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McNish Presides Over Final Board of Ed Meeting

Former board members, administrators thank Maureen McNish for nine years of service on the Caldwell-West Caldwell School Board.

Current and former school board members thanked Maureen McNish for her nine years of service at Monday night's Board of Education meeting. 

Board President McNish was denied a fourth term on the school board when she lost her seat in the November election. Her running mate, Paula Getty, was re-elected along with first-time candidate Thomas Adams, a retired teacher from the district.

Still supporters took the time Monday to remind her of her varied accomplishments, which many said include leading the process to replace longtime Superintendent Daniel Gerardi and Business Administrator Ronald Skopak.

Mary Davidson, a member of the board, said she considered McNish a confidant and a friend.

"Be proud of all that you have done," Davidson said, "and know that you have made a difference."

Board member John King recited a list of achievements, from the creation of the Center for Performing Arts at James Caldwell High School to new kitchens at the high school and Grover Cleveland Middle School, from no cuts to programs and raises for teachers to property taxes that have remained stable and even dipped in recent years. 

"You'll have a legacy here because all these things are great," King said. 

Her running mate Getty, who was elected for a third term, thanked McNish for being a mentor as well as for her service.

"You have worked well and humbly on behalf of this district and I thank you for that," Getty said.

Board member Rosanne Hansen pointed out how McNish would sit along with her in the public at meetings long before she was first elected. 

"She has always worked tirelessly, professionally and with great heart for our district," Hansen said.

Hansen said she would miss her, as well as her pumpkin-chocolate bread.

Former school board members David Black, Jay McCann and Kay Slattery all took turns honoring McNish at Monday's well-attended meeting. 

McCann recounted speaking to McNish shortly after the election when she told him that she could not feel sorry about her loss with all that people were going through after Hurricane Sandy.

"Never once did she complain," McCann said, adding he would hope to see her continue to serve the community in some capacity. 

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