East Windsor school board candidates run unopposed

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East Windsor residents will go to the polls on Nov. 5 to choose four candidates for four seats on the East Windsor Regional School District Board of Education. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Incumbent board members Nicole LaRusso and Ram Ramachandran, and former board member Bertrand Fougnies, are running unopposed for three three-year terms.

Incumbent board member Robert Laverty is running unopposed for a one-year unexpired term.

Seven of the nine seats on the board are held by East Windsor residents and two seats are held by Hightstown residents. All four terms on the ballot this year are East Windsor seats.

LaRusso has lived in East Windsor for 17 years. She has four children who are enrolled in the East Windsor Regional School District.

LaRusso said she is seeking re-election because she has enjoyed serving on the board. She said she enjoys meeting parents and residents, and “more important, being a voice for the parents and the students.”

Since she has four children enrolled in the district, she said she understands firsthand all that the school district has to offer to parents and students.

“I am very passionate about special education and mental health. I am very familiar with the struggles that parents and students with special needs face on a daily basis,” LaRusso said.

LaRusso said she would continue to support the district’s goals and programs to ensure that all students succeed.

Ramachandran is a 13-year resident of East Windsor. He has one child enrolled at Hightstown High School and another child who graduated several years ago.

Ramachandran said he wants to server another term because he loves the school district. He said he is confident he can bring additional improvements to the district by bringing in new ideas, especially for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and sports.

Over the next three years, Ramachandran said, he wants to improve the school district’s ranking, which in turn will increase property values.

He also wants to channel the district’s efforts to improve the standard of teaching through support for teachers, the use of data and upgrading to a 21st century curriculum.

Fougnies, the third candidate for a three-year term, could not be reached for comment. He is a former board member who served from 2014-17.

Laverty, who is running to complete an unexpired term, has lived in East Windsor for 30 years. His three children are graduates of Hightstown High School.

Laverty, who served on the board from 2001-16 and who was reappointed to fill an unexpired term, said he wants to continue to work with Superintendent of Schools Mark Daniels.

“I bring some institutional memory into our conversations with the administration,” said Laverty, who is former board president and vice president.

Laverty said he wants to help evaluate the newest programs that have been added to the school district, such as full-day kindergarten, the consolidation of the K-2 and 3-5 schools, and the STEAM initiative in the elementary schools.

“I think the key to our continued success is our consistent demand for accountability and high levels of performance at all levels of the district,” Laverty said.