Written by Rachel Shapiro Friday, 16 July 2010 00:00
At their annual reorganization meeting on Wednesday, July 7, the Island Trees Board of Education swore in its new trustees, president and vice president.
Trustees Kristen Daum and Barbara Medellin were sworn in under oath, as were Patricia Mahon and Kenneth Rochon.
Mahon was elected unanimously by the board to the position of president, held last year by Peter Ray who did not run for re-election. Rochon was also elected unanimously to hold the position of vice president, previously held by Carl Bonsignore, who also elected not to run for re-election.
This is Mahon’s sixth year on the board and she looks forward to serving the district as president.
“I’m pleased to be serving in this capacity,” Mahon told the Levittown Tribune. “The members of the board are a cohesive group, we have some of the same ideas.”
Mahon said having a group that thinks along the same lines is important to accomplish its goals but opposing opinions are not uncommon.
“It’s not your personal opinion that is important but what’s best for the district,” she said. “The board’s goal is to set policy and provide a framework for the superintendent and his staff to implement on a daily basis.”
Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy is optimistic about the future of the district with the new board.
“We had a very good relationship last year and I expect the same this year,” he told the Tribune. “The two outgoing board members had years of experience so we’re going to miss them and with new members you’ll have some members mentoring others, catching each other up to speed.”
Some of the projects Mahon said the board will work on is getting the Princeton Model in place in the elementary school, finishing many of the district’s bond projects, and broadening the academic courses at the high school, among other goals.
Mahon said she is looking forward to tackling some of those projects and is optimistic about working with Murphy, who came to the district last August.
“In the past, we’ve had a problem where the community was divided on the sand tunnel; that became problematic but we worked through it,” Mahon said. “We aren’t always going to agree on every issue but in the end we always come to a consensus.”
Murphy agreed that the board and his office and staff should have no problem working together.
“It was a very good, collegial team last year and I expect the same this year,” Murphy said. “I am very happy with them.”