Freehold school supt. will leave Howell school panel


Staff Writer

HOWELL – Board of Education member Elizabeth O’Connell is resigning from the panel that oversees the operation of the Howell K-8 School District.

O’Connell said the task of juggling her duties as the superintendent of schools in the Freehold Borough School District and being an active school board member in the town where she lives has become too daunting. Her resignation will become effective Sept. 1.

O’Connell has served on the Howell school board for more than a decade, including nine years during her first tour and 18 months following her return to the panel.

“I love being a board member and the work that is involved in it, however, I just need to devote more time to my own district,” she said. “It is very obvious that I value education. It is an extremely important part of the fabric of the community. I just do not have the time I need to devote to it in order to do the job I want to do.”

Howell school board President Mary Cerretani said she is disappointed because in losing O’Connell, the panel will be losing a very valuable asset.

“We are disappointed. She was very well informed and she contributed a lot,” Cerretani said. “She came with a wealth of knowledge, knowing past history and present information on legislation in regard to education. It was wonderful to work with her. She is only doing this because she believes it is the best thing for the district.”

Cerretani said the board has begun the process of filling O’Connell’s seat.

A notice provided by the board states: “Each member of any board of education shall be a citizen and resident of the district and shall have been one for at least one year immediately preceding his/her election or appointment, he/she shall be able to read and write, and shall be registered to vote in the district.”

In addition, candidates may not have any claims against the school district.

The term of appointment will be from the date the board votes to approve the appointment at its regular meeting of Sept. 19 to the school board election on April 15, 2008, at which time a two-year unexpired term will be placed on the ballot.

Anyone Howell resident who is interested in applying to fill the vacancy should send written notice of his/her interest along with his/her full name, address and daytime telephone number to Herbert C. Massa, assistant superintendent/board secretary; Howell Township Board of Education, Administration Building, P.O. Box 579, Howell 07731.