MILLTOWN – Three incumbents are facing no challengers on the ballot as they seek to regain their three-year seats on the Milltown Board of Education.
The general election is on Nov. 3.
JoAnne Demetrio, 66, has lived in the borough for 43 years. She has two adult daughters who live in Milltown, and six grandchildren ages 4-13.
Demetrio, a retired teacher, taught in the Milltown Public Schools for 32 years. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education and certifications in reading recovery and national board.
In the community, Demetrio’s involvement revolves around her grandchildren and the Board of Education (BOE).
“I attend all their sports events,” she said. “I also participate in the community activities as part of my board committees, PTO (Parent Teacher Organizations), [and] MEF (Milltown Education Foundation) activities.”
Demetrio said she is running for another term on the board because “as an educator, my whole life has revolved around educating children.”
“I think I offer an expertise and insight to the educational experience that is useful to the board,” she said. “My special interest is in curricula. I think it is important that we keep up with changes and ensure that our children are given the opportunity to be exposed to the most current information possible. I have been involved as the curriculum chair and hope to continue as a board member. Milltown has done an outstanding job educating our children and I take pride in being a part of contributing to the process.”
Jim Lloyd, 42, who has lived in the borough for seven years, is seeking his third term on the board. He and his wife have two daughters, 9 and 11, enrolled at Joyce Kilmer Middle School.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a law degree from Fordham University School of Law and a master’s degree in public policy from Rutgers University. He is employed as a researcher at Rutgers University’s Center for Health Services Research.
In the community, Lloyd has coached many seasons of soccer and basketball for Milltown Recreation. He served as a committeeman for the Milltown Democratic Organization and frequently participates in events at the Milltown Public Library.
“I’m running for the BOE because I believe in the school district and I want to be involved and help wherever I can,” he said. “My six years on the board have given me experience that I think will contribute to the district continuing to excel. I’ve been through a number of budget and contract negotiation cycles at this point, and I think those experiences are valuable for the next ones. I think I’m in a place where I can build on the trust I’ve established to keep the district strong.”
Lloyd said he recently moved to the Public Relations Committee on the BOE.
“I’d like to continue to focus my efforts on the connection between the district and the larger Milltown community,” he said. “Maintaining open lines of communication, bringing members of the community into the planning process, and making sure that what we on the board are doing reflects what Milltowners value. There are a lot of things that a school district can’t talk about due to privacy protections, but in those areas where communication can be more open, I plan to continue and expand the ongoing efforts to engage the community.”
Mary O’Mara, 40, who has lived in the borough for 10 years, is seeking a second term on the board. She has two children, ages 13 and 6.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and is in the process of earning a master’s of music education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is employed as an orchestra teacher in the East Brunswick Public Schools.
“I have always been involved in volunteer work and wanted to do something where I feel my skills would be an asset,” she said. “I did not always have a good sense of what the public schools were like in Milltown, so I thought being on the [BOE] would be a great way to be an active parent and community member. There is a lot to learn during your first term on the board, so I am running for re-election to put to better use all that I have learned over the last three years.”
O’Mara said as a middle school teacher, educators have been challenged by the transition to virtual learning.
“I would also like to try and incorporate my background in arts education and make sure that those subject areas remain part of educating the children of Milltown to help develop critical thinking, empathy and creativity,” she said.