FREEHOLD – Two incumbents and two newcomers won seats on the Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education in the Nov. 5 election.
Three three-year terms and one one-year term were on the ballot.
The three-year terms were sought by incumbents Paul Ceppi and Tyler Jordan, and by Caridad Argote-Freyre and Brent Costleigh.
According to results posted online by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Ceppi (845 votes), Costleigh (821 votes) and Jordan (770 votes) won the three-year terms. Argote-Freyre received 751 votes in the election.
Elisha Carter ran unopposed for the one-year term and received 1,100 votes, according to the clerk’s office.
Ceppi has been employed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for 12 years. He has been a resident of Freehold Borough for 21 years and a member of the school board since 2014.
“The district has come a long way over the past several years, but I would like to keep the momentum going and continue to build upon our recent successes,” Ceppi said. “My background/experience in finance and government has proven to be helpful in understanding the challenges the district has experienced over time and valuable in developing recommendations for our advancement.”
Ceppi said he will continue to encourage the state to keep its promises of providing appropriate funding, maintaining stability in the district to improve conditions for students and faculty members, and giving Freehold Borough students the same opportunities that are available in the other K-8 school districts that send students to the Freehold Regional High School District.
Costleigh has been a resident of Freehold Borough for nearly 10 years. He is an associate professor of psychology at Brookdale Community College and chairs the college’s psychology department.
“My wife and I have three wonderful daughters, ages 7, 4 and 2; our two older daughters attend school in the district,” Costleigh said. “I want to assure that my daughters and every other child in the district receives the very best education possible.
“Great progress has been made in the district under the leadership of (Superintendent of Schools) Rocco Tomazic and the board. My personal and professional experience will allow me to bring a unique set of knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to help the administration and faculty continue that progress.
“As an educator, I am committed to the social contract for education and have witnessed firsthand how a quality education can serve as the great equalizer within our society.
“I will work to ensure that every child receives the very best education possible so they may fully realize their innate potential,” he said. “For that to happen, the district must secure proper funding; the state must fulfill their funding obligations.
“New Jersey has the No. 1 public schools in the nation and yet there remain gross inequalities from district to district within the state. The children of Freehold Borough deserve the same opportunities as every other child in the state.
“Proper funding will also help the district recruit new and retain the existing high-quality teachers and provide them with the necessary technological and administrative support needed to build meaningful learning relationships with our children.
“An effective education also requires a unified educational vision with a commitment to establishing curricular consistency. I look forward to working with the board and administration to build that vision and establish long-term curricular consistency,” Costleigh said.
Carter is a trustee on the Freehold Public Library board and serves on the Park Avenue Elementary School PTO board. With her election to the school board, she will no longer be able to serve on the PTO board.
“I am a stay-at-home mom/homemaker and I have lived in Freehold Borough since 2006,” Carter said. “It was one of the best decisions my husband and I have made. He grew up in the home we currently live in and attended Freehold High School. It is a phenomenal community.
Carter said her oldest child attended the K-8 school district and Freehold High School. She has a daughter in third grade at the Park Avenue Elementary School.
“I want to make a positive difference not only for her, but for every other child as well. I have a degree in culinary arts and paralegal studies. My paralegal background will help me be more practical in my decision making. It will also help me research and see all sides before making a decision that impacts our children,” she said.
Carter said that as a board member she will advocate for full funding from the state, work to improve learning and instruction for all children, and engage with the community with as much transparency as possible.
Jordan, who is a lifelong Freehold Borough resident, has been a member of the school board since 2017. He is the son of Annette Jordan, a former school board member who now serves on the Borough Council.