Four New Members Join The Board of Ed

By Emely Herrera-Montoya

Four new members joined the Bradley Beach Board of Education this week, filling up spots left open by outgoing members Susan Monroe, Dwight Gerdes, Stephen R. Lozowick, and Tom Bardinas.

The new additions are: Liza Flynn, Joanne Shu Hofsess, and Roseann Caruso Walker. They were elected to three-year terms on November 3. Felicia Sacci was elected to a one-year term (the last year of a slot left open by Mr. Bardinas, who stepped down last year).

The other members are: President Elizabeth J. Franks, Vice President Bridget Devane, Barbara Carlucci, Margaret Merenda, and Donald Warnet.

I had a chance to interview the candidates via email, along with Dr. Monroe, who had  served on the board since 2010.

Dr. Monroe

Q: What does the Board of Ed do?

A: The Board of Education is an elected body that serves as an oversight to the school district. One of their biggest jobs is to hire and evaluate the chief administrator of the school, in this case Dr. Wisniewski. Their job is to run the day to day operations and to hire and manage the school staff. The board acts as the taxpayers’ representation to the school district. They meet monthly and approve changes in policy, personnel, finance, and capital improvements. The board helps set the strategic plan for the school and has to approve the budget. Board meetings are open to the public, and I encourage you to join them (currently virtually). You can also look up all the agendas and minutes of the board meetings on the school website. Several years ago a group of parents wanted school uniforms.The board had to investigate the issue, collect opinions and make the final decision. That was our biggest board meeting ever as many people came to talk for and against the issue. What the Board of Education does not do is run the school. We are not paid. We serve as volunteers because we think that a good school makes a good community.

Mrs. Flynn

Q: What inspired you to run for a spot on the board of Ed?

A: I decided to run for the school board because I care deeply for the students and staff at BBES. I

have a third grader and a sixth grader currently at the school. I believe that public education is

the key to the strength of our community. An investment in our students means a vibrant

future for the Borough of Bradley Beach.

Q: Can you tell us about yourself?

A: I have a degree in Communication from Kean University and I have resided in Bradley Beach

since 1999. I live with my husband Mike, our two children, MJ and Molly and a Chihuahua

named Autumn. I am a stay at home mom and I especially enjoy spending time at the beach

and playing video games.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest strength as an incoming member?

A: My greatest strength as in incoming board member is my ability to communicate between the

community and the school district. I feel that we need to strengthen our parent and community

support and I will be working toward that goal.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: My vision for the education at BBES is to uphold the Bradley Beach School Mission Statement.

That statement mentions “student success is defined through the demonstration of academic

emotional, and social growth.” I will try to make sure the school stays true to that vision in a

safe learning environment.

Q: What are your priorities for the district for the coming year?

A: My priority for the district for the coming year is to provide a safe, healthy school environment

for the students, teachers and support staff. Everyone has done wonderful job reopening the

school during a most difficult and unprecedented time and I will remain diligent in keeping it

safe for everyone.

Q: Was the process of running for the board difficult?

A: Running for school board is not a difficult process, becoming elected can be. First, you have to

get a petition filled out. A petition is a formal written request that needs to be signed by at least

10 registered voters in the borough of Bradley Beach. Then, you need to reach out to the

community to let them know who you are and tell them what your vision is for the school. Then

you ask them to vote for you. This particular Board of Education election had 3 empty seats and

5 people running.

Mrs. Shu Hofsess

Q: What inspired you to run for a spot on the board of Ed?

A: I have volunteered in various capacities for my kids’ schools previously but wanted to do

something more impactful.

Q: Can you tell us about yourself?

A: I am a fifteen year homeowner in Bradley Beach. I have a Bachelor of Science degree

in Chemistry and Biology. I have worked as a research scientist in both academia and

the pharmaceutical industry for twenty years. I have been a homemaker for the past ten

years. I enjoy daily exercise, coffee, reading and fostering newborn kittens for the local

animal shelter.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest strength as an incoming member?

A: I am a worker bee! When I am assigned a task or project I will work until it is fully

completed. I also enjoy group and team efforts where we strive towards a common

goal. I enjoy listening to various perspectives and viewpoints from others. You can

really learn a lot that way!

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: As a mother of two school aged children, I strive to give my children the best possible

and well rounded education. I come from a science background, but I stress the

importance of the arts, music and physical education in my children’s daily lives. All of

these aspects of education combine to give children the skills for self expression, good

mental health, critical thinking, and the ability to pursue a professional career in a team

environment. My hope, as a Board of Education member, is to be a constructive team

member and community representative. I believe a great public education system

directly impacts the quality of our community.

Q: What are your priorities for the district for the coming year?

A: As an incoming board member, it is important to know there is no set agenda. I feel my

initial duties will be in learning the responsibilities of a board member and how things

are accomplished. Additionally, collaborating with the superintendent and addressing

The needs and concerns of students, teachers and staff will be a top priority.

Q: Was the process of running for the board difficult?

A: For this past November 2020 election, the filing deadline to be a school board candidate

was July 27, 2020. The first step in the process of running for the board of education is

to download the Candidate Petition form from the New Jersey School Boards

Association website (njsba.org). You must obtain at least ten signatures from the

community/neighborhood in which you are running. These signatures must be from

people eligible to vote in Monmouth County. This form is emailed to the Monmouth

County Clerk Election Division who will check the signatures. Lastly, your name will be

put on the ballot.

Mrs. Sacci

Q: What inspired you to run for a spot on the board of Ed?

A: My willingness to collaborate and I have sincere interest in public education. I have always advocated for public schools. 

Q: Can you tell us about yourself?

A: My husband and I have three grown daughters and two adorable grandsons. We have owned our home since 2000, but have lived here full time since 2011. I taught in Hoboken, NJ for 33 years, holding various positions.   My professional degrees include Teacher of the Handicap and General Education. My Master’s background is in the field of Administration, which includes my principal certification. 

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest strength as an incoming member?

A: I feel my background as a teacher and a mom is my greatest strength. I hope to bring a different perspective to the table. 

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: My vision for Bradley Beach would include a stronger bond with the community.

Q: What are your priorities for the district for the coming year?

A: My priorities for the coming year would include to set policies that would improve an education for all students.

Q: Was the process of running for the board difficult?

A: The process for running for the Board of Education was actually very easy.  I ran for an unexpired term for one year, and no one challenged the position I ran for. 

Mrs. Caruso Walker

Q: What inspired you to run for a spot on the board of Ed?

A: My five children inspired me. Three of them currently go to BBES and two of them will go to BBES once they are of school age. 

Q: Can you tell us about yourself?

A: I am a mother of five boys and take great pride in all of them. I began working in education 18 years ago where I started my career as a third grade teacher. I am now a supervisor in Edison Township Public Schools. My five children (Cameron, Jared, Patrick, Jameson, and Vincenzo), husband (Ken) and I live on Monmouth Ave. We have a cat named Madison and a dog named Jax.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest strength as an incoming member?

A: My greatest strength would be my different experience in education. I have a background in teaching, Title I, HIB, Workers Compensation, and Human Resources. I am very familiar with how a school district runs on a daily basis. 

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: My vision is to ensure ALL students are getting the best education possible.

Q: What are your priorities for the district for the coming year?

A: My main priority is to assess the district and see where the strengths and weaknesses are in the school.

Q: Was the process of running for the board difficult?

A: It was not difficult at all! It was actually a lot of fun. I walked around town to campaign and I met a lot of Bradley Beach residents.

Thank you board members! The Tides wishes you well in your new positions

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