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Franklin Lakes Board of Ed Election Winners 'Hope for Unity' in 2014

The three new members sworn in Monday night say they hope the board will be unified in 2014, and will focus on finding a new superintendent for the K-8 district.

Christopoul, Schwartz, and Zolfo being sworn in Monday night.
Christopoul, Schwartz, and Zolfo being sworn in Monday night.

The Franklin Lakes Board of Education officially welcomed three members Monday night who say they hope stability and teamwork will characterize the board this year.

“We sort of run the gamut, in terms of board experience,” new board member Tony Zolfo said Monday.

Zolfo is brand new to the board. Fellow election winners Kathie Schwartz and Christine Christopoul are returning to the board, Schwartz after a one-year respite and Christopoul as the only continuously serving board member reelected in 2013.

The three were elected to the board in November after what started out as a contentious election with eight candidates vying for three spots. By the election, the pool was down to four.

“I think, this year, it was a very respectful process,” Schwartz said of the election season. It’s an attitude that she said she would like to see carry over into the board’s day-to-day activities.

“I hope to get a board that works together,” she said. During 2013, the Board of Education was split on some major issues, including replacing its curriculum director.

“No matter who serves, unity will allow us to move further ahead on board initiatives.”

One of the biggest for the year, the trio said, will be finding a new superintendent, as current Superintendent Frank Romano’s resignation takes effect this July.

“Finding a new Superintendent is one of the things that drew me to run for a seat on the board,” Zolfo said.

“It’s really important, and I wanted to be a part of that process.”

In addition to the trio’s swearing in at Monday’s reorganization meeting, the board also voted in veteran members Larry Loprete to serve – for the second year in a row – as board president, and Shirley O’Reilly as vice president.

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