WARREN, NJ – The Warren Township Board of Education recognized three board members at the last meeting of the calendar year for their volunteer service to the children of Warren. Board President Tia Allocco, Vice President Len deMontagnac and board member Dr. Joan Shiller will not be returning to the board in January.
Superintendent Matthew Mingle thanked all three, “You’ve been here since the beginning of the process that brought me into the district, and I feel like I’ve grown a lot thanks to your support.”
“Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for the community in your whole time on the board,”Mingle said.
Allocco has served six years on the board, Schiller for more than seven years combined, and DeMontagnac for more than four years.
Allocco read Schiller’s and deMontagnac’s resolutions.
Of Dr. Schiller she said, “Your kindness, gentleness, your spirit, it’s really appreciated, you have such a big heart. We’ve really appreciated it and the board and district have really benefited from not just your kind heart, but your professionalism and entrepreneurship. Because you have brought a very unique perspective to the board that has not been here for a very long time and that is being an entrepreneur and business owner, especially doing this after your children have left the district takes a certain kind of commitment, one that we really do appreciate.”
And of deMontagnac, after claiming responsibility for encouraging him to join the Strategic Planning Committee, and then the Board and now sitting next to her as Vice President, she said,“ You have contributed to the board in so many ways. We all know Len is passionate about safety, everything from pickups and drop-offs to encouraging,really passionately, us to have the best safety, security and technology, spending the money making sure we have the best resources available” She also thanked him for setting the goal of getting national recognition for the school district. Just this year, Woodland School earned National Blue Ribbon status.
Allocco then presented deMontagnac with his very own safety vest.
deMontagnac read Allocco’s resolution and thanked her for encouraging him to join the school board. He then said he would give his time to others who wanted to speak about Allocco.
Board member Paige Albano thanked Allocco for always asking the tough questions and board member Andrea Freijomil said of Allocco’s service to the Board, “Anyone who knows what it’s like to be on this side of the table knows that it’s not an advantage to your children...to keep the bar that high when you’re supposed to be thinking of 1,800 children instead of your own kids is so impressive, and she imposed that upon the rest of us in a very professional way.”
Allocco thanked her husband, children and friends in attendance for their support during her tenure on the board.
“I just want to thank my husband who has been so supportive of me in this entire process, particularly when I said I was going to consider running again, and to my kids, thank you for having a distracted mommy more than I’d like to admit,” Allocco said.
During public commentary, Regina Valenti thanked Allocco “on behalf of herself and her four children and probably everyone in the district” and said she did an “amazing job and because of you we are shining brighter every day.”
Allocco’s husband Heston spoke during public commentary about her commitment to the Board. “I’m proud of her dedication to the community and the school district,” he said.
Allocco had explained earlier in the night that since it was her last Board meeting it would also be the last time she made a “Board of Ed night quiche” for her family’s dinner.
Heston got a few chuckles when he concluded his commentary with a request, “no more quiche!”