ROXBURY, NJ - The Roxbury school board bid farewell to longtime board member Theresa D'Agostino on Monday at a meeting that also saw Franklin School fourth-graders sing holiday songs.
D’Agostino, who was on the board for nearly 16 years, decided to not seek re-election this year. During her tenure, D'Agostino, a nurse, served on and off as board president and vice president.
Board President Ron Lucas thanked D’Agostino on behalf of the board, administration and community. “It’s my honor to speak about Terry’s tenure on the board," he said. "Her distinguished career here has spanned seven superintendents including one acting and one interim. Over the course of these years, she’s had to deal with very challenging situations and some very difficult people. Yet she always had focus to do what was best for students, staff and parents.”
D’Agostino’s devotion to the board wasn’t just at the local level, added Lucas. “Anyone who knows her can attest to her commitment and dedication as a board member," he said. "Not only has she been active in our local board but she’s been involved at the county and state levels serving in the delegate assembly.”
In recent years, D’Agostino was instrumental in working to have the Roxbury Board of Education achieve certificated board status by the New Jersey School Boards Association. “I’m pleased to say we achieved this while she was still on the board with us,” Lucas said.
“Terry is known for asking thoughtful and thorough questions at committee and executive sessions," he added. "Her colleagues expect to hear such phrases as, ‘So let me ask this question’ or ‘I have to ask this for the record.’ Once she got the answers to these questions, she was ready to make an informed vote on whatever the issue."
Lucas said he believes D'Agostino's departure will leave "a void" on this board, but he asked her to "come to public meetings and keep up on what’s happening" in the school district. Her seat on the baord will be filled by newcomer Dan Masi, who won election last month.
"We, your fellow board members, thank you and acknowledge your dedicated service and would like to present you with a gift and flowers," Lucas said. "You will be missed by the board Terry and thank you for everything you have done.”
D’Agostino said she was surprised by the show of support. "Truly, this is unexpected," she said before thanking he husband, family and supporters in the town.
"We can all agree that Roxbury is a wonderful place to live and great place to raise our children and family," D'Agostino said. "Our schools are top rated and a lot is a result of the folks around this table. It has been a privilege and honor to serve the community of Roxbury."
D’Agostino also praised the school administration. “I can’t tell you how impressed I am with your abilities and the challenges you have dealt with from when you first came on," she said. "I can honestly say to our community that you have true educational leaders here.”
Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic said she actually appreciated D'Agostino's propensity to ask questions. "She never let us gloss over anything or move quickly through anything," Radulic said. "She’s very thoughtful and we appreciated working with her. We’ve learned a lot working with her and she definitely will be missed.”