FREEHOLD – Three members of the Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education are running unopposed for three three-year terms in the November 2020 election.
The current terms of board members Tomi Carter, Bruce Patrick and Joseph Santonacita will end in December. All three residents are running for re-election.
Carter is a trustee on the Freehold Public Library board and served on the Park Avenue Elementary School PTO board prior to being elected to a one-year term on the school board in 2019.
“I am a stay-at-home mom and 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 fourth 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.
In a new term, Carter said 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.
Patrick was a research scientist in the Humoral Immunology Department at the New York State Institute for Basic Research on Staten Island, where he managed a laboratory for 40 years until his retirement in 2018.
He has served on the school board for 12 years and has lived in Freehold Borough for 27 years.
“I am running for a seat on the board to continue supporting the our administrators’ successful efforts to improve student achievement, despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus, and secure the state funding levels set by (state law).
“In addition, I want to be involved in choosing the next superintendent when Dr. (Rocco) Tomazic retires. I would also like to get the district’s five-year strategic plan back on track after its postponement due to the coronavirus,” he said.
“My professional background has been an asset to me while serving on the board. The amount of information that is generated to analyze student achievement is staggering and complex.
“As the manager of a laboratory, my job was to analyze experimental data daily to help determine the course of our research. These skills and the ability to collaborate with other board members with different skill sets has been very helpful during my tenure,” Patrick said.
Santonacita is a physics teacher at Colts Neck High School. He has lived in Freehold Borough for 12 years and has served on the school board for three years.
“I am running for re-election to continue to advocate to secure resources for the district that will help educate and promote the well-being of our students, their families and the community.
“Being a high school physics teacher enables me to provide perspective and insight as to how board policies, programs and decisions may impact our staff and students,” he said.
In a new term, Santonacita said he will work to get the district to full operational capacity for all students who wish to attend in-person instruction during the ongoing health crisis; continue to advocate for the implementation of state funding until Freehold Borough is properly funded; and engage the community in a new strategic planning process that will formulate a new five-year road map for the district.