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Randolph Board of Education Interviews Two Candidates for Open Position; Dr. Diana Thomas To Be Sworn In On Tuesday

Vanessa Camargo

Sunday, February 16, 2014 • 11:51pm

RANDOLPH,NJ -Two candidates were interviewed by the Board of Education on Feb. 24 for the open board position that runs through January 2015. Diana Thomas and Ron Conti both submitted in their applications and awaited the public board of education meeting.
 
Thomas works at Montclair State University as professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. She is also the university's director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research.
 
"The reason I am interested in this position is number one I think human drive is motivated by a sense of contribution and that's why we have volunteers at every level in these schools.  This is a chance to grow and volunteer in a different way," said Thomas.
 
Thomas is also interested in the position because she has three children in the Randolph School System. She has a son in the eighth grade that will soon move up into the high school when the school year is over. Thomas also has two girls at the elementary level. 
 
Thomas also believes that becoming a member of the board will be a good feedback mechanism for her teachings at the college level.
 
"I think I could guide my students better by the knowledge I gain here," Thomas said.
 
The second candidate, Ron Conti, has been a Randolph resident for the past five years. He has two children in elementary school.
 
"I think this is a great opportunity to help both my kids and the community," Conti said. "If I can contribute, and help everyone as best as I can, then I think that's a great use of my time."
 
Board of Education President Tammy Mackay asked the candidates what they thought made an effective Board of Education. Conti answered by saying that team work was the best way for a board to be effective. 
 
"Ultimately everyone has to work together," Conti said. "You all come from different places. You all have different skills. We have to work together with common goals in mind." 
 
Thomas agreed that working collaboratively was the best method for a successful board. 
 
"In my experience, big changes happen when you work together and bring your different expertise to the table," said Thomas. "Looking at the boards bios, I want to be a part of that. I want to work collaboratively."
 
After a series of other questions for the candidates, the board closed the meeting to discuss the candidates and make their decision. After a 20-minute closed session the board announced their decision to the public. Even though both candidates were well received and qualified, only one spot was available, and Diana Thomas was welcomed to the board. She will be sworn in on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The public is welcome to attend.
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