Incumbents run for re-election to South River school board


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SOUTH RIVER – Three incumbents – Renae Bush, Lisa Byrne and Nicole Sadowski – are seeking an uncontested re-election for three available seats on South River’s Board of Education.

Renae Bush has lived in South River for 18 years and has two children.

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She is the director of School Counseling for Bayonne’s School District. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education from William Patterson College. She also graduated from Kean University with two master’s degrees: school counseling and reading specialist.

She holds several NJ State Certificates that include Student Assistance Counselor, Licensed Associate Counselor, Supervisor, Teacher of English, Reading Specialist, and Director of Student Personnel Services.

Bush has served on South River’s Board of Education since 2014. Her motivations for becoming involved with the school board stem from her experiences and background as an educator.

“I have been in education since 1994. … I am an educator. I want to serve all the children and community of South River. My 20-plus years of experience in education have given me the experience and knowledge of classroom instruction, budget and finance, and state testing. This knowledge coupled with my administrative background has provided me with a strong foundation in school policy, governance, and leadership. Teacher evaluation, the New Jersey Performance Report, College and Career Readiness as well as special education reporting are just a few ‘hot topics’ that I have intimate knowledge of and practice experience with,” Bush said.

Bush, a parishioner of St. Mary’s in South River, said she plans to continue serving her community by providing cost-effective academic programs and a safe learning environment for every family.

“My time on the Board of Education has been very fulling and meaningful. I believe it is the school’s role to provide a strong academic program. At the same time, we have a responsibility to the taxpayers, so our programming decisions must be fiscally sound. And finally, we must ensure the safety and security of our students, staff, and school personnel.

“During my time on the South River Board of Education, we have made some great strides in all those areas, and I would like to continue my service to the families of South River,” Bush said.

Lisa Byrne could not be reached for comment by press time.

Nicole Sadowski has been a resident of South River for 34 years and has two daughters who attend the South River Primary School.

In 2010, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University and is currently a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers.

In addition, she works as a scientist for WuXi AppTec, a pharmaceutical company located in Cranbury.

In September 2020, Sadowski was appointed to South River’s Board of Education to fill a vacant position. Since her appointment, she has served on multiple committees.

“Since then, I have served as the chair for the Safety and Risk Management Committee, vice chair for the Athletics Committee, and the board’s PTA liaison,” she said.

As an incumbent for the school board and a parent to two children in South River, Sadowski cites her dual perspective as her greatest strength in serving the community.

“As a parent with two children in the South River School District, as well as a community member, I know how imperative our educational system is in shaping the future of children. I understand how crucial it is for the board to work alongside the administration to ensure that every student has the tools to succeed. As a mother, along with my education and professional experience, I provide a unique perspective to the board and I look forward to serving the community in this capacity,” she said.

Sadowski, who is a PTA member, claims that every issue, regardless of the individual, deserves to be addressed and taken seriously.

“All issues brought to the board by our students, parents and faculty are important and each demands individual attention with the utmost care and respect. The board works alongside the district administration to solve these issues in a timely manner, while always keeping the best interest of each student in mind,” she said.

Election Day is Nov. 2.

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