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Livingston BOE Says Hello and Good-bye

Jeremiah Lim

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 • 6:55am

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Board of Education said hello and good-bye to several people involved with the school system at Monday night's meeting.

The district took time to honor several retirees for their years of service. Each retiree was given a gift and had their picture taken with a member of the Board, while their accomplishments, kudos and fond memories were read aloud to the crowd. Present honorees included: science teacher David Heithmar, LHS head custodian Sergio Jara, Spanish teacher Ronnie Konner, teacher’s assistant Susan Levine, Burnet Hill reading specialist Nora Lichtenstein and instrumental teacher Anthony Schmaus.

The Board also bid a fond farewell to two of its own, as both Dr. David Jasin and lLeslie Winograd are departing from their Board duties as of July 16 of this year.

Jasin will be moving to Morristown. He described the decision as being made with “much regret and a sense of loss.” A principal in Milburn, he said he ran for the school board to share his experience in education. He described how Livingston schools laid the foundation for his success and sparked in him a desire to move back to Livingston to give children the same educational advantages he had experienced. He also noted that he was not exceptional in this regard, as many of his peers also moved back to Livingston.

“This is truly an exceptional district,” he said.

A visibly emotional Winograd informed the Board that because of an employment opportunity in Florida, her family will also be leaving Livingston.

“It is a truly difficult decision to leave the town I grew up in and where I returned to raise my children,” she said.

Board President Barry Funt thanked both Jasin and Winograd for their service to the district.

“Both of you brought so much depth and so much passion to your positions…you will be sorely missed.”

Now, the Board will have to replace both of their departing members for both the short- and long-term futures. The two Board seats will need to be filled for the remaining four months, until Board elections in November. Winograd’s expiring seat has two years remaining on its term; Jasin’s seat has one more year. Funt encouraged qualified candidates to obtain a petition through the county office no later than September 2. He also announced that he will be running for a Board seat that carries a three-year term. Qualified candidates should submit their petition to run no later than July 28.

In addition to the departures, the Board welcomed a new face in the form of rising LHS senior Dylan Camche, who will succeed Jeremy Knopf as the Board’s student representative for a one-year term.

The Board also officially authorized the hiring of Dr. Jim O’Neill as acting Interim Superintendent of the district. In a short speech, O’Neill thanked the Board and praised the district’s teachers, administrators and parents.

“I hope my skills can mesh with the skills of the people in the district and that I can contribute to keeping this a great district,” he said.

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