Lichardi returns to school board, will serve as president

FREEHOLD – New and familiar individuals have joined the Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education for 2019 as a former member has returned to serve as president.

The board oversees the operation of the Freehold Learning Center elementary school, the Park Avenue Elementary School and the Freehold Intermediate School.

During the board’s annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 7, the three winning candidates from the Nov. 6 election – incumbent Paul Jensen, former board member Ron Reich and newcomer Jamie Corbett – were sworn in to begin serving three-year terms.

Jensen joined the board in 2016 and Reich previously served on the board from 1999 to 2014.

Board members then took action to fill two vacant seats on the panel. The vacancies were created by the departure of Annette Jordan and Margaret Rogers, both of whom left the school board to join the Borough Council.

Appointed to complete the remainder of Jordan’s term, which will expire at the end of the year, was Michael Lichardi, who served on the board from 2009 until Dec. 31, 2018.

On Nov. 6, Lichardi was unsuccessful in his bid for a new three-year term and his tenure concluded eight weeks later. However, after a week away from the school district, he was tapped to resume his duties on the board.

Newcomer Shauntele Patterson was appointed to the seat previously held by Rogers. Patterson, who has been a resident of Freehold Borough for seven years, told board members she sought a seat to help the community.

“Serving on the board is the perfect opportunity to get more involved,” she said.

When asked by board member Paul Ceppi about her position on the board’s actions, Patterson said she would not do anything differently.

“There are a lot of good things going on in the budget,” she said.

Lichardi and Patterson were the only residents who applied to fill the vacancies.

After all of the members were seated, the board held elections for the positions of president and vice president.

Lichardi, who served as president in 2018, was nominated by Reich to serve in that position for 2019. He was elected in a unanimous vote. Jensen was nominated by Tyler Jordan to serve as vice president for 2019. He was elected in a unanimous vote.