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Feigenson, Locastro, Barbary Picked for Open Regional Board Seats

The Regional Board of Education welcomed three appointees Monday night to the vacant seats

With three open seats on the Regional Board of Education, current sitting members unanimously appointed a trio of candidates to fill the vacancies on Monday night.

Anthony Barbary of River Edge will fill the seat left by Vito Acquafredda who was voted onto the River Edge Council during the November election. Alan Feigenson and Lori Locastro, both of Oradell were chosen to fill the the voids left when Michael Chakansky and Dorothea Durand resigned prior to the holidays.

"This school district did a lot to help my daughter succeed and I feel I have the time and knowledge to help make this an even better district," Feigenson said. "I believe you can accomplish more if you work together rather than have a hidden agenda to further a cause."

Feigenson spent six years on the Oradell Board of Education, five of which as the Board President and was appointed to the Regional Board of Education in 2007 to fill an open seat.

An importer of children's shoes, he previously spurred action to bring Mandarin as a language course to the high school, citing a need to better prepare students for the business world where China is becoming a leader in the global business community. But according to Feigenson, the district can do more to prepare students for college.

"My daughter is in college now and I think River Dell prepared her very well for that," Feigenson said. "But based on what she has told me, English and writing needs to be stressed even more. I went to Dwight-Englewood and during my junior and seniors years they stressed writing. We wrote papers constantly and I found it very easy entering college to write term papers. I don't see that same effort here and I would like to see work done on that."

Locastro, a former educator in private and public schools, added that she also sees students struggling with writing currently.

"My grandson is sophomore in now but when he was finishing middle school I saw he was struggling in English," Locastro said. "Students need the basics of writing and tools before than can go ahead."

She also stated that one of the biggest benefits of the district is that it offers a wide variety in its curriculum.

Barbary spent over 30 years in the education field beginning as a teacher and working his way through a variety of administrative duties including principal, assistant superintendent, interim superintendent and a central office consultant. He spent the majority of his career with the Clifton School District. The former music teacher and administrator, Barbary also serves on the borough Citizen's Budget Committee and assists in crafting the annual municipal budget with the governing body.

According to Barbary the biggest issue he feels the district is facing is to move ahead with an ever increasing look at test scores, core content standards and making sure that students are more preprared for an ever changing world.

All three new board members will serve until the November 2013 election. At that point, Barbary and Feigenson have expressed interest in running for full-terms while Locastro stated she could not predict an interest in participating in the election due to family committments.

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Concerned Citizen January 09, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Feigenson said. "I believe you can accomplish more if you work together rather than have a hidden agenda to further a cause." ~~ As a well documented BOE groupie who's never won a contested election and suckup to superintendents, he's never without a dig at people who stand up for what they believe and who have original thoughts in their heads. The RD BOE is a sham - a group of puppets. With at least 5 "trustees" currently receiving benefits as determined by the NJEA, don't expect anyone there allegedly representing your children's best interests to ask meaningful questions of the administration or to vote anything by "YES." Now that there is no public debate or vote on the school budget, don't even bother going to meetings. They'll all just stare at you in annoyance if you ask a question.
lucky January 09, 2013 at 04:23 PM
So now our RDBOE has 4 members on it that are current or past members of the NJEA! This severely limits who can negotiate with the union and also, in my opinion, slants any voting the RDBOE takes relating to union members and contracts. Wait until you see what the contracts are next time. We've got the inmates running the asylum now. It's too bad that the residents in these 2 towns don't really care enough to get involved.
Concerned Citizen January 09, 2013 at 05:29 PM
And tax payers wonder how Superintendent Fletcher was able to get the board to approve his contract at a salary way higher than the state required limit just before the limit was officially approved. The deck is stacked in his favor. You don't think a financially responsible board with no ties to the NJEA would have said let's hold off a bit on this. Were they really afraid of losing Fletcher to another district? Really??? Where's he going to go to get a cushier job than this. This is such a conflict of interest. It's Lose-Lose for the kids and tax payers.
lucky January 09, 2013 at 06:18 PM
yes, let's not forget how the RDEA came out in such support for changes to Mr. Fletcher's contract. He'll be sure to return the favor when the time comes. Who loses in this arrangement - our kids. The more funding that goes to salaries and benefits, the less for our kids. Shame!

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