Residents to seek seats on school boards in Matawan-Aberdeen, Holmdel, Keyport, Hazlet, Middletown


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When voters in Aberdeen Township, Matawan, Keyport, Holmdel, Hazlet and Middletown go to the polls on Nov. 8 to elect members of governmental bodies, they will also vote to elect members of their local school board.

July 25 was the deadline for New Jersey residents to file a nominating petition to run for a seat on a board of education. Elected school board members in New Jersey serve without compensation.

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In Hazlet, three available three-year terms on the Hazlet Township Public School District Board of Education will be on the ballot. The four candidates seeking the three terms are David Asfour, Edward Barrett, Lisa Brown and Laura O’Hara. Asfour, Barrett and O’Hara are current members of the board.

In Holmdel, three available three-year terms on the Holmdel Public Schools Board of Education will be on the ballot. The eight candidates seeking the three terms are incumbent Elizabeth Urbanski and John Buckley, Christian DiMare, Joanne Lam, Jeff Mann, Alicia Unusan, Mathew Weisfeld and Deborah Wilson.

Board members Joseph Hammer and Michael Sockol are not seeking to retain their seats.

In Keyport, the seats currently held by Ruth Anne Grabowski, Joseph Stahl and Patricia Olsen on the Keyport Public Schools Board of Education will be on the ballot.

Olsen is not seeking to retain her seat.

Grabowski and Stahl are running unopposed for three-year terms.

No other resident filed a nominating petition to seek office and the winner of the third available three-year term on the board may be decided by write-in votes.

In Middletown, three available three-year terms on the Middletown Township Public Schools Board of Education will be on the ballot.

Six residents are seeking the three terms. The candidates are incumbent board members Leonore Lacqui-Caminiti and John Little, and Lauren Anderson, Joseph Fitzgerald, Kristie Tapolow and Gary Tulp.

Board member Michael Donlon is not seeking to retain his seat.

Aberdeen Township and Matawan are served by the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District Board of Education.

There are two three-year terms on the ballot for representatives of Aberdeen Township. The three candidates seeking the two seats are Tara Martinez, Kizzie Osborne and Sheetal Werneke. Martinez and Osborne are current members of the board.

A one-year unexpired term is also on the ballot for an Aberdeen Township representative. The two candidates seeking the one-year term are Shelley Gershner and Danielle Spruell.

There is one three-year term on the ballot for a representative of Matawan. Incumbent Annette Ascoli is running unopposed for the seat.

The Matawan-Aberdeen school board recently lost a member with the passing of John P. Delaney, 79.

According to a report from the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), Delaney, who was known as “Jeff” to colleagues, friends and family members, died on July 1 after an eight-year battle with cancer and health issues. Delaney had been a member of the Matawan-Aberdeen school board since 2009.

According to the NJSBA, Delaney was born in Hartford, Conn., and was a teacher, college professor and an institutional program director. He ran state institutions for the handicapped as superintendent, with the goal of protecting and giving residents a place to live with a humane, safe and better quality of life.

According to the NJSBA, Delaney was especially proud of the work he did in Apple Creek, Ohio, and at the Woodbridge Developmental Center in New Jersey. He also became the deputy director of education and the acting state commissioner of education while in Ohio.

Delaney came to New Jersey from Ohio in 1979 and became superintendent of the Woodbridge Development Center, where he worked to ensure the residents had rights, quality education, recreation and care from a trained and compassionate staff.

He was also an education specialist for the New Jersey Department of Education, where he worked to improve the quality of education for all students in under-performing school districts.

In addition to serving on the Matawan-Aberdeen school board, he volunteered with the Monmouth County Human Rights Commission and was the president of the VFW Auxiliary in Cliffwood.

According to the NJSBA, one of the things Delaney was most proud of was being a co-founder and board of directors member for K.E.Y.S. Academy, housed on the grounds of Brookdale Community College, Lincroft.

The academy was created as an alternative high school in conjunction with Matawan-Aberdeen schools for teenagers from all over the state who have been through rehabilitation programs and needed a supportive environment in which to earn a high school diploma.

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