Jefferson School Board Member Resigns
Judy Castiglione cites lack of support for substance abuse initiatives, unprofessional behavior.
Jefferson Township Board of Education member Judy Castiglione resigned her position at Tuesday night’s regular monthly meeting. After tendering her resignation in mid-meeting, Castiglione abruptly left, not waiting until the meeting ended.
“It is with a broken heart that I tell you that as of tonight I will be resigning,” Castiglione said, citing as her main reason the lack of implementation of projects suggested by the ad hoc committee on substance abuse, which she headed.
“The ad hoc committee has come up with many great suggestions, some of them costing little or no money, and none of them have even been started,” she said.
Castiglione pointed to a list of tips and resources for parents that could be posted on the school’s web site.
“I’ve suggested this many times, and it wouldn’t cost anything to do, but yet it hasn’t been done,” she said in a phone interview with Patch following the meeting.
In addition, Castiglione said she had asked administration to have the high school’s video classes produce a public service announcement to be shown at back-to-school night, coming on Sept. 27. That project has not been undertaken.
Superintendent Joseph Kraemer said he had just learned of Castiglione’s intention to resign earlier in the day. “I have no comment at this time,” he said.
Castiglione also noted that she was “slammed” on nj.com for her position on the work load for seventh-grade students.
“I realize that I fought back and I shouldn’t have, but someone on that forum called my 23-year-old son a dirtbag,” she said. “That’s just unacceptable.”
Finally, Castiglione said she tried to reach an unnamed administrator last weekend and asked to spend some time speaking with him on Sunday, as she was leaving for a business trip on Monday. After the administrator answered two questions, his date texted her back that they were busy and she’d have to wait until Monday, Castiglone said.
“I found that to be very unprofessional,” she said.
“I love this district and many of the people I’ve worked with,” she said in parting. “But there are things I can’t support, and therefore I feel it’s time to resign. I hope to work on substance abuse more at the state level.”
Castiglione’s three-year term expires in December. Dora Zeno, the board business administrator, said the district has 65 days to fill the position. The board will accept letters from interested candidates, followed by interviews before selecting a new member.
“I don’t have any time frame yet as to when letters will be due to the district,” she said. “I just found out about this tonight, and I’m surprised. I will provide more information very soon.”