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Incumbent, two newcomers win seats on Metuchen Board of Education

METUCHEN — An incumbent and two newcomers will fill the three, three-year Board of Education seats that were open in this year’s election.

Newcomer Michele Cook garnered the most votes with 3,774 in her first bid for a board seat during the election on Nov. 6; newcomer Chris Alan Derflinger received 3,165 votes; and incumbent Justin H. Manley, who will serve his second term on the board, recorded 3,078 votes.

Newcomer William Waldron Jr. received 1,798 votes in his losing bid for a board seat.

Results are current as of Nov. 8. The county was still tallying provisional and mail in ballots as of press time.

Board Vice President Merrill Lunt and Board Member Aileen McGuire did not seek re-election.

Cook said she is honored to have been chosen to help the Metuchen Public School District steer a course over the next three years.

“I appreciate everyone’s support and I look forward to working with my fellow board members to address the needs of all of our students,” she said.

Derflinger said he is “humbled and incredibly excited” for the opportunity to join the Board of Education team.

“It is my honor to give back to the community that I grew up in,” he said. “Moving forward, I hope to work with my fellow board members to tackle issues and work through those issues with plans of action that involve multiple stakeholders.”

Manley said he is excited to continue serving the people of Metuchen.

“I want to work with the entire board getting community feedback to develop a comprehensive facility plan,” he said. “We will need to accommodate our community growth and provide the administration the flexibility needed to move to modern scheduling by addressing cafeteria constraints. If we don’t get ahead of continuing student population growth it could threaten our ability to have dedicated spaces for things like our nationally recognized and award winning music program, arts and other key specials.”

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