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West Orange Board of Education Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting


WEST ORANGE, NJ – Terry Trigg-Scales was voted in as President and Jennifer Tunnicliffe Vice-President at the annual West Orange Board of Education meeting on Jan. 7.


Melinda Huerta, who defeated Ken Alper in the November election, was sworn in as the newest board member. Huerta thanked the community for their support in both English and Spanish.


The board then voted on the following liaison positions for the 2021 school year:





NJ School Boards Association

Melinda Huerta

Gary Rothstein

Essex County School Boards Association

Terry Trigg-Scales

Jennifer Tunnicliffe

Legislative Chairperson

Jennifer Tunnicliffe

Terry Trigg-Scales

Negotiations Committee

Terry Trigg-Scales,

Jennifer Tunnicliffe


Policy Chairperson(s)

Cheryl Merklinger, Gary Rothstein


Board Township Liaison

Cheryl Merklinger, Terry Trigg-Scales


Public Relations Committee

Cheryl Merklinger, Melinda Huerta




The board members took turns in reading the adopted Code of Ethics as per N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq. and West Orange Board of Education Bylaw 9271.00:


The Members of the Board of Education recognize that they hold authority not as individuals but as Members of the Board. In order to make a clear public statement of its philosophy of service to the pupils of the District, the Board adopts this Code of Ethics:


a.) I will uphold and enforce all laws, rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, and court orders pertaining to schools. Desired changes shall be brought about only through legal and ethical procedures.


b.) I will make decisions in terms of the educational welfare of children and will seek to develop and maintain public schools which meet the individual needs of all children regardless of their ability, race, creed, sex or social standing.


c.) I will confine my board action to policy making, planning and appraisal, and I will help to frame policies and plans only after the Board has consulted those who will be affected by them.


d.)I will carry out my responsibility, not to administer the schools, but, together with my fellow Board Members, to see that they are well run.


e.)I will recognize that authority rests with the Board of Education and will make no personal promises nor take any private action that may compromise the Board.


f.) I will refuse to surrender my independent judgment to special interest or partisan political groups or to use the schools for personal gain or for the gain of friends.


g.) I will hold confidential all matters pertaining to the schools which, if disclosed, would needlessly injure individuals or the schools. In all other matters, I will provide accurate information and, in concert with my fellow Board Members, interpret to the staff the aspirations of the community for its schools.


h.) I will vote to appoint the best-qualified personnel available after consideration of the recommendation of the chief administrative officer.


i.) I will support and protect school personnel in proper performance of their duties.


j.) I will refer all complaints to the chief administrative officer and will act on the complaints at public meetings only after failure of an administrative solution.


See the full list of agenda items and Designation of Positions here.



Cynthia Cumming
Jan. 7, 2021