ORANGE, NJ — When the Orange Board of Education hosted its reorganization meeting on Monday, Jan. 7, board secretary and business administrator Adekunle James kicked off the event by reading the official certified results of last year’s board election, in which incumbent board member Siaka Sherif won re-election to a full term on the board with 3,008 votes, followed by newcomer Brenda Daughtry with 2,668 votes and Derrick Henry with 2,622 votes.
The results for the November election also had incumbent board member Rhoda Irodia with 834 votes, Hanza Agwedicham with 461 votes, Jarteau Israel with 362 votes and 32 write-in votes. According to James, there are 16,746 registered Orange voters who cast 8,090 ballots in that election.
After reading the results, James swore in Sherif, Daughtry and Henry.
Board President Lydell Carter, whose nomination for re-election by board member Jeffrey Wingfield was seconded by board member Cristina Mateo, proved the only nominee for this role and he was unanimously re-elected by the nine members present.
“On behalf of the board, we give you back the gavel,” said Sherif on Monday, Jan. 7, as he handed the president’s gavel to Carter after the vote.
Carter accepted the gavel and joked that Sherif’s act reminded him of when the Democrats in Washington, D.C., had elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi to serve as speaker of the house in the new Congress, following last year’s midterm elections.
“Obviously, someone was watching Nancy Pelosi the other day,” said Carter on Monday, Jan. 7, as he accepted the gavel from Sherif.
“I did,” admitted Sherif with a laugh.
Board member Kyleena Hill nominated Courtney Thomas for vice president. Then Henry nominated Tyrone Tarver, which was seconded by Daughtry. James said the board needed to have separate, full votes on each nomination, but Sherif had a different idea.
“The two nominees, we should have a secret ballot,” Sherif suggested.
But James and the board attorney informed Sherif that it was a public meeting, so secret ballots would not be allowed. The board then held two separate votes for vice president.
Wingfield, Mateo, Carter, Thomas and Hill voted for Thomas; Tarver voted against him; and Sherif, Daughtry and Henry abstained.
Tarver voted for himself, as did Henry and Daughtry; Mateo voted against him; and Wingfield, Thomas, Sherif, Hill and Carter abstained.
After James gave the results, he announced that Thomas had won the vice president’s post.
“Before we move on as a team, I would like to congratulate Dr. Thomas,” Sherif said.
The board then moved on to other business, including passing nine resolutions dealing with the various committee assignments and liaison positions to other agencies and entities related to the board, including the reappointment of a school board attorney for 2019 and the appointment of a school board negotiating labor law attorney for 2019.