Officials Claim Frum Lakewood School Board Member Could Be Ousted for Missing Training


princeton-avenue-school-building-smallThe following is based on an Asbury Park Press report by Zach Patberg: Lakewood, NJ, Board of Education member Akiva Gonter’s post could be in jeopardy after he failed to take the appropriate mandatory recertification training, district officials are claiming. Newly appointed member Ada Gonzalez said she believed she was replacing Gonter on the board because of the apparent training mix-up, not Chet Galdo, who resigned July 27 as board president.

Galdo, who quit after the controversial hiring of Newark educator Lydia Silva to replace acting school Superintendent Eugenia Lawson, confirmed he was replaced by Gonzalez. He did, however, acknowledge that Gonter, who was elected to the board in April 2007 after replacing Norman Bellinger in 2006, was supposed to be recertified in the spring.

“He just never showed up,” Galdo said. He added that Gonter will remain on the board until the district receives an official notice about it from the state, which could arrive in September.

After reviewing the matter yesterday, however Board Attorney Michael Inzelbuch said, due to a miscommunication with the state, Akiva initially took an advanced course reserved for more senior members while still a freshman. He rescheduled to take the proper course, but was unable to attend because of work conflicts, Inzelbuch said.

“I will be contacting the relevant agencies to rectify the matter,” Inzelbuch said.

Akiva, a dedicated askan of the community, who has brought honesty and integrity to the school board since joining. He and his wife Chayala and their family live in The Villas development off of County Line Road in Lakewood. He is a mispallel at Khal Ateres Yeshaya, which is led by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen.

The state requires all board members to take recertification training within their first year of re-election or appointment on various issues including school ethics, finance, law and state monitoring, according to Frank Belluscio of the New Jersey School Boards Association, which administers the training. First-term members are to take the training all three years.

Belluscio said the association reports any failure to attend the training to the state’s School Ethics Commission, which then recommends to the state commissioner of education a penalty that could include dismissal. The commission has not received such a report with Gonter’s name on it, said Beth Auerswald, a spokeswoman for the commission. Belluscio was uncertain as of late Wednesday whether the association had sent a report.

 { Newscenter}


  1. wow how interesting….
    anymore lakewood board of ed politics? this is soooooooo interesting keep it up…

  2. Akiva Gonter “a dedicated askan of the community, who has brought honesty and integrity to the school board since joining”.

    Never heard of him.

    Is this supposed to tell me about the honesty and integrity of the REST of the school board?