By Matthew Sockol
FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education will have three three-year seats on the Nov. 8 ballot. Two incumbent board members are seeking re-election.
The board oversees the operation of the Freehold Learning Center, the Park Avenue Elementary School and the Freehold Intermediate School.
The terms of Paul Ceppi, Annette Jordan and Michele Tennant will expire at the end of the year. Tennant is not seeking re-election.
Ceppi and Jordan are running unopposed for the three-year terms.
No name will be on the ballot for the remaining open seat. The winner of that seat could be decided by write-in votes on Nov. 8. If no one wins as a write-in candidate, district administrators will advertise the vacancy, conduct interviews and appoint a resident to the board.
Ceppi is the director of business banking and community development at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. He has lived in Freehold Borough for 18 years and joined the school board in 2014.
“(I am seeking re-election) to continue advocating for the students of our district,” Ceppi said. “The board has done a lot of great work over the past few years and I look forward to the opportunity to keep the momentum going.
“Working in government and finance for the past 21 years, I understand process and bureaucracy, as well as the funding mechanisms used to facilitate the operations of the district,” he said.
During the next three years, Ceppi said, he and his fellow board members will focus on providing the best environment for the children of the school district.
“We have been successful in working through the process of obtaining the necessary funding to address the overcrowding issues of the district; we continue to focus on the funding needs for the day-to-day operations,” Ceppi said.
“Those key items will enable the schools to be better prepared to offer a more beneficial educational experience for students, which at the end of the day is what everyone on the board looks to do,” he added.
Jordan previously worked in the advertising department at Gannett Media. She has lived in Freehold Borough for 28 years and joined the school board in 1998.
“As a board member, I still needed to advocate for the district,” she said.
During the next three years, Jordan said, she will focus on providing a quality education to students, which will involve addressing what she called the continued underfunding of the school district by the state.
“In order to provide an environment that encourages learning, we must have the funding,” she said. “The district is $12 million underfunded and that lack of funding has had a huge impact on our students.
“As a board, we we must address underfunding of the district. We cannot ensure a quality education for our kids if we do not have the the staff and the tools needed to teach and learn,” Jordan said.