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Board Reorganization Meeting Welcomes New Members

WEST ORANGE, NJ -  Cheryl Merklinger and Terry Triggs-Scales were sworn in as the newest members of the West Orange Board of Education at the Jan. 7 Reorganization Meeting.


Board Secretary John Calavano began the meeting by reviewing the vote tallies for the Board of Education election on Nov. 6, 2018, from both the County and the township. The County certified the tallies prior to the inclusion of votes from a township voting machine, and the numbers were not adjusted in time for the meeting.



County Vote Total

West Orange Township Vote Total

Cheryl Merklinger



Terry Triggs-Scales



Jeremias Salinas




Merklinger and Triggs-Scales took their oaths of office and the board then voted 3-2 to name Ken Alper as Board President and 4-1 to name Sandra Mordecai as Board Vice-President for the 2019 year.


Board members then determined liaison designations for 2019.





NJ School Boards Association

Cheryl Merklinger

Terry Triggs-Scales

Essex County School Boards Association

Sandra Mordecai

Ken Alper

Legislative Chairpersons

Terry Triggs-Scales

Ken Alper

Negotiations Committee

Ken Alper, Mark Robertson


Policy Chairperson

Sandra Mordecai, Terry Triggs-Scales


Board/Township Liaison

Ken Alper, Cheryl Merklinger


Public Relations Committee

Mark Robertson, Cheryl Merklinger



In two unanimous votes, the board approved the contracts of employment for Acting Superintendent Eveny de Mendez and Acting Assistant Superintendent Elizabeth Veneziano for the period Jan. 8, 2018, through June 30, 2019. Both contracts were reviewed and approved by the County Executive Superintendent in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-3.1.


Review the agenda here.


BOE Reorganization

(L-R) Mark Robertson, Terry Triggs-Scales, Board President Ken Alper, Vice-President Sandra Mordecai, Cheryl Merklinger.

Merklinger Swearing In

 Board Secretary John Calavano congratulates Cheryl Merklinger after she is sworn in.

 Triggs-Scales Swearing In

 Terry Triggs-Scales is sworn in.


Cynthia Cumming
Jan. 7, 2019