WESTFIELD, NJ — Board President Gretchan Ohlig presented retiring Westfield Board of Education members Mark Friedman and Christopher Langhart with resolutions at their last meeting Tuesday night.
“I could not have asked for two more thoughtful and conscientious colleagues,” Ohlig said. “You’ve both served this board and the Westfield community in so many ways."
Friedman was on the board for more than six years and served as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee and as a member of the Facilities, Policies and Technology Committees. He also served as board liaison to the Union County School Board and the Jefferson School PTO.
In his speech, Friedman announced that he and his wife, Debbie, with the assistance of Director of Counseling Maureen Mazzarese, have established a innovation scholarship to be given to a graduating high school senior who has demonstrated the ability to “think outside of the box” and develop something innovative.
“More details will be available about this soon,” Friedman said. “We look at this as a very small way to give back to the schools that have helped make our kids what they are today.”
Friedman encouraged young parents to get involved.
“Whether it be on your local PTO or at the board level, please make your presence felt,” he said. “Do not wait until I did, when your kids are juniors in high school, because then you’ll just have to keep answering the same question that I was asked so many times: ‘Why are you running now?’ Better late than never. I’m so happy to have served.”
Langhart was on the board for three years, serving as chair of the Policies Committee and chair of the Negotiations Committee and as a member of the Budget and Finance and Legislation Committees. He was the board liaison to the Union County School Board, the Westfield Town Recreation Commission and the Franklin School PTO.
“I found it to be very rewarding,” Langhart said in his farewell speech. “I’m very proud to have been part of this board.”
The retiring members also thanked their fellow board members, district staff and their families for their support.