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School Board Welcomes New Members

Ginny Rhine, Joseph Torrone and Gigi Esparza were sworn in Thursday night

Toms River's Board of Education began its 2013 session this week with three new members. 

Joseph Torrone, Ginny Rhine and Gidalty "Gigi" Esparza were administered the oath of office for their 3 year terms. The three "Clean Slate" members join three of their team elected in 2011.

"I intend to do the best I can to move this district forward and focus on the future, not so much on the past," Torrone said. 

"I'm excited to work with the administration," Rhine said.

Esparza said that she is looking forward to working with her peers "make a better school district."

The three new members defeated incumbents Jack Reuther, Gus Kakavas and Jamie Jubert in November 2012.

Board members also elected their president for 2013, giving the nod to Ben Giovine, a "Clean Slate" candidate who was elected in 2011. 

"I think that those of us who have been to these meetings know that Ben is an articulate, well-prepared young man," said board member Michael Jedziniak, who made the nomination. "He's uniquely suited to move this board from a period of darkness."

Alex Pavliv, also a "Clean Slate" member elected in 2011, was elected as the board's vice president. 

With a victory of Torrone, Rhine and Esparza, the so-called "Clean Slate" team has a majority on the nine-member school board. Last year "Clean Slate" candidates Ben Giovine, Loreen Torrone and Alex Pavliv won.

For 2013 the six board member have a majority, leaving longtime incumbents Tom Baxter, Ed Gearity and Mike Jedzeniak as the minority.

Jedziniak addressed the changing dynamics of the board Thursday at the end of a contentious meeting during which members did not appoint an attorney. 

"There is no majority or minority," he said. "We are a board. We had a little bit of growing pains."

Board members will appoint their attorney and labor attorney at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the High School North auditorium. 

Grace Kraft January 05, 2013 at 07:32 PM
So they will apoint Mr Leone next week finally after all the yaking they did about it for months at their wino and cheeseball parties.
Irina January 05, 2013 at 09:56 PM
http://www.app.com/article/20130103/NJNEWS15/301030116/Learning-Toms-River-board-bickers-post-Ritacco-era-begins The Patch Story differs tremendously then the APP story. If Torrone really made the comments stated in the APP: "First I want to make it very clear that I don't feel bound by a prior board. The new board takes over tonight and we can do whatever we want." .....I hope he enjoys the seat uptil his turn to be re-elected comes because he is so freaken gone......We the taxpayer don't need his kind of miserable attitude.
Central J. CEO January 05, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Just curious, what is the pay for this position on the board? Must be big considering all the huff and puff that goes on with these fools.
Triple 7's January 05, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Mr Trump (Central J. CEO), It's 100% pure title and nothing else. Purely to stoke one's ego. Personally I'd rather have a big payday to feed my ego but as they say "Que Sera, Sera".
Ken January 06, 2013 at 01:41 AM
I knew Torrone was going to be a mistake. What an attitude on this guy already. Sounds like he may even be worse than the original Rittacco crew. I hope the next election they come up with some real candidates to run against the incumbents, because honestly most of the ones running this past were pretty pathetic.
Laci January 06, 2013 at 02:49 AM
But who are going to be the incumbents in the next election?. The Ritacco leftover's. Maybe Torrone should have an attitude, just like the attitude the former members had that were replaced. Thanks for chance to vote in November instead of April..
Stephanie Sevastakis January 06, 2013 at 04:01 AM
What unethical rules allows a husband and wife to sit on the same board. And not just any board but the one that will make decisions for our childrens' education. I will be watching to see if they ever vote independant of each other. Being the "Clean Slate" team does not give them the right to be incompetent. Unfortunately I think that it is the only reason that they won and I don't think that they are right for the job either. We need to stop attacking people who run for positions in general because "good and qualified" people who want to make a difference are afraid to run because of the horrible criticism that they have to deal with along with their families. Not every politician is corrupt and if society believes that they are then we are lost already. It means that no one will ever have faith in who is in office. Does that make anyone feel more content? I know it doesn't!
Fedup January 06, 2013 at 04:33 AM
"What unethical rules allows a husband and wife to sit on the same board" I believe it is called, now sit down, democracy.
Denise January 06, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Fedup, this rule as quoted in the paper by Loreen Morrone "First I want to make it very clear that I don't feel bound by a prior board. The new board takes over tonight and we can do whatever we want."
Brielle is movin in January 06, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Exactly WHO welcomed them besides each other & the people from Brielle that Joe owes a debt to?
Kathy January 07, 2013 at 12:04 AM
I find it interesting how 6 of these comments come from the same person... 6 screen names from the same IP address.. lol
Stephanie Sevastakis January 07, 2013 at 02:32 AM
I couldn't agree more Ken! Everyone was so set on "cleaning the slate" that they voted for this group? Our kids deserve better than that.
Jaisy January 07, 2013 at 02:06 PM
@ tr voice of reason .. I believe it's the same sort of unethical behavior that allows a HS football coach to coach his own son, hold church meetings in the field house , tell the kids to repent when they mess up and boasts Keith Alias as the " spiritual leader " on the school teams website . Everyone in this town is somehow related . Good luck changing anything when the positions of power are monopolized by a very tight group . Sadly , our kids are the ones who suffer.
Kathy January 07, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Aren't you aware yet... that it is the Teachers Union who determines who gets the coaches positions... who gets promoted.... and who gets hired!! Our teachers union supported Kakavas, Reuther, and Jubert in the election.... which gave us Ritacco stealing $10million, etc.
Jaisy January 07, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I can't comment on the teachers union because I'm not fully aware of their exact involvement in hiring coaches . They may be responsible for hiring , but they are not responsible for refusing to take action against the behaviors listed above . ( which are only HALF the issues with this particular coach) The teachers union cannot fix what they are not aware of. As long as the athletic director and the BOE let these things go on , nothing will change . I hope the newly appointed attorney is ready to deal with the lawsuits coming his way.

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