Linwood Board of Education

The 2017 Linwood Board of Education members starting the year are, from left, retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Daryl Todd, Donna Michael Ziereis, Richard Sless, Lynne Gibson, Joanne Scannell, Michele DeMorat and Judd McLaughlin.

Suzanne Marino

LINWOOD – The seven-member Linwood Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10 and re-elected Richard Sless as president. It is his second year as head of the board.

Joanne Scannell was chosen vice president, replacing attorney Donna Michael Ziereis. It is her first time in the position.

Both Sless and Scannell have a lengthy tenure on the board, and both are educators. Sless teaches in Atlantic City, and Scannell is a teacher in Brigantine. 

Sless said at the meeting that while the past year had some ups and downs, keeping the children the bottom line is most important.

There will be changes ahead for the board this year as it evolves from a Type I to a Type II school district as a result of a referendum passed by voters in November. 

“I really do not see many changes that would be different from a Type I district," Sless said. "We will be finalizing our strategic plan, beginning a superintendent search, strengthening our technology needs, strengthening our reading program and working to increase scores on the state tests in May.”

He said his personal goal is to encourage teachers and administrators to think out of the box and "to be creative in our daily lessons and districtwide programs."

"We need to be the leaders in the demands that the 21st will place upon us,” Sless continued.

There will be a special election March 14 to select two new board members to bring the count to nine to comply with New Jersey statute NJSA 18A:9-10. Type II districts must have a nine-member body with three members coming up for election each year.

The terms for the two added seats will be different lengths. One is a nine-month term (the member may choose to run for a full term in November), and the other term runs through Dec. 31, 2019.

Craig Kahn, an administrator in the Egg Harbor Township School District, has declared himself as a candidate.

Anyone interested in running for a school board seat in the March 14 election must file a petition. The deadline to submit a petition is Jan. 23. Petitions can be submitted through the school district website, linwoodschools.org.