WALL TOWNSHIP — Allison Connolly resigned as the Wall Township School Board president on Tuesday, submitting a four-page letter expressing dismay over the “palpable rancor in town” and saying she “no longer feels empowered” to “represent the students.”
She said she is proud of district accomplishments during her tenure, such the five-year strategic plan, new security measures and fiscally responsible budgets, “But, now I am done,” she stated in the letter.
Ms. Connolly said she was “blindsided” by the Wall Township Education Association’s no-confidence vote in Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Dyer, and that a lawsuit brought by the union to overturn Ms. Dyer’s reappointment cast “a negative limelight on our town,” making it difficult to find a replacement when Ms. Dyer retires next June.
WTEA President Gail Maher, in a written response, questioned why Ms. Connolly felt blindsided by the no-confidence vote, since the WTEA had asked to meet with the board in the fall of 2017 to go over issues the members had with the superintendent. The request was denied, Ms. Maher said, as was a request this year to meet with the board to discuss the no-confidence documents.
Ms. Connolly touched on several other controversial issues, including effort to find a new location for the school bus compound. When the township struck a deal to park buses at the Howell school bus yard, freeing millions of dollars for other projects such as air-conditioning classrooms, she said, it “wasn’t good enough for some prominent critics.”
She said the controversy is “endemic of a much bigger issue,” in which “inaccuracies, rumor and innuendo” circulating on social media and elsewhere make it difficult for the board to function.
Ms. Connolly is the second board member to resign this year. Tennant D. Magee Sr. resigned in March. Andrew Krupa recently was appointed by the county superintendent of schools to fill the vacancy, after the board could not agree on a replacement. Two other board members, Robin Zawodniak and Dori Molloy, have chosen not to run for re-election in November.
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