BRICK – After a heated election season, two new members have officially been sworn into the Brick Township Board of Education.
The Board started off the new year with their reorganization meeting which had a portion of the meeting dedicated to the oncoming members.
In November, four candidates were running to fill the two open seats on the board: Frances DiBenedictis, Madeline Iannarone, Erin Wheeler, and Maureen Molz.
During the reorganization meeting, the Township Business Administrator James Edwards announced the official 2022 election tallies:
- Frances DiBenedictis – 9,958 votes, 25.95%
- Madeline Iannarone – 11,362 votes, 29.61%
- Maureen Molz – 7,802 votes, 20.33%
- Erin Wheeler – 8,979 votes, 23.40%
- Write-Ins – 272, 0.71%
Iannarone has been a Brick Township resident all of her life. She volunteers with the Trap-Neuter-Release program and has worked for the township’s recreation department for many years. She previously ran for the school board in 2016.
DiBenedictis previously ran for the school board last year. She also has a special needs child in the district. DiBenedictis and Iannarone both campaigned about bringing transparency to the board. In a voter forum, DiBenedictis stated she would support banning certain books and has also been vocal about the state’s new sex education standards.
“I want to say thank you to the people of Brick for giving me this huge opportunity to serve you on the Board of Education. I will do my absolute best in this position. In doing what I feel is best, my vote might sometimes be a no. We are focusing on DEI, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our schools,” DiBenedictis said at the meeting. “I look forward to working with each board member as well as (Superintendent Thomas) Farrell.”
“It’s a very special night for me. I appreciate the support of everyone who voted for me and recognized me as a candidate to represent Brick Township Schools. I will not let you down,” she said.
“I commit myself to making Brick BOE system the best it can possibly be,” Iannarone said at the meeting. “Recently, educators, parents, and students were afforded an accurate glimpse of how broken the educational system actually is in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic…I do not like excuses and I refuse to accept excuses especially when it comes to the needs of our children.”
In addition, members of the board nominated those who they thought were eligible to fill the roles of Board President and Board Vice President. This year, Stephanie Wohlrab was yet again chosen to be the Board President. Accompanying will be Nicole Siebert as Board Vice President.