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Monty School Board President Resigns


Joanne Tonkin

Joanne Tonkin, who had a 29-year career as an administrator for the Montgomery School District, resigned on August 10 after serving seven months as president of the Board of Education.


Tonkin lives in Belle Mead and is a former school district employee who served as director of pupil services for many years.


Her letter of resignation:

“Dear Montgomery Township Board of Education Members:


This letter is to inform you of my decision to resign from the Board of Education for personal reasons effective this date of August 10. “While I never imagined that I would need to resign my position on the board mid-term, life has a way of redirecting our paths when least expected."


“It has been an honor to be a part of the Montgomery schools for the past twenty-plus years. I trust you know that this is a most difficult decision, and I hope that you continue to see me as your friend and ally in the community."


A new president will be appointed perhaps later this week.


Board Vice President Phyllis Bursh said in a prepared statement:


"It is with a heavy heart that I announce that our Board of Education President, Joanne Tonkin, has resigned from the Board of Education for personal reasons. We have appreciated the time that Joanne has given to the board in her role as member, president, and special education teacher prior to her retirement from the district. Joanne is a thoughtful, dedicated, friendly, helpful and wonderful person. We hope we can find ways during this time of transition to keep her involved and wish her the best in her future endeavors. The board of education will continue to work for quality education for our children."


Vacancy on the Montgomery School Board


The resignation of Tonkin has created a vacancy on the Montgomery Board of Education.


The board will appoint a community member from Montgomery or Rocky Hill to fill this vacancy as soon as possible, according to Alicia M. Schauer, school business administrator /board secretary.


The appointee will serve on the board through January 2022.


The candidate must meet the following qualifications to serve:


Must be able to read and write; must be a U.S. citizen and one year school district resident; be registered to vote in the district; and must not have an interest in any contract with, or claim against, the board.


The candidate must not hold office as mayor or member of the municipal governing body, and must not simultaneously hold two elective offices.


Must not be convicted of certain crimes. (Appointee must undergo a criminal history background investigation through the NJ Department of Education.)


Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest stating they are qualified to serve. The letter is due no later than noon on September 18. The board will interview select candidates on Tuesday, September 29.


Send letter to: Montgomery School Board, 1014 Route 601, Skillman, NJ 08558. ■

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