Board of Education Trustee Joe Broderick resigns

The board voted for Pam Sclafene to fill the vacant position

Trustee Broderick speaks at the emergency board meeting on June 2 following Alonso's remarks that many residents viewed as racist.
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Trustee Broderick speaks at the emergency board meeting on June 2 following Alonso's remarks that many residents viewed as racist.

Bayonne Board of Education Trustee Joseph Broderick has resigned. He was not present at the last board meeting of the year, but explained the reason for his departure in his resignation letter.

“Due to my recent move from Bayonne, I unfortunately have to leave the Board of Education,” he wrote. “I want to thank you for all your help and guidance. I also want to thank central office, all the Superintendents …, the Business Administrators and especially all the board members past and present I was privileged to serve with. Wishing you all the best.”

Broderick was the first elected board president, after the school district shifted from appointed trustees to elected. Broderick lost his role as board president to Maria Valado in 2019.

In 2020, Broderick was notable in his vote in August for an in-person instruction plan where students would return to the classroom amid the pandemic.

At the Dec. 10 meeting, President Valado notified the public that Broderick had resigned

“I just want to take a moment to thank him for the great work that he did,” Valado said. “He was the first elected president to the board. He worked with so much patience with all of us and treated everyone with such great respect. He will truly be missed here. His knowledge, his giving of himself to the Bayonne district, are all qualities that we applaud and that we admired in him. We are going to miss him very much and all his institutional knowledge that he had of the school district. Thank you so much Joe Broderick for all the great work you did for us.”

Meet the new trustee

Following her heartfelt message to Broderick, Valado announced that the board would vote in a new member at the meeting following his departure. The board appointed a new trustee to serve out the rest of his term.

According to Valado, notice of the vacancy was posted on the board website as well as in the Bayonne Community News and the Jersey Journal. The notice included prerequisites and the instructions on how to apply for the position.

According to Valado, every trustee on the board received resumes submitted for the empty seat. And while they did not review them as a whole, each member was given a chance to review the submitted resumes on their own and make a decision as to whom they think would be best fit to fill the position.

Valado nominated Pam Sclafene to fill the empty seat. The board then voted to approve Sclafene.

Trustee Ava Finnerty voted against confirming Sclafene, but did not offer an explanation. Trustee Michael Alonso was not present at the meeting and did not vote. This is the first meeting since Alonso’s loss in the November election and his last meeting as a trustee.

Following the vote, Board Secretary Gary Maita informed Valado that he would reach out to Trustee-elect Sclafene to inform her of her new position, so she can get started on fingerprinting.

Vice President Christopher Munoz applauded the other new trustee who was in the audience at the meeting, Dave “Doc” Watson. Watson won a seat in the November election alongside Munoz and Valado on the “Together We Can” slate.

The next Board of Education meeting will be Jan. 5, 2021 at 5 p.m. For more information, go to bboed.org.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.