Board Of Education Bids Farewell To Postonak, Stanley

Outgoing Board of Education president Ed Potosnak helmed his final meeting on Dec. 21.

The final Board of Education meeting of 2017 was also the last meeting for members Pat Stanley and Ed Potosnak.

Neither Stanley nor Potosnak were re-elected in their November bids.

Stanley made no public statement during the meeting, which featured an unusually light agenda. But Postosnak expressed thanks and had some requests.

“I wanted to thank the board for their continued support for all the work we do, I want to thank the community, I want to thank (schools Superintendent) Dr. Ravally and the administration for their dedication,” Potosnak said. “Really a tremendous place here in Franklin Township. I’m going to miss my time on the board, but I know we’re in good hands with such a strong board and strong leadership, and I do wish everyone the best with that.”

“I do have a few requests,” Potosnak added. “I think it’s really important that the community work together. I think one of the reasons for the success that we had mutual respect and admiration for one another.”

Potosnak, the executive director of the League of Conservation Voters, also asked the board to continue some environmental initiatives, including pursuing “Sustainable Jersey” status for schools. Sustainable Jersey is a non-profit organization that provides the tools to help communities  with environmental sustainability programs.

“Last, continue to celebrate the successes of our young people, and the teachers who make them and the coaches, and all the support staff, because there’s no better way to inspire that kind of performance than by highlighting the great work that is happening,” he said.

“It is amazing and people are celebrating and joining us with that,” Potosnak said. “It’s an important part of promoting our schools and letting people know of the excellence that is happening in our district.”

Board member Pat Stanley at the Dec. 21 meeting.

Potosnak and Stanley were also thanked for their service by members of the board and community.

Township resident John Felix thanked Stanley for serving on the board, saying that her being on the board “brought a different kind of debate to various issues. There were at times divergent opinions from the rest of the board, but I think to have a functioning board, we need to have this type of opinion.”

“I know you were dedicated to the students here in the district in general, and for this I thank you for your services,” he said.

Turning to Potosnak, Felix said, “I don’t think more could be said about his leadership during the past few years. It’s very sad to see you leave, but I think what is very rewarding is that he is leaving the board at that peak.”

“For those who have followed this board over the years, we know it has at times been a very dysfunctional unit,” he said. “Ed’s entry onto the board somewhat changed those dynamics. You obviously had the expertise to run this organization, you have the intellect and you have the experience. He also had the partnership of people like Mrs. (Nancy) LaCorte and Mr. (Richard) Seamon and other seasoned board members who were able to guide him through this process.”

“During the past years I’ve been in this district, I think of all the boards I’ve observed, the leadership of Potosnak and LaCorte has been by far superior to that of any I’ve seen,” Felix said. “I just hope in the new year, the leadership will continue the success that have been made in the past years. Dr. Ravally’s addition to our school district has been a huge plus. His working relationship with the board has been excellent. I hope this continues. I can see no reason why it should not continue.

“Mr. Potosnak, thank you for your services, I do hope there will be other opportunities for you to return to the board, to continue to serve the students of Franklin Township,” he said.

Board member Ardaman Singh also praised Stanley and Potosnak.

“I just want to extend my thank-you to Ms. Stanley and Mr. Potosnak for being on the board,” she said. “When I was a parent sitting in the audience, I saw and heard all the ways the board meetings were held, and I was highly motivated, and Mr. Potosnak, you were a big reason why I got on the board.”

“I was looking forward to some more years of your leadership and learning from you how to run an excellent board meeting and how to actually bind the team together, which was lacking in this board for a number of years,” she said. “I’m going to get very emotional here right now. I’m going to definitely miss you, and I think it will be very hard to fill those shoes. But hopefully we will continue on as a team and make you proud.”

LaCorte, the board’s vice president, simply said, “There’s not much more to say that hasn’t been said, but thank you.”

“And with that, we’ll adjourn,” Potosnak said, ending the meeting.


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