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.