Three candidates file to run for seats on Upper Freehold Regional school board

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Three residents are seeking three available three-year terms on the Upper Freehold Regional School District Board of Education in the Nov. 5 election.

Of the board’s nine members, seven are residents and representatives of Upper Freehold Township and two are residents and representatives of Allentown. Candidates appear on the ballot in the municipality they seek to represent.

The terms of board members Patricia Hogan and Tia McLaughlin of Upper Freehold, and Wil Borkowski of Allentown will end on Dec. 31. Hogan and McLaughlin are not seeking re-election.

In Upper Freehold, newcomers Christine Ciccarone and Vanessa DePompo are running unopposed for the two available seats in the township.

In Allentown, Borkowski is running unopposed for the one available seat in the borough. Borkowski was recently appointed to the board to fill an open seat. He will now seek a full term.

McLaughlin has been a member of the board since 2013.

Hogan has been a member of the board since 2007 and is currently serving as president

Asked for a comment about her service to the community, Hogan said, “Serving on the board for these last 12 years has been beyond rewarding … it has been a privilege to serve with a number of bright and talented individuals with a broad variety of skill sets. I have learned a tremendous amount about education and public service from the incredible people who have served beside me.

“I have been a witness to the amazing development of our educational offerings and standards at every grade level. I have seen the most elite of educational leadership continue to grow and develop both professionally and personally. I am beyond grateful that I was given the opportunity to grow in those areas with them.

“Partnership has been a key concept in my tenure as a board member and leader,” Hogan continued. “We have formed, strengthened and recommitted to our partnerships with our (Millstone Township) sending district, neighboring municipalities, law enforcement, township and borough elected officials, our families, community members, administrators, board members, teachers and staff.

“Communication has reached an all-time high with the availability of presentations online and live social media streams on important updates with school projects and funding. We have created opportunities for our kids that we couldn’t provide without the help of our neighboring districts, such as Robbinsville.

“Our sending district, Millstone Township, is also our partner in ensuring educational excellence and alignment of curriculum that leads to a high school population that enjoys entry into the finest colleges, universities, military branches and vocations,” she said.

“Upper Freehold Regional has opened a new school, repurposed areas of our other schools, made and is making improvements to our buildings to create a safer, more efficient and comfortable learning environment, all in the last 12 years.

“We have seen the transition of a culture-creating superintendent, Dr. (Richard) Fitzpatrick, to a new generation of effective, forward-thinking leadership in Mark Guterl. … I guess I just feel it’s time for new energy all around. There are exciting things happening in education today and it’s time for fresh ideas and leadership. I cannot express the level of gratitude I feel for those who mentored me in my different roles, Dr. Fitzpatrick, Joe Stampe and Lisa Herzer most specifically.

“Thank you to my partners on the board, including my previous vice presidents, Doug Anthony, Rick Smith and most recently Michelle Anthony and, of course, our most experienced and longest termed member, Howard Kreiger.

“I still have a few more months to serve, but I assure you I will end my term with confidence and peace of mind that comes with what will be a seamless transition in board leadership (because of the talent pool) and a dedicated group of board members and district leadership,” Hogan said.