School board elections return incumbents and welcome newcomer

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Incumbent school board members – Board President Anita Williams Galiano, Vice President Andrea Driver, and Pamela Lilleston – return to the Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education has been certified by the Mercer County Clerk’s Office.

When sworn in to start their three-year terms representing Hopewell Township on the school board in January, they will be joined by newcomer Dhruv Kapadia.

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Kapadia won his election to also represent Hopewell Township for a one-year unexpired term.

The results from the Nov. 7 general election were certified by the Mercer County Clerk’s Office on Nov. 22.

There were no seats open representing Hopewell Borough or Pennington in the general election.

Five candidates had vied for the three full three-year terms on the school board in the general election.

Driver received the most votes with 2,681, followed by Galiano who secured 2,423, and Lilleston received 2,180 votes over candidates Aileen Matticoli, who earned 2,042 votes and John Slotman, who earned 1,459 votes.

Kapadia defeated Mark Austin for the one-year term by securing 2,113 votes. Austin received 1,780 votes.

This will be Driver and Galiano’s second three-year terms on the school board. They both first won election in 2020.

Driver, currently serves as vice president on the school board, is chair of the Education and Program Committee, and member of Wellness and Food Service and Community Relations.

Galiano, who currently serves as school board president, is a member of the Social and Emotional Learning Committee, Community Relations Committee, Policy Committee, Personnel Committee, Finance and Facilities, and Education/Program Committee.

Lilleston will be serving her first full-term on the school board when she is sworn in at the beginning of the new year. She was appointed by the school board early this year to fill the unexpired term of former Board President Deborah Linthorst, who had resigned.

Lilleston has been a member of the school board’s Personnel and Social and Emotional Learning Committees.

Kapadia, a soon to be graduate of Boston University, will serve one-year on the school board when sworn in and is set to serve for his first time in public office. He ran on platform centered around the principles of Equity, Community and Success.

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