The Newark Unified School Board of Education welcomed its newest member Tuesday night.
Gary Stadler, whose term officially begins Friday, was sworn into office at the board’s regular meeting in front of a crowd that filled the entire room at the district office.
Jan Crocker and Ray Rodriguez were also sworn Tuesday, marking Rodriguez’s fifth term on the board and Crocker’s 10th year as a board member.
Stadler replaces former board member Janice Schaefer who said she decided not to run for re-election because of her recent growing responsibilities as an educator for a different school district.
The seats on the board automatically went to Crocker, Rodriguez and Stadler because they were the only three candidates who filed for the three seats up for grabs this year.
All three board members expressed excitement about serving on the board for the next four years.
“Everyone knows why I’m here – 100 percent for the kids,” Stadler said. “And I look forward to serve on the board.”
Rodriguez said he is ready to continue working on lobbying for Newark students.
“I really, truly enjoy serving the students and parents of our community,” said Rodriguez, who added that he will work hard to assist the board in finding solutions to bring revenue to fund the school district’s programs for its students.
And Crocker, who said serving on the board has been wonderful for the past decade, called incoming board member Stadler “passionate” about Newark students.
“And I look forward to working with board member Stadler,” Crocker added.
Schaefer was commended by district administrators and regional leaders also for her 18 years of service on the school board, and board members said they will miss Schaefer’s experience.
“Her heart is where it needs to be at all times, which is with the kids, with the truth and with integrity, Crocker said.
The first official meeting of the new school board will be Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.
Make sure to check back on Newark Patch later this week, when Patch plans to publish a separate report on Schaefer’s retirement from the school board.