Bayonne Board of Education appoints Hector Gonzalez to fill vacant seat

The position was left empty when former Trustee David Watson resigned in 2021

The Board of Education has appointed Hector Gonzalez Jr. to fill a vacant seat on the board left open following the resignation of Trustee David Watson, who resigned in November of 2021 after moving out of Bayonne for family reasons.

“The board has an opening with Trustee Watson’s resignation,” Board Secretary Dr. Gary Maita said at the board’s Jan. 25 meeting. “There was a selection of candidates to fill the vacant seat.”

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Maita said that the board received eight candidate’s resumes for the position. Subsequently, the board conducted a paper survey of all eight.

“The board did seven personal interviews,” Maita said. “One applicant could not make the interview.”

Following that, Maita asked if the board had made a selection. Before announcing moving to appoint a new trustee, Board Vice President Christopher Munoz thanked the other applicants to the position.

“I want to thank everyone for applying for the vacancy,” Munoz said. “There were some very qualified candidates. We were impressed, the committee, with all of you.”

Munoz then moved to have Gonzalez fill the seat, which was seconded by Trustee Melissa Godesky-Rodriguez. The board voted unanimously to appoint Gonzalez to finish out the remaining two years of Watson’s three-year term. Maita said he would be reaching out to Gonzalez to inform him of his new position on the board.

After the meeting Munoz congratulated Gonzalez in a statement on social media: “Welcome new School Board Trustee Hector Gonzalez Jr. I know you can not wait to get to work.”

The board made the appointment at its Jan. 25 meeting.

Gonzalez previously ran for the board unsuccessfully in 2018 and 2019. Now he will serve on the board until his seat is up for re-election in November of 2023.

In a Jan. 28 statement on social media, Gonzalez thanked the board for his appointment: “I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to one of the hardest working group of volunteers in the community. The Bayonne School District Board of Education Board members. This is one of the most important responsibilities a citizen can undertake, and I am both grateful and honored to have this opportunity to serve on the board as representative of our community.”

He continued: “My focus is on working collaboratively with all board members while working to represent the diverse views in our community to bring forward a culture of collaboration and unity. Thank you for your confidence and support.”

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. 

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