JACKSON – Three candidates are vying for two three-year terms on the board of education during the Nov. 7 election.
The candidates include Tara Rivera, Elenor M. Hannum and incumbent Sharon E. Dey who returned to the board in August.
Rivera has lived in Jackson for 23 years with her family. She has two children, 19 and 20 years old. She has degrees in Education, Special Education and Psychology from Georgian Court University.
“I have worked as a teacher for the last 11 years. Over numerous years, I have worked with legislative staff, local, county and state officials and have volunteered in multiple capacities in Jackson including Jackson SEPAG/SEAC, Court Appointed Special Advocate, SPAN resource parent, Ocean County InterAgency Coordination Council, Providence House DVRT, DART Coalition of Ocean County, LCSC PAB, Performcare PAB and the NJDSC state disability caucus,” Rivera said.
Rivera said that she wishes to bring her resourcefulness of networks, dedication and expertise as an integral part of the team. “I embrace diversity and have an appreciation for all cultures. Every child deserves to be educated with the appropriate supports along with highly qualified staff to support them.”
Hannum is a lifelong resident of Jackson Township and alumna of Jackson Memorial High School class of 1982. Her three children attended Jackson schools and she has three grandchildren and four stepchildren. Hannum changed careers nine years ago and became a special education teacher in history at East Brunswick High School.
As an educator, Hannum said she has “mutual respect with students and colleagues, successfully collaborates with administration, co-teachers and the case management team to address student’s specific needs, designing strategies and maintaining parental involvement throughout their child’s education.” She has also been a “vocal grassroots advocate for responsible and ethical government within Jackson Township, speaking at Council and Zoning Board meetings on issues that matter to residents and quality of life in their neighborhoods.”
Dey is a long-time resident, homeowner, and mother of two Jackson students. She first
served as a School Board member in April of 2007 and during that time served as chairperson to committees that dealt with contract negotiations and the school budget. She served as vice president for a year and as Board President for four years. In addition to her family, and a career in accounting, she is now the general manager of Retro Fitness of Jackson.
The candidate said she wants “to remove the stigma of mental health care and make it easy for students to discuss their problems with professionals, staff and peers. Social and emotional learning are equally as important,” Dey said.
“With several current members already conflicted, the addition of more educators to the Jackson School Board will force the district to bypass the state regulations on conflict and ultimately allow NJEA members to be voting on contracts of their peers. While we value our teachers, we must retain control over salary increases and benefits,” Dey added.
“It is always good to maintain a healthy balance among those representing us. Jackson has been cited by the state as being in the top 10% of the state for transparency to the taxpayers, compliance with state law, and providing taxpayers with exceptional value,” Dey said.