The Vernon Township Board of Education will interview candidates to fill two vacated seats after accepting two resignations Feb. 9.
Theresa Scura Coughlin’s resignation was effective Feb. 7 and Martin O’Donnell’s Feb. 8.
The people appointed will fill their remaining terms, which end Dec. 31.
Board president Kelly Mitchell said Coughlin is attending Seton Hall to complete her doctorate and her two children will be leaving for college soon. She resigned to spend more time with them.
Coughlin, who holds a master’s degree from Fordham University with a concentration in special education, has been a longtime chairwoman of the Special Services Committee. She has been a fierce advocate for the district’s special-needs students.
She joined the board in 2016.
“I’m very sad about Theresa leaving because I have been a board member by her side for four years now,” Mitchell said. “She was my mentor when I first started, and she taught me that education is not business ... . The budget and everything are totally different than in business, and she gave me institutional knowledge. She was an unbelievable advocate for special education, and I can’t thank her enough for all that she’s done for us.”
O’Donnell, who joined the board in 2021, recently proposed an ad hoc committee to look at district spending in sports and extracurricular activities. The aim was to make sure the funding was based on the needs of the activities and number of students involved.
His resignation was accepted without comment.
Candidates will be interviewed in public at the school board meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16. Applicants are asked to send a letter of interest and resume bu Wednesday, Feb. 15 to Patricia Ratcliffe-Lee at email@example.com or Kelly Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m very sad about Theresa leaving because I have been a board member by her side for four years now ... . She was an unbelievable advocate for special education, and I can’t thank her enough for all that she’s done for us.” - Kelly Mitchell, president, Vernon Township Board of Education