Roxbury Township residents will have the opportunity to vote for three seats for a three-year term on the Roxbury Board of Education on the Nov. 8 ballot.
In preparation of this election, the Lincoln/Roosevelt PTO is hosting a ‘Meet the Candidates Night’ tonight, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. in a debate format moderated by the NJ League of Women Voters. The Roxbury public is invited to this debate to learn more about the seven candidates running and where they stand. This event will take place in the Lincoln/Roosevelt School Auditorium in Succasunna.
The seven candidates seeking election are Richard Alexander, Joyce Ferraro, Dan Masi, Lisa Millus, Peter Okun, Carol Scheneck and Meredith Soranno. Individual candidate statements and biographies will be available the night of the debate.
For those who miss this debate, here us some brief information on each.
Peter Okun, is director of Marketing for New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP). He has 20 years of marketing experience, including senior leadership roles with nationally and globally recognized education and travel brands. He has also served on various educational advisory boards.
Okun received his bachelor’s from Ramapo College in international business with a specialty in marketing. Born and raised in NJ, he and his wife Amy, a 1992 RHS graduate, moved to Succasunna 13 years ago. They are have two children who attend Eisenhower and Kennedy.
His goals are to halt reckless hiring practices and minimize high-turnover plaguing the district; improve board image and district to attract home-buyers and students under School Choice program to off-set tax burdens; prompt board to conduct proper research and analysis prior to making decisions; ensure that contract negotiations reflect needs of employees, students and taxpayers.
Meredith Soranno is a special education teacher in Copeland Middle School in the Rockaway Township School District since 2004. Prior to that, she worked in River Vale and Paterson school districts.
As a long-time human rights advocate, Soranno has worked with REACT on the Fenimore landfill issue before the DEP took over and currently volunteers her time on several other projects worldwide.
Soranno received a bachelor’s degree from William Paterson College of New Jersey in elementary education and special education K-12. As a life-long NJ resident, she moved to Roxbury in 2001 with her husband Don. They have two children attending Lincoln-Roosevelt and Eisenhower this fall.
Soranno’s goals are to improve special education program to bring students back into the district instead of costly bussing to other towns; review the district’s hiring practices to ensure the most qualified and well-suited candidates are hired; investigate the many layers of recently added administration despite the diminishing enrollment; form a committee to review textbooks and curricula instead of blindly approving; develop a standard of implementing the curriculum among the curricular staff; create an environment that fosters colleagues learning from one another; keep the school budget in check.
Lisa Millus, is founder and facilitator of Keep Learning Fun Tutoring and Educational Services as well as the creator of Roxbury’s community-based Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG) and the Roxbury Cares About Schools Facebook page. She also works at American Christian School as a substitute teacher.
Millus began her teaching experience 20 years ago after graduating from Saint Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, NY, and a master’s in literacy from Saint John’s University. Born and raised in NY, she and her husband Larry, relocated to Succasunna 12 years ago. They have three children at the high school, middle school and Jefferson School.
Her goals are to ensure the district is meeting its special education requirements; encourage public attendance at meetings; foster communication between the board members, parents, taxpayers and employees; ensure that public discussion about important issues takes place during open meetings; improve the nutritional quality of the school lunches; stop needless spending and waste.
Dan Masi is an engineer/scientist with a broad background who has worked in telecommunications, computer architecture, and computer-aided engineering. For the last 10 years, Masi has been Smiths Detection’s subject matter expert on nuclear/radiological technologies, working on solutions for homeland security.
Masi has a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and a master’s in computer science; and master’s of electrical engineering, all from Stevens Institute of Technology.
He and his wife Carolyn, a music teacher in NJ public schools, moved to Roxbury 11 years ago. They have two children, ages 10 and 13, in the Roxbury school system.
He’s been a 20-year member and past board president of Hanover Wind Symphony; appointed to NJ Standards Review Committee on Common Core, 2015; organizing member of Save Our Schools NJ; and a grassroots education advocate.
“Roxbury has so much to offer, and our school system is a tremendous asset,” says Masi. “I want to work to ensure that it keeps moving in the right direction. Fresh perspectives, fervent community involvement, and bold local control are our keys to future success.”
Richard Alexander is director of Product Management with Asurion, responsible for Smart Home support services. He has been engaged in all phases of product lifecycle, contract and P&L management during his 30 plus year career, holding positions such as Market Segment leader, International Product director, Multicultural Operations director, and Training & Support director.
Alexander has a master’s in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a bachelor’s in computer information systems from Manhattan College where he is inducted in the Athletic Hall of Fame & U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials participant.
He and his wife Anne are 24 year Roxbury residents with three daughters who attended Roxbury schools.
Information on Joyce Ferraro has been unavailable as of press time.
Alexander has been a board member since 2014 & committee chair; head coach of Roxbury Recreation Track and Field Program and basketball; Religious Education Board member & Parish Council finance liaison at St. Elizabeth; and fifth grade Religious Education teacher at St. Elizabeth.
“I’m passionate about Roxbury and developing all our children to the best of their ability. I’m proud of our educational and infrastructure advancements and the Board and Administration’s recognized fiscal accountability.”
Carol A. Scheneck is an attorney in private practice, with an office in Succasunna.
She has a bacehlor’s in mathematics from Montclair State; K-12 Math Certification; JD from Seton Hall Law School; is an adjunct assoc. professor at CCM IT Dept.; and is a Computer Systems analyst at NJ Bell.
Scheneck is a life-long resident of Roxbury. She and her siblings attended Roxbury public schools. She has served on the Roxbury Board of Education from 2007 to the present, and is proud of the school district and its many academic, athletic and performing arts accomplishments. She has been recognized as a Certificated Board Member by the NJ School Board Associations.
She has also served on the Roxbury Township Council, Board of Adjustment, is president of Drakesville Condo Assoc. since 1991, is a past Brownie leader and CCD teacher at St. Therese.
“I have an interest and background in education and have great regard for the school system I went through and the town where I grew up. I would like to give back to the community which has given me so much. I am proud of my voting record and am very fiscally conservative. I believe I can use my experience in government and in handling budgets to control spending, but not at the expense of the students.”