SPARTA, NJ -Two people said good bye from the board table on Monday night. Sparta Assistant Superintendent Dr. Daniel Johnson and board member Linda Curcio attended their last Sparta Board of Education meeting.
Johnson is going to be the superintendent in Butler in Passaic County. He began in Sparta as the principal of Sparta High School. He moved into the assistant superintendent position after Dr. Melissa Varley left to become superintendent in Florham Park.
“I want to thank the board of education for everything,” Johnson said. “I’ve been able to learn a lot. I learned about personal finance and board finance, about governance and how to deal with adversity.”
Looking to board vice president Kylen Anderson Johnson said, “I’ve learned how to continue to serve the public with grace in the face of the greatest personal tragedy. I don’t know how you do it.”
Board members thanked Johnson.
Curcio said she is “moving out of town.” She said she was first on the board on 2006 and served for six years then “took some time off” and then came back.
Curcio went on to say early in her time as a board member the "major discussion" was about building a new high school and “meetings used to go to one or two o’clock in the morning because of all of the discussion about where to build the new school.”
“I’ve worked with very different board of eds,” Curcio said. “We’re in a good place right now. This is probably the best seated board I’ve ever served with. Thank you. I’ll miss this opportunity.”
Board president Kelly McEvoy said, “It’s been an honor to work with you.”
Superintendent Michael Rossi said, “Best wishes Linda.”
The seat vacated by Curcio will be filled by Karen Scott. Scott has also served on the board for years. In February Scott announced she was resigning her position.
"I am just delighted to be able to return to the Board of Education to complete the term to which the voters had chosen me to do," Scott said in an interview after the meeting.
She was one of three qualified applicants for Curcio’s unexpired term. Just as when Jennifer Hamilton was selected to take Scott’s vacated seat, candidates were interviewed in closed session.
During the public meeting, McEvoy announced a resolution would be added to the agenda to approve Scott as the chosen board member. In the same way Hamilton was approved, no vote was taken in public, nor was there any public discussion of the three candidates.
All of the board members present voted to approve the resolution. Linda Curcio approved her own replacement. Jason Ventresca and Michael Mc Govern were in part of the closed session but had to leave for family obligations they said.
Scott will be sworn in at the June meeting. The term will be up in December 2018. If Scott wished to remain on the board of education past that date she will have to put her name on the ballot in November.