Candidates for Bordentown Regional High School Board of Education

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Seats are up for grabs on the Bordentown Regional High School Board of Education in the general election Nov. 7.

Melinda Zola is running unopposed for one, three-year term on the board for Bordentown City. Four candidates – Amy Glatz, Raquel Parker, Daniel Diamond and Chasity Bauldree – are running for one, three-year term on the board for Bordentown Township. And incumbent Richard Shenowski is running unopposed for a one-year unexpired term on the board.

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Bordentown City seat

Melinda Zola

Name: Melinda Zola

Age: 43

How many years have you lived in Bordentown City? I have lived in Bordentown for almost 40 years.

Married? Children? Grandchildren? My husband’s name is Rich Zola. We share a daughter Charlotte, age 10, and a son Aiden, age 11. They attend MacFarland Intermediate School and are in fifth grade.

Profession: I am a stay-at-home mom.

Community involvement: It is extremely important that I act as a role model and show my kids what it looks like taking an active role in our community. This mindset has led me to be involved in many community activities. I am currently on the board of the MacFarland School PTO (parent teacher organization). I have been my daughter’s Girl Scout Leader for almost six years, and have volunteered my time helping with their sports teams. I have helped with the beautification of our city by participating in park clean ups and completing planting projects. I attend commissioners meetings and school board meetings. Working with the amazing people from the group “Dare to Care” has been a wonderful experience. I started preparing and delivering meals to our neighbors in local motels during COVID. Dare to Care continues to do weekly deliveries as a way to support our community.

Zola is seeking her first term on the board.

Why are you running for an elected seat?

I started speaking out at our school board meetings because I felt someone needed to be an advocate for our students and our teachers in the district. What better way to serve my community than to run for the board of education. I want to be part of the team that supports and celebrates all of our students.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

Implementing a current and inclusive curriculum throughout our schools must be a priority. The district curricula should represent our students and respond to their needs. It should create an environment encouraging exploration, healthy risk-taking, and academic success.

One Bordentown Township seat

Amy Glatz

Name: Amy B. Glatz

Age: 48

How long have you lived in Bordentown Township? All my life.

Married? Children? Grandchildren? I am married to Andrew for 18 years, we have two daughters Lilyann 15, a sophomore at Bordentown Regional High School and Chloe 13, is an eighth grader at the Bordentown Regional Middle School.

School and degree: Bachelor’s degree in history from West Virginia Wesleyan College, master’s of divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Profession: Lieutenant Colonel in the New Jersey Army National Guard, for over 25 years, serving as the state diversity officer and federal employee of the organization as the EEO (equal employment opportunity) director.

Community involvement: I am an active member of the community currently serving as the secretary of the local Bordentown Little League. In the past, I was a Girl Scout leader for about five years. I am involved in many different activities in the school, supporting PTO and PTA programs. Supporting both of my daughters in activities that they participate in at school.  

Glatz is seeking her first term on the board.

Why are you running for an elected seat?

As a member of the military and my career coming to an end in the next few years, I still wanted a way to service my community.  I have been involved with my children’s education from the start and felt this was just another way to service and support my children’s education as well as the many families in Bordentown.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

The budget is the first issue I believe needs to be addressed, this last year we had a $1.2 million dollar short fall and we had to let go six teachers. Second, I would say the increase in pre-school/special education needs that the district has and not having enough aides, or teachers to support those programs. To be honest I do not know the answer to these problems, I will give my all to make informed decisions that will benefit all.

Daniel Diamond

Name: Daniel Diamond

Age: 49

How many years have you lived in Bordentown Township? Four years

Married? Children? Grandchildren? My wife Melanie and I have been married for 15 years and we have two daughters ages 13 and 11 that attend Bordentown Regional Middle School.

School and degree: Bachelor’s degree in management from Philadelphia University 2005, a master certificate in applied project management from Villanova University 2007, master of business administration (MBA) from Excelsior College 2016.

Profession: Utility manager for PSE&G for the past 16 years.

Community involvement: I currently serve on the board of trustees for the Preserve at Meadow Run.

Diamond is seeking his first term on the board.

Why are you running for an elected seat?

It was towards the end of COVID when I decided to run, after being encouraged by my wife, who is an educator. The catalyst is my growing desire to contribute more to my community in a meaningful way while being more directly engaged with the educational experience of my children. Contribution is the secret sauce to happiness, and I care strongly about children receiving a solid educational foundation to build on. Since I am not an educator myself, I want to be useful and school board is an area where I may be useful.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

Two areas that concern me are the finances of the school district moving forward and the quality of the education and academic performance. Both are crucial for the school district. These are areas that affect all aspects of the district, especially now with the end of COVID relief funds on the horizon, it will be more important than ever.

Chasity Bauldree

Name: Chasity Bauldree

Age: 41

How many years have you lived in Bordentown Township? eight

Married? Children? Grandchildren? I have been married to my husband Jason Bauldree for 10 years.  We moved here when our oldest child was just 6 months old and the schools were a major deciding factor in our decision to move from Hamilton to Bordentown.  We have three children Adrianna, 8, Jason Junior, 7 and Angelina, 5, who all attend Peter Muschal Elementary grades kindergarten, first and third here in Bordentown.  We absolutely love the community of Bordentown and moving here was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

School and degree: Rider University, bachelor’s degree with a masters also from Rider University in organizational leadership/communication. Also, I have many professional insurance designations – CPCU Charted Property Casualty Underwrite, AU-M Associates Commercial Underwriting Management, CISR Elite Certified Insurance Service Representative, AINS Associates in Insurance.

Profession: Insurance professional for a worldwide insurance company.

Community involvement: Our family is very involved in the community with our children playing various recreational sports, travels sports and our youngest just started dancing school right here in Bordentown. I am also a member of the PTA at Peter Muschal. My husband helps coach the very first Bordentown Bombers Baseball team. Prior to only Bordentown Bombers softball existed.

Bauldree is seeking her first seat on the board.

Why are you running for an elected seat?

We need more parents of children attending our schools with a vested interest making the grave decisions that directly affect our children. I am a strong proponent of parental rights and will advocate for them. Every parent has a right to know what is going on in their child’s lives each and every day when they are at school. I believe it is every parent and/or guardian’s fundamental right to engage in and direct their child’s education with the help of our trained educators. The public school system is no replacement of the home family unit and shall not attempt to replace any individual student’s family values.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

I am a parent with three young children currently enrolled in our school system; my goal is to improve the educational experience of both your and my children keeping the taxpayers without children in mind as well. I want to improve the transparency and communication between the school district and our community. I have seen the forum of the public board meetings become extremely restrictive with directions deterring the public from even commenting at the public meetings over the last three years. Effective June 30, we laid off six teachers in our district and effective July 1 we created two new six figure supervisor positions along with giving out bonuses to other administrators. As a board member I would like to see us not fire teachers but cut other frivolous spending I have questioned
the board over in the last three years.

One-year expired term

Name: Richard Shenowski

Age:  42

How many years have you lived in Bordentown Township?:  18 years

Married? Children? Grandchildren? My wife and I were married in 2011 and were blessed with a daughter in 2015 who attends Peter Muschal Elementary School (PMES).

School and degree:  Associates from Burlington County College in electrical engineering.

Profession: Vice president of operations for a local manufacturing company.

Community involvement: I am a member of the local masonic lodge, we’re members of a local church, and the PMES PTA.

Shenowski was appointed to the board in February 2022 and is running to fulfill year three of the term he was appointed to.

Why are you running for an elected seat? 

I began attending board meetings as a parent in the fall of 2021. After attending for a while, I began to feel a passionate calling to play an active role. In the fall of 2022 when a seat became available, I submitted my resume and was appointed. As a board member, I am committed to devoting the time required for training, research, prepping for, and attending committee and board meetings. As a parent and local business leader, I bring an invaluable perspective to the board by looking through the lenses of those roles.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

Being an effective board member means considering many factors. For 2024, I plan to continue advocating for, and facilitating fiscal responsibility through common sense policy and curriculum measures. We continue to face significant financial headwinds due in part to the changes in state funding allocations. At the same time our standardized test scores have fallen below state averages in several categories. We must make the most out of every dollar spent. We also must prepare our children to enter an ever increasingly competitive world regardless of the path they plan to take after graduation.

Candidate Raquel Parker did not return requests to fill out a questionnaire before press time.

There is one seat open on the board for a Fieldsboro resident. Karen A. Pouria and Joseph A. Dean will vie for the seat Election Day.

Polls open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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