WAYNE, NJ – After three consecutive three-year terms, long-time Wayne Board of Education (BOE) member, Mitchell Badiner attended his last BOE Meeting.
At the start of the meeting, Dr. Mark Toback, the Superintendent of Wayne Schools, came to the podium at the front of the Wayne Town Council Chambers and said: “This is a moment in time dedicated to Mitch Badiner, a nine-year member of the Wayne Board of Education.”
Toback read from the plaque that would be presented to Badiner: “By word and deed your presence has enriched the lives of students and served as an example for all.” Toback stopped and turned to Badiner saying: “Very generic words, but no words are truer. I can say that your insight, sense of humor and the many ways you contribute to the board have been so meaningful over my six years here.”
Toback told of his interview process for the job of Superintendent and Badiner’s many pointed and detailed questions during his interview, but highlighted Badiner’s sense of humor as one of the reasons he felt comfortable taking the job in Wayne.
Finishing, his short presentation, Toback said: “I appreciate your service to the school district and your support over the years. So, thank you Mitch.”
Badiner began his thank you with his stereotypical humor, holding his plaque above his head and saying, “It’s sort of like the Stanley Cup.” This evoked laughter from the Board members and a palpable sense of appreciation for Badiner’s light-heartedness could be felt.
Turning to Toback, Badiner said: “Thank you. Those are very special words and I don’t know who put you up to it or how much you were paid but thank you anyway.”
“Nine years goes by quickly,” he continued. “In the midst of issues and things that happen over those nine years, you’re asked why you do this; it’s a volunteer job. Well, even though there are difficult times, there have been more great times than difficult times.”
“I thank my fellow board members; those sitting here and those that have come before. We’ve had great relationships and I hope to continue to foster those relationships.
Badiner finished by saying: “I’m glad; I’m happy, and I think I really will miss it, but not right now.” This was delivered with a devilish grin and was greeted with more laughter.
BOE member Cathy Kazan spoke next: “I’ve worked with Mitch for six years and I’ve valued his insight as an administrator in another district. He’s been very helpful to me in making tough choices. I’ll miss his sense of humor, and I’ve valued our time together and will absolutely miss you.”
Badiner serves as the Director of Instruction, an administrative position in the Bergen County Special Services School District.
“Mitch brings a wonderful sense of humor to the board, but he also brings a special knowledge,” said BOE member Eileen Albanese. “He’s been able to explain things to us and give us some additional insight to us as an administrator. But it’s Mitch’s demeanor that has been most helpful to us. He’s very calm; he’s very level-headed. He has a practical approach and doesn’t excite easily.”
Albanese then spoke of Badiner’s leadership when he was board president and how his professional demeanor helped the board during difficult times. She finished by saying: “I thank you, Mitch. You will be missed, tremendously.”