meeting served as the public hearing for the 2019-2020 district budget. Epstein presented the final budget, which was in line with the preliminary budget discussed at the March 12 meeting, and the BOE voted for adoption. The BOE will submit this budget to the Executive County Superintendent on May 14.
Superintendent Jennifer Fano presented a proclamation in honor of National Teacher Day (May 7) to Ironia teacher Kerri Pizzi. She also presented a proclamation in honor of National Special Education Week (May 13-17) and Mental Health Month (May) to School Psychologist Colleen Huguenin.
During the Public Statement segment, community member Adam Zyto posed several questions regarding the district's spending on communications/public relations support and also its vendor choice. These issues continue to be a source of controversy, although Committee Chair Joe Faranetta and other Board members have stated that there has been a valid need for these services and that the spend has been reasonable and within budget.
In related news, an internal Director of Communications and Digital Media position, reporting directly to the Superintendent, was approved and will be posted soon.