SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 4 and, at this time, the three members elected to office last November were sworn in and board officers were selected.

Interim Business Administrator/Board Secretary James Damato led the meeting, reading off the results of the November followed by board attorney Marc Zitomer administering the oath of office to Debbie Boyle, Thomas Cassio and Ernie ‘Jim’ Giannakis.

On Election Day 2016, Boyle received 3,194 votes and was re-elected to her fourth term; Cassio, with 3,913 votes, was elected to his first term; and Giannakis, who had lost his bid for re-election to a fourth consecutive term in 2015, received 3,253 votes to once again garner a seat. All board of education terms are three years.

Sign Up for E-News

Following the swearing in, nominations for the office of president and vice president were made. A motion to name William Seesselberg president for 2017 was made by board member Doug Chapman and seconded by Giannakis; the single ballot nomination passed 8-0. As the board’s newly named president, Seesselberg opened the floor for nominations for vice president and Boyle nominated Chere Glover. The motion was seconded by Sharon Miller and passed 8-0 with no other nominations made.

“I welcome the new people to the board and welcome back Mrs. Boyle. I am looking forward to the entire board working together to give the administrators and the staff the resources they need to help our children excel in the coming year and the years to come,” said Seesslberg.

Glover told TAPinto South Plainfield that she is ‘pleased’ to serve the South Plainfield School in the roll of vice president. “I am humbled that my board colleagues have the confidence in me to serve in this leadership role,” Glover said, adding, “I look forward to supporting President Sesselberg, I'm sure we will be a dynamic team, along with Dr. Lishak. South Plainfield School District is on the path to excellence.”

Chapman and Miller, along with fellow board members Kim Anesh and John Farinella also extended their best wishes to the new and returning members.

“I’d like to congratulate the three candidates … and thank Mrs. Boyle on her role as president for the past two years; she’s done a great job moving the district forward …” said Miller. “Congratulations to Bill Seesselberg as president and Chere Glover as vice president.”

Chapman said, “I look forward to a very productive year from our board; we have some great stuff to do and I hope that the skill-set of everyone on the board is maximized and we can get things going and continue the momentum we have going.”

 “I hope that you will continue to lead the board in the right direction, which is the direction that leads our students and community to success,” Boyle said, extending thanks to her colleagues for the opportunity to serve as president of the South Plainfield Board of Education in 2015 and 2016. “My focus has been, and always will be, on the students, teachers, and staff. They are the reason why we all sit up here,” she said.

Additionally, during the public comment portion of he meeting, Carol Byrne, who served over 20 consecutive years on the board and chose not to seek re-election back in November, extended her well wishes. “I just want to congratulate the three newly elected board members,” said Byrne, joking that it felt ‘odd’ to be on the other side of the dais. “I wish you a productive year. I believe the board will make great strides for our district.”

During the meeting, the board also voted unanimously in favor of holding all 2017 meetings – Committee of the Whole (COW) and Regular Public - at 6:30 p.m. with the exception of summer COW meetings (June, July and August), which will begin at 6 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the South Plainfield Board of Education is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the South Plainfield High School Media Center. At this time, Byrne will be recognized. The public is encouraged to attend.

TAPinto South Plainfield is South Plainfield’s only free daily paper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @SoplainfieldTAP.