After Jack O’Leary’s abrupt departure, Christine Fiumara Agron is appointed to fill school board vacancy

Milford. School board member Dawn Bukaj said Agron has demonstrated the qualities needed to serve on the board. “She doesn’t have a political agenda,” she said.

| 14 Oct 2021 | 03:54

The Delaware Valley school board appointed Christine Fiumara Agron to fill vacancy left by longtime member Jack O’Leary, who resigned abruptly on Sept. 9.

Agron was appointed at the board’s Oct. 7 work session and will serve the rest of O’Leary’s term, which runs through 2023. The school board president, Jack Fisher, was absent.

Agron received six yes votes, with only Brian Carso voting no. Rosemary Walsh said she voted yes to preserve unity on the board, which lately has been riven by disagreements over the state’s school mask mandate.

Carso and Walsh are the only members who support the mandatory wearing of masks in school. In late September, the rest agreed to let parents decide.

School board member Dawn Bukaj said Agron has repeatedly demonstrated the qualities needed to serve on the board. “She doesn’t have a political agenda,” she said.

School board member Corey Homer said, “Christine is always here.”

In her presentation to the board, Agron said she has volunteered at three schools in the district and now serves as treasurer of the Dingman-Delaware Middle School PTA. She took on yearbook responsibilities at the elementary school from 2017 to 2020. Before having children, she managed human resources for Anderson Consulting.

Both her sons attend Dingman Delaware Middle School. “I want to leverage my skills and experience to contribute to DV’s impressive track record as a district that provides academic excellence as well as opportunities for the kids to grow into well-rounded productive adults,” she said.

Before Agron was nominated, Carso nominated Sue Casey. He cited her long tenure on the board that would allow her to step in with ease. Walsh seconded Carso’s nomination. But five board members voted no.

Eight people in all sought to fill the vacant seat.

The board heard four-minute speeches from Lisa Addio, Matthew Contreras, Brian Fells, Sharmie Ford, John Johnson, and Douglas J. Manion, MD, along with Casey and Agron. Dr. Manion’s speech was read by school board candidate Meg Rosenfeld because Manion was out of town on business.

The board adjourned to an executive session to consider a student issue and said they would not return after the session.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the Delaware Valley High School auditorium.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated from the original to correct some errors and to add more information.

My name is Sue Casey.
I have served on this board for 20 non-consecutive years, elected by the voters for 16 and appointed by the board twice to fill resignations for four years. I have served in numerous board positions. You have my voting record and know that I have been a discerning deliberative decision maker. I’m also aware of the sacrifice board members make as volunteers. I’m ready to sign those financial forms disclosing my income and debts. I’m ready to give up my family time as evidenced by the fact that today is my birthday.
I am a graduate of Delaware Valley. My daughters are DV grads. One daughter is a teacher at DV with 17 years of service. This community is very important to me.
I have no ulterior motive for seeking the appointment to replace Jack O’Leary other than to avoid the appointment being made in the courts as happened once during my tenure when the board missed the 30-day replacement deadline.
I believed then, as I do not, that the voters should have a say in the replacement. I offer this board that if after the Nov. 2 election, you reach consensus that any of the unsuccessful ballot-seekers is more deserving of the position than I, I will respectfully resign so that person can be appointed. Otherwise, I’m happy to serve the balance of Mr. O’Leary’s term.
I appreciate your time and consideration of my potential appointment.
“She doesn’t have a political agenda.” Dawn Bukaj