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Two Regional Board Trustees Resign Within Hours of Each Other

With an hour of one another, both Michael Chakansky and Dorothea Durand resigned from the Regional Board of Education

With one year remaining in their three-year terms, River Dell Board of Education members Michael Chakansky and Dorothea Durand, both of Oradell, resigned from their respective posts on Monday evening within an hour of one another. Both trustees were elected in 2010.

“I think the River Dell Regional district has been great and I’m happy to have my children attend,” Chakansky said. “I do have a new job and it is taking up more time and would make it more difficult for me to get here. I’m sad to not be able to stay, but on the other hand I will have a bit more flexibility by not being on the board.”

Chakansky, a patent attorney spent the last eight years in private practice as an intellectual property law attorney practicing in New York City. As of July, he joined the law firm Hoffman and Baron in their Parsippany office representing clients with regards to intellectual property matters.

“I think it’s time to let someone else have a chance to put their view in,” Chakansky added.

Durand, a former Ph.D. chemist in the industrial and academic fields, cited a growing frustration and concern that the board of late has shown an indifference to the academic needs of the district's students.

"In my opinion, I have a concern which began with how the organic chemistry students were treated over the summer, the decision to not pursue academic coaches, and the Nov. 13 decision to change the survey courses to college prep," Durand said. "When I look back at these three issues, a common factor I see is the difficulty to get an analysis prior to making decisions. I am leaving a board that I don't believe is a part of our mission statement to promote student achievement."

According to board president Joseph Manzelli, he was aware of Chakansky's decision to resign prior to Monday's meeting but that Durand's came as a surprise.

"I appreciate Michael's service to the board," Manzelli said. "Dot's comes as a surprise but I thank her for her service, respect her opinions and wish her well."

Both Chakansky and Durand's terms was initially set to expire in April 2013 but was extended to December 2013 when the district opted to move its school board elections to the fall. The district will advertise the open positions in early 2013 and select new trustees afterwards to fulfil the remaining terms.

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lucky December 11, 2012 at 05:45 PM
So sorry to hear this - what a tremendous loss for the residents of Oradell. I can't blame either one of them for leaving. Being on that board must have been a frustrating, futile waste of time. Unfortunately until the RE members stop drinking the kool-aid that the admin keeps shoveling out, nothing will change and our kids will never get anything beyond mediocre. I'm sure that the remaining Oradell members and the full contingent of RE are thrilled, now no one will ask any questions. RE residents need to wake up and start voting in members that will actually care about how our kids do in school.
Concerned Citizen December 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
You got that right, Lucky! One such candidate unfortunately didn't win the most recent election. And with the unfortunate departures of Durand and Chakansky....they will no doubt be replaced with hand picked superintendent suck ups. I can think of one who always seems to come sniffing around at times like these. One of the biggest issues we seem to have is that we have a board with too many teachers on it. I have yet to see a teacher or educator who sits on a BOE question anything a superintendent wants. I'm sure this comment won't go over well with...say....teachers.... but I challenge them to look at the voting records of the teachers on the RD and OPS BOEs....look at the minutes....yes-people every one. Oh, by the way, did you all read the article about "digital" problems in the classroom? AKA laptops.

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