In one of their most peaceful meetings in recent memory, the West New York Board of Education decided to allow Trustees Adam Parkinson and Damarys Gonzalez to retain their titles of president and vice president, respectively.
Parkinson and Trustee David Morel were re-elected in the November 8 election, as well as new board member Ron Scheurle – who was the top vote getter in the race.
The third place winner was not decided until two weeks after the polls had closed, with Parkinson ultimately edging Alex Navas, the significant other of Trustee Lorena Portillo, by a measly five votes.
While any change would be a shock at this point, Navas has appealed the final vote tally and is set to have a judge rule on the matter on January 13.
At last night’s regularly scheduled reorganization meeting, where the majority of the time was spent going over the rules of how to appoint the president and vice president, the end result was never in doubt.
Trustee Jonathan Castaneda nominated Parkinson for the presidency, a motion that passed by a vote of 6-3 – with Trustees Matthew Cheng, Scheurle and Portillo voting no.
Cheng had also nominated Scheurle for the post, with Scheurle reciprocating the favor, but those motions were not voted on since Parkinson had the necessary votes to retain the presidency.
Things went even smoother for Gonzalez, who was nominated by Trustee Dennise Mejia again named the vice president by a vote of 8-1, with only Cheng voting no.
Cheng again nominate Scheurle for the role, but a vote was not taken since Gonzalez received an affirmative board majority.
Parkinson and Gonzalez were appointed to the same roles at last year’s meeting.
As has been standard procedure in recent years, Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo issued proclamations from the state Senate and Assembly to the trustees sworn in earlier in the evening.
“Mr. President, members of the board, I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of Mayor Felix Roque and the board of commissioners to congratulate our three newest members: President Parkinson, Trustee Morel and Trustee Scheurle,” Cirillo began.
“I have no doubt that your continued service, your new service will do our district well and move our district forward for all of our students here in West New York.”
Additionally, Trustee Steven Rodas, Mejia and Parkinson all expressed optimism about the upcoming calendar year, as did Superintendent of Schools Clara Brito Herrera.
“This is a board that gets a lot of things done, a lot of important things, that we can’t forget what we’re here for, the real purpose. And the real purpose is our children, which are the most vulnerable of all and we’re all fighting together for them,” Herrera said.
“That’s our main goal, at least the goal of this board in the past year that I’ve worked with them.”