BOE Thanks Outgoing Members Barry and Bermudez
At the December 18, 2019 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent David Trethaway took a moment to thank outgoing board members, Pat Barry and Jackie Bermudez, for their service. Barry chose not to run for another term and Bermudez lost her seat in the November election.
Pat Barry served on the board for three years. “He was really an important part of the district before he became a board member,” Trethaway remarked. “He was a member and president of the Booster Club, he served on the Strategic Action Plan Committee, and with those roles he did a lot to provide opportunities for our student athletes, for our students in general, and for our sports programs. He was a tremendous resource.” Trethaway said that Barry helped to increase school spirit with booster club programs like tailgate parties, and he was instrumental in bringing a lot of improvements to the football field facilities.
“As a board member, Pat really has the qualities that everyone has to have, he is on the board for the right reasons. There are no political ambitions, he doesn’t have any agendas, political or otherwise, he’s here for the students, he’s here for the district and he always has been. When making decisions he uses a common sense approach. He listens to everything and the final answer is always based on how does it benefit the students, how does it benefit the parents, how does it benefit the staff, how does it benefit the district.”
“You can always count on Pat to get things done, and if he can’t do it, he knows someone who can. Pat, the board, and particularly this superintendent, will miss your leadership and your decision-making, so thank you for your service.”
Barry said he was glad to have been a part of a school community that does such great things for our kids. He also remarked that his children did so well in college because of the staff in Manchester. “It’s amazing to see the passion and how much you guys care for our kids.”
Jackie Bermudez served on the board for ten years and has been board president for the past year. “Like Pat, Jackie was active in the school district before she even served on the board,” said Trethaway. “She was an active member of the Band Parents, she was on the PTA, she just wanted to be involved and she was involved for the right reasons. She always emphasized that we want to provide opportunities for all students, something that she always stressed was all the students. She was an active board member. Not only did she get involved with the mandated trainings but she’s been to additional trainings and workshops to become more involved and learn what it takes to be a positive board member.
“When Mr. Webster left the board, Jackie was voted president and not only did she assume the leadership as president of the Manchester Board of Education, she also served as president of the Ocean County board. She was recently recognized at the Ocean County-Monmouth County school board meeting for her service and leadership and received an award there. She became more and more involved in board training and more informed on county and state topics like SEL (social-emotional learning) and more and more involved in opportunities for non-college bound students. She shared all that information here in Manchester. As president she demonstrated leadership for the board, the district and of course the superintendent. She has always been a positive advocate for our district and has all the qualities to look for in a board member - well informed, knowledgeable, makes decisions based on what is best for all the students in the district. You can’t ask for anything more and you will definitely be missed, so thank you Jackie.”
In her final BOE President’s Report, Bermudez said, “I did not become a board member because I thought I knew what was best for the district or felt that it needed to be better. I became a board member because I wanted to be a part of this wonderful school district and be involved...Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this for the past 10 years.”
New board members Gayle Mount and Daniel Staples will be sworn in at the January 7, 2020 reorganization meeting.