Dawn Parks Resigns From Berkeley Board Of Education
Parks cites lack of professionalism on board and mismanagement of super search as reasons for leaving
Berkeley Board of Education member Dawn M. Parks has handed in her resignation letter, effective today.
Parks said she could no longer abide what she called the lack of professionalism among board members at the closed session at the May 24 board meeting and the board's subsequent decision to hire another interim superintendent.
"I've had it," Parks said today. "There's no organization there, and nobody willing to work with anybody. It's a sad atmosphere."
Parks said in her letter she was leaving because of the "lack of professionalism of the members of the Berkeley Township School Board and the mismanagement of Berkeley Township taxpayers funds in reference to the hiring of an interim superintendent.
"I do not want my name associated in any way with this Board's discussion and their improper use of taxpayer funds," the letter states.
Board members went into closed session at the May 24 board meeting for over an hour. When they came out, they voted to appoint former Monmouth County schools superintendent Carole K. Morris to the position, at a salary of $500 a day
Board members only found out two days ago about a proposed interim superintendent to replace Joseph H. Vicari, Parks said.
"There were other things we could have done with that money," she said. "They just decided to rush it. There were no other interviews. Who picked her, I don't know."
Board members could have opted to ask Bayville Elementary School Principal Arleen J. Lippincott or Central Regional Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides to step in as interim superintendent until a permanent superintendent was found, which would have saved the district money, Parks said.
Lippincott previously served as interim superintendent when Vicari left the district in 2009, after his contract had expired. She thought she was on her way to becoming permanent superintendent when some board members approached Vicari about returning.
Parlapanides has said he plans to apply for the superintendent position and wouldn't ask for any additional money to oversee the four-school Berkeley distrct.
Parks said she has long favored shared services with Central Regional and other school districts and thought Parlapanides was the right person for the superintendent job.
Parks said there were other issues "leading up to" her decision to resign.
Board President Steven M. Pellecchia - who became board president earlier this year after former board president Jame Byrnes resigned after he was appointed to the Township Council - removed Parks from all but one board committee in February. She had previously served on three committees.