HomeMarlton NewsSchool board honors departing members

School board honors departing members

Business administrator John Recchinti spent nine years in that role

Jonathan Diaz/The Sun
School Superintendent Dr. Justin Smith had words of praise for Marianne Cappello, Lea Ryan and Kelly Wilk, whose terms expired at the end of the year.

The Evesham Township Board of Education cited members whose terms have expired at its final meeting of the year on Dec. 14.

School Superintendent Dr. Justin Smith started the sesson by commending Marianne Cappello, Lea Ryan, and Kelly Wilk, whose terms expired at the end of the year.

“Starting with Dr. Cappello, this board has accomplished a lot in the last four years, in no small part due to all of your contributions,” Smith said. He also recognized Cappello’s unique perspective as an employee of the state Department of Education and parent of an Evesham student.

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“That’s such a rare pairing of lenses and I know it’s helped (the board) see better as we’ve navigated all of these challenges,” Smith added. “So Dr. Cappello, thank you.”

Ryan announced her resignation as president of the board last August, to be replaced by vice president Aneesh Kanthan, who was chosen unanimously. Ryan could no longer hold her position because of her relocation out of the township.

“(Ryan) is not here this evening, but this would be her last board meeting,” Smith noted. “We’d be remiss to not extend thanks to her for guiding our district through COVID, state-aid loss and other challenges, as well as earning in the process the enduring thanks of our district.”

Wilk was approved by the board to replace Ryan as vice president. She was chosen from among five other candidates, according to an agenda for the Sept. 18 special board meeting.

“A great embodiment of quality over quantity of time as you’ve been on the board,” Smith observed. “Thank you for your contributions on the curriculum committee. I look forward to just keeping abreast of your continuing engagement and support of our community”

Jonathan Yates will take on the role of the district’s new business administrator/board secretary, replacing John Recchinti, who retired last month. Recchinti took on the role in 2014 and attended about 250 Evesham board sessions. Smith commended him for helping the district navigate serious issues.

“This is (Recchinti’s) last board meeting,” Smith acknowledged. “If we were playing free association with your name, limelight would be one of the last things I’d associate with you. Way sooner I would say, ‘absence of ego,’ which is a hallmark of leadership. I think I’d also add wealth of experience, yet ever fresh eyes.

“It’s that combination of experience with the ability to still find novel solutions that’s helped guide us through,” Smith added of Recchinti, “not just challenges through COVID, but material challenges of increasing costs, staffing, and budgetary challenges.

“The soil that your roots are in is unshakable values, and I feel privileged to have seen that as we’ve gone along.”

The board then presented plaques to the departing members. Recchinti’s included a quote he frequently used in his email signature: “He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”  

Recchinti expressed gratitude to his coworkers for their support and assistance through the years.

“I just want to thank the current board, all the past board members, administration, faculty, staff, and all the employees of the school district,” he remarked. “You’ve all been great to work with and you’ve helped make my job easy. Without all of you, there’s no school district, and I just want to thank everybody for doing their part.”

The next board of education session will be a reorganization meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at DeMasi Middle School.

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