Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

(Board of Ed) Plainfield BOE moves school election to November; Superintendent takes surprise leave

The school board moved its annual elections
to the November general election date, saving
money and guaranteeing a larger vote turnout.

As rumored,
the Plainfield Board of Education did take up a resolution to move the annual school election from April to the November general election date.

The work/study session convened Tuesday in the PHS Conference Room a few minutes after the announced start time, with all members present except Richard Wyatt.

I noticed at once that Superintendent Anna Belin-Pyles was not present. Board President Emily Morgan announced that assistant superintendent Dr. Debra Sheard would take her place for the meeting.

The Work/Study sessions are the equivalent of City Council's agenda-setting meetings and serve the same purpose: allowing the board members to deliberate on items of business to be dealt with at the business meeting and to introduce other items for discussion and possible inclusion.

Formal action may be taken -- though not often -- at these meetings. The public is forewarned of this in the regular notices for these meetings. Action was taken on this measure Tuesday evening because of a looming deadline to file for the election date change.

After the Board President's remarks and the Assistant Superintendent's remarks, a surprise item came up: A resolution granting a leave of absence to Superintendent Anna Belin Pyles from the 6th of February to the 17th of February, for "personal" reasons. There was no discussion (there never is in personnel matters). A roll call vote was taken with 8 members in the affirmative and member David Rutherford abstaining.

Reports from Committee chairs followed, after which Morgan asked for the Board's pleasure on whether to take up the election date change before the public comment or after.

The consensus of the Board was that the public should get a chance to weigh in before a vote was taken.

Of the dozen or so members of the public present, several spoke in favor of the change (former BOE members David Graves, Terri Cabbell, and Dr. Inez Durham; current PEA president Eric Jones, and retired teacher's aide Ethel Coleman). There were no speakers against the resolution.

When the vote was taken, it was 7-1, with members Lynn Anderson, Terrence Bellamy, John Campbell, Carletta Jeffers, Carmencita Pile, Dorien Hurtt and Emily Morgan in the affirmative. The only "no" vote was cast by David Rutherford.

The BOE business meeting will take place in the BOAACD Cafetorium (the former Jefferson School), Tuesday, February 21, at 8:00 PM.

Theresa Ann Moroney Teacher and Plainfield bookstore owner was an avid reader and adventurous cook Theresa Ann Moroney of Plainfield, N.J., died on Jan. 19, 2017, from complications of breast cancer. Family and friends are invited to join together to honor Terry's life at The Landing, 311 Amwell Rd., Hillsborough, N.J., on Sunday, Jan. 22, for brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Terry was born on March 24, 1944, in Summit, N.J., to Mary Gallagher and David Moroney, the seventh of nine children. She graduated from St. Teresa's Grammar School, Summit, in 1958, and attended three high schools: Summit High for two years, followed by a year at Madison High, before graduating from South Plainfield High in 1962. Terry attended Fairleigh Dickinson University while working night shifts at her sister Catherine's diner, becoming the first member of her family to graduate from college with a B.A. in English in 1967. While at FDU she served as editor for the school newspaper. After graduation, Terry and her sister Grace travelled across the country. Terry began her teaching career at Westfield High in 1967 and continued at Plainfield High. In 1972 the call of the highway beckoned once more, and she and Grace continued their cross-country exploration. Upon returning to New Jersey, Terry met and married the love of her life, David Beck, and soon welcomed two sons into her world. In 1980 she reentered the work force, teaching adult education in Plainfield and New Brunswick, N.J., a vocation in which she took tremendous pride. In 1992 Terry returned to high school, teaching at North Plainfield until her retirement in 2009. In 1997 Terry opened "Another Look Books" in Plainfield. A labor of love, the used book store served the downtown community until closing its doors in the early 2000's. Terry was active in the Cook School PTA, and while at North Plainfield she served as advisor for the school newspaper and lent her aid to countless students; she took particular joy in helping her ESL students apply to college. She was an active member of the Plainfield Historical Society and the Democratic Committee in Plainfield. Terry was an avid reader and adventurous cook; the two pursuits birthed an extensive and lovingly used library of cookbooks and personal recipes. Terry was predeceased by her husband, David Michael Beck, in 2014. She is survived by her sons, Andrew David and Richard Evelyn; her daughter-in-law, Christine Beck, and grandsons, Damien Carter and Alexander David. The seventh of nine children, Terry is survived by her sister, Constance Costello Rooney. She was predeceased by her brothers, David, Richard, and James, and her sisters, Margaret, Catherine, Rosemary, and Grace. In New Jersey, Terry will be missed by her sister-in-law, Kathleen Moroney; nephews, Charles Femminella and his wife, Charlotte Ryden, Christopher (Gretchen), Sean (Karen), and Mark Moroney (Kelly); nieces, Regina and Renee Femminella, Maureen Pena (Joseph), Sandra Roberts (Steve Kosciolek), and Jennifer McBride (Sean); in Virginia, by Moyra Moroney; in Arizona, by her brother-in-law, Paul Beck and, in Hawaii, by John Beck; and many grand-nephews and grand-nieces. - See more at:

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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