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Three candidates campaign for two seats on Jamesburg Board of Education

Sarah Grazier

JAMESBURG–Incumbents Scott Passner and Sarah Grazier will face off against former board member Edward Herban for the two open seats on the Jamesburg Board of Education. Each term is for three years.

Election Day is on Nov. 3.

Sarah Grazier, 35, was born and raised in Jamesburg and moved back two years ago to raise her family.

Since being appointed to the board in January 2019, Grazier said she has been impressed with the district and the success its students are showing.

“Our students deserve every opportunity that a public education system can provide. I want to continue the success the school district is experiencing and ensure the best programs are available to our students in Jamesburg while being mindful of the expense to the taxpayers and the community,” Grazier said. “I am a big believer in the success of the preschool program and the opportunity it provides for our town and our smallest learners, as well as the Dual Immersion program that Jamesburg so uniquely offers.”

Grazier is a special education teacher in the Monroe school district.

As a member of the school board, Grazier is part of the Personnel, Curriculum and Student Matters committees.

She is also a Jamesburg Historical Association member.

“If re-elected, I would like to continue to support the expansion of extracurricular activities and opportunities for the students of Jamesburg,” Grazier said. “I would like to continue to support the preparation of our students for their future academically, socially and emotionally as they venture to Monroe Township High School and beyond.

“In order to ensure the best learning environment for our students, teachers and staff, I would like to continue to support facilities and upgrades to our buildings.

“Lastly, I am proud of the inclusive environment our district has created and I want to make sure that every student, parent and community member’s voice is heard,” she said.

Edward Herban, 50, has lived in the borough for 20 years and works as an attorney in a solo practice.

“Initially, I didn’t want to run. I was content being in the periphery; however, over the past three years I’ve learned how critical the role of a board member is and feel that I can contribute to that need.

“I decided to run again because I feel that I have not completed some of the tasks that I set out to complete last term,” he said. “I have some ideas that will improve the quality of education for students while making the cost of education financially attractive to current and potential taxpayers,” he said.

After finishing his first three-year term on the board last year, Herban said he served as chairman of the Personnel Committee and currently serves as chairman of the Policy Committee. Prior to his tenure on the board, he served as chairman of the Sayreville Recycling Commission, as well as chairman of the Sayreville Cable Television Advisory Board.

If reelected to the board, Herban said there are several issues he plans to tackle that include continuing to improve the quality of education provided for students, expanding extracurricular activities, and continuing capital improvements for the school buildings.

Herban said the district needs to implement programs that will empower its students and their parents to make choices for their own education and future.

“We are in a unique situation where our high school students attend Monroe Township High School (MTHS) during their high school years. Effectively, this means as a district we pay each child’s tuition to attend MTHS, but what if a student wants to go a different route for his/her education?” Herban said. “Especially now that students and parents have tried different modes of learning because of COVID-19.”

Herban said if a student can direct his/her tuition money to a school that allows her/him the best opportunity to learn the way s/he learns, this would solve many problems simultaneously: the student’s wishes are honored, there are fewer students in MTHS, lowering the overcrowding problem, and the Jamesburg taxpayers may save money depending on the tuition cost. It’s win, win, win, he said.

“What’s more is, what if s/he wants to learn a trade or a technical profession. … We have already charted a plan to encourage more of our students to take advantage of these choices and because of the financial savings, these choices delivered to the board, we are looking into incentivizing students to seek out these opportunities,” Herban said. “It’s not every day life presents opportunities where everyone involved walks away in a far better position. This is one opportunity that we shouldn’t let slip by.”

Scott Passner, 42, has lived in the borough since 1986 and currently works as the principal of the North Brunswick Township Early Childhood Center in North Brunswick.

“I am so excited with the growth of our Jamesburg schools during my term on the Board of Education. I want to keep the momentum going. I am proud to have been a student in Jamesburg Public Schools and the first one in my family to graduate college,” Passner said. “I have dedicated my career to public schools and am proud to raise my children in the town that I grew up in and use my various perspectives to support the education provided for the stakeholders of Jamesburg.”

Along with being a board member, Passner is a member of the board’s Finance Committee, Education Curriculum and Student Matters and Policy Committee.

He is also a New Jersey School Boards Association certified board member, a New Jersey School Board Association Delegate Assembly alternate, a Middlesex County School Board Association alternate, Jamesburg Public Schools Parent Teacher Association member, a New Jersey Principal and Supervisors Association member, The Setonian Foundation member, an Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple member, and Cub Scout Pack 54 parent.

If re-elected to the board, Passner said his goals continue to be to prepare the district’s students for their future academically, socially and emotionally.

“I am proud of the diverse and inclusive school community that we have created in our public schools. Other goals include expanding the innovative programming with examples that include full day preschool, the Dual Immersion Program, and expanded extra-curricular activities,” Passner said. “Another goal is to continue in the facilities upgrades that have occurred throughout the district and improve the school learning environment for students, staff and community members.”

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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