COLTS NECK – Four residents are seeking three three-year terms on the Colts Neck K-8 School District Board of Education. The candidates are Alison DeNoia, Brenna Dillon, Amy Dimes and incumbent Kevin O’Connor.
The 2021 school board election is being held with vote by mail ballots; with early in-person voting at 10 polling locations throughout Monmouth County on nine days later this month; and with in-person voting at polling locations in Colts Neck on Nov. 2.
Each candidate was asked to discuss issues that are important to their campaign and how they would address each issue, if elected.
DeNoia has lived in Colts Neck for five years and serves on the Farmland and Open Space Committee and the Green Team. She is the president of the Colts Neck Lions Club.
“I am a product of public education, my mother and sister are both public school teachers and believe public education is critical to creating a community. In a previous chapter of my life, I worked as an instructional designer, facilitator and project manager.
“These skills serve me well, giving me the ability to work with many people: students, teachers, parents, non-parents and administrators to make the best decisions for our schools and our community. I believe everyone has a vested interest in our schools. Our schools are the backbone of our community.
“As a homeowner and taxpayer, it is my goal to serve all of our constituents in town. COVID-19 continues to dominate school life. We need to listen to science and maintain an approach that keeps everyone healthy. We need to support our teachers, staff and children and find ways to keep everyone’s energy up as we are all exhausted,” DeNoia said.
Dillon has lived in Colts Neck for six years and has two children in the district. She said she is running for the board “to be an advocate for children. I am willing to speak up, whenever possible, because I know a seat on the board can be a voice with a larger impact than the average parent.
“I will focus on representing the best interests of all children with a common sense outlook and try to find compromise among divided views. I will stand for parents holding the power to parent their children, and not the government.
Dimes has lived in Colts Neck for nine years and is a senior account executive for New Jersey Bride. She served as president of the Colts Neck PTO for three years.
“As a lifelong resident of Monmouth County and a Colts Neck resident since 2012, I know what an amazing community and district we have. Our schools are the foundation for our children and I am hopeful to continue to enhance the educational environment as it molds our community’s future adults.
“I am also a parent of three, two of whom are currently in the district, with firsthand knowledge of how our schools currently operate. I have the insight and experience to help define and implement the policies and goals that will impact our children.
“As the former PTO president, I have served the school community as a PTO board member and volunteer for the last five years. I am intrinsically aware of issues that affect Colts Neck families daily and also of how the school administrations operate in reaching our shared goals.
“I am looking to deepen and continue this relationship with our district as a member of the board and believe my prior experience with the school community at large will make me a great fit and asset,” Dimes said.
O’Connor has served on the school board since 2016 and said, “When I first joined the board, the topics facing the district included declining enrollment and aging facilities that required investment.
“As chairperson of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, I have spearheaded investments in our campuses, striving to have them reflect and incorporate the immediate needs and growth we are now experiencing, while also planning for the future.
“We have addressed overdue maintenance projects such as roof leaks and outdated HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, improved safety measures and security protocols, and are currently rebuilding the tennis and basketball courts at the Cedar Drive Middle School.
“Priorities for my next term include continuing to bring green initiatives into the district as we replace and repair outdated infrastructure. As a husband and father of four, with three children currently in the district, it means a great deal to me to serve this wonderful town.
“Our schools are in an incredible position to help shape what the future of Colts Neck will look like and I look forward to continuing to help move us forward as a board member,” O’Connor said.