Parting words from two long-time board members

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Retiring school board member Robert Iannacone is flanked by Superintendent Annette Giaquinto and school board President Ernest Huggard Monday night, Dec. 17. Retiring school board member Robert Iannacone is flanked by Superintendent Annette Giaquinto and school board President Ernest Huggard Monday night, Dec. 17.

GALLOWAY – School board members Robert Iannacone and Eileen Kasunich participated in their last Board of Education meeting Monday, Dec. 17.

They will be replaced on the board by Absegami High School teacher Madeline Avery and youth sports coach David Carmen who were elected to the school board Nov. 6, along with incumbent Richard O. Dase who won re-election in a field of seven candidates.

The school board reorganization meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7.

Iannacone, 76, a graduate of Paterson Eastside High School, chose not to run for a seventh three-year term on the Galloway board, and retired after 18 years of service.

He and his wife, Grace, have lived in Galloway Township for 30 years. They have three grown children, Joseph, Mary and Diane.

“I was forced into retirement in 1992 after a successful bout with cancer,” Iannacone said. “I am a retired union sheet-metal worker who worked my way up in the ranks to be general manager of one of the largest sheet-metal joint ventures in the country.”

“I’ve always been active in my community,” Iannacone said. “I was a member of the Mahwah Fire Department and a captain on the Mahwah heavy rescue and ambulance squad.”

With 20 square miles, Mahwah is the largest municipality in Bergen County, he said.

“I was on the executive board of the sheet metal workers union,” Iannacone said. “I was also on the board of directors of the New Jersey School Boards Association.”

At Monday’s meeting he pondered his activities and successes in life.

“The most important thing I’ve ever done is to serve on this school board for 18 years,” Iannacone said.

He was on the board’s facilities committee for 17 years, the past 16 as chairman. He has been on the negotiating committee for 16 years.

He is a past member and chairman of the policy committee, serving when the district policies and bylaws were all rewritten. And during his five-year tenure on the technology committee, the technology curriculum was greatly expanded throughout the district.

He is a master board member, an achievement reached by only about 275 out of more than 4,500 board members statewide, according to Iannacone.

He was an assistant baseball coach for the Galloway Township Athletic Association and spent many years as an officer of the township Police Athletic League.

Iannacone received a plaque at Monday’s meeting.

Kasunich, 46, who also decided not to seek re-election and had previously received a plaque for her service, joined the school board in 2005.

She is self-employed in the casino marketing business.

A 24-year Galloway resident, Kasunich and her husband, Tom, have three children – Tiffany, Tommy and Eric – who all attended Galloway Public Schools.

She said she has been involved with the schools since her children started attending in 1992.

“I believe that you must stay involved as much as you can, whenever you can and in whatever capacity possible for your lifestyle,” Kasunich said of her school board years. “This is my way of giving back to the community.”

Eileen Kasunich attends her final meeting as a board member Monday, Dec. 17. Eileen Kasunich attends her final meeting as a board member Monday, Dec. 17.


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