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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

BOE swears in Fallon, Pullia, Scipione, Hunter

Kristin Guglietti/THG Kelli Fallon was sworn in by her husband, Chris, who stood next to their daughters Eleanor and Caroline.

HAMMONTON—During the Hammonton Board of Education’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 2, John Lyons was elected as school board president and Luke Coia was elected as vice president.

Board administrator Barbara Prettyman called the meeting to order and all board members were present at the Samuel A. Donio Memorial Library.

In the beginning of the meeting, there was a swearing in ceremony for the newly-elected board members Kelli Fallon, Michael Pullia and Raymond Scipione as well as for Waterford representative Roe Hunter.

After the swearing in ceremony and roll call, Prettyman thanked Robert Capoferri for his donations of manpower and materials for various projects throughout the district.

“The district receives tremendous support from many people and countless organizations, but I feel like I’ve been remised by not publicly thanking one very special person Mr. Robert Capoferri. Year after year since well before I started in 2006, Mr. Capoferri has donated manpower and materials for various projects throughout the district. To name just a few, Mr. Capoferri has facilitated repairs to our parking lots, instillation of our middle school track and most importantly provides his crew and equipment every winter to clear snow from our school parking lots and roads. His donations of manpower and materials have been extremely significant especially during our critically lean budget years, so again thank you Mr. Capoferri for all that you have done and continue to do for our district,” Prettyman said.

When it was time to vote for a new school board president, Coia nominated Lyons and the majority voted “yes” to elect Lyons as president with board member Kelly Donio voting “no.”

After Lyons was elected as president, it was time for nominations for vice president.

Donio nominated board member Linda Byrnes who was the previous vice president and Lyons nominated Coia for vice president.

The majority voted for Coia to be vice president with Donio and Byrnes voting “no.”

After Coia was elected as board vice president, it was time for the board to vote on action items No. 1 through No. 7.

The action items are the following:

• Appoint Mr. William Donio, Esq. of Cooper Levenson.

• Adopt Robert’s Rules of Order, the Bylaws, Policies and Regulations of the district, and the district’s fee structure under Public Records Policy (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5) for the ensuing term, fee structure as per attached.

• Adopt the New Jersey School Board Member Code of Ethics (N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1) for the ensuing term, as per attached.

• Designate The Hammonton Gazette and The Press of Atlantic City as the official newspapers to be used for advertisement of meetings and legal ads and all other necessary public notifications for the 2024 school year.

• Adopt the January 2024 – December 2024 Meeting Schedule and direct its dissemination in accordance with the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act, as per attached.

• Appoint the following personnel for the 2024 calendar year:

- Tammy Leonard – District Affirmative Action Officer

- Mickey Walsh – District Affirmative Action Officer

- Chris Sacco – District Title IX Coordinator

- Michael Ryan – District Section 504 Compliance Officer & ADA Coordinator

- Barbara Prettyman – Board Secretary, Custodian of Public Records, Purchasing Agent, Loss

Control Coordinator and Public Agency Compliance Officer

- Frank LaSasso – Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator

- Sharon Murray – Indoor Air Quality and HCS/Right to Know Contact

- AHERA Consultants, Inc. – AHERA Compliance Officer

• Approve the Superintendent or designee, be designated to approve such line item budget transfers as are necessary between Board of Education meetings, and that such transfers shall be reported to the Board of Education, ratified and duly recorded in the minutes of the next regular meeting as provided by N.J.S.A. 18A:22-8.1 amended.

After all action items were approved, Lyons discussed committee assignments.

Lyons asked board members to send an email to write which committees they would like to serve on or not serve on and then Lyons and Coia will sit down and put the committees together.

Donio brought up a concern about Lyons and Coia putting together committee assignments since there could be a conflict of interest because they have relatives who work at the school district.

“Given that we elected a board president and a vice president who have direct relatives, it is my understanding at the last meeting we talked about how that could be a violation of the code of ethics, and I’m not trying to be difficult ,but I do feel like there’s a perception and I just wanted—you sort of kicked the can last month so I’d like to have more information about your thoughts on that,” Donio said.

Board solicitor William Donio responded and said he will take a look back at the advisory opinion Kelly Donio mentioned at the last meeting and make a recommendation to the two affected individuals, have some discussion and report back to the board.

The next school board meeting will be held Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Samuel A. Donio Memorial Library.


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