Matawan and Aberdeen voters will be asked to select their Board of Education representatives during the election next month.
New Jersey School Board Elections are normally held in April, however Senate Bill 3184, which was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie in January, allowed school boards to combine their elections with the general election in November.
In February, the district voted to move the election, along with the majority of New Jersey school districts.
There is (1) three-year term open for a Matawan resident, while there are (2) three-year terms and (1) one-year unexpired term open for Aberdeen residents.
Joelle Nappi is running as a write-in candidate for a one-year unexpired term.
A write-in candidate means that the voter must literally write the candidates name into the corresponding box on the ballot.
Joelle Nappi, an Aberdeen resident since 2002, has a seventh grader at Matawan Aberdeen Middle School. She is a reading teacher in a nearby school district, where she is involved in literacy initiatives and professional development.
Nappi is a regular attendee of board of education meetings and hopes to bring her expertise in literacy and professional development to the district as a board member. She was pleased to see the district bring back the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction position and would like to aid in shaping the literacy programs and initiatives established for the children.
"I do a lot of work around reading intervention and a lot of my personal studying has been on improving literacy outcomes for at-risk and disadvantaged learners," she said. "I am very knowledgeable in that area. But I also think one of the things I bring to the table is I frequently ask questions and speak out as a member of the community at the podium."
Going forward, Nappi believes it is necessary to include the community in conversations regarding policies and initiatives.
"I feel very strongly that it is important to have open and frank dialogue and discussion of the policies, activities and initiatives that the board is considering. I think fully vetting issues publicly helps the community understand all the intricacies," she said.
If elected, Nappi wants to assist the district in effectively putting the new state mandates into place.
"I'd also like to see the district make very careful choices and decisions as we prepare for the advent of the new common core standards and the new PAARC assessment," she said, noting that it will be important to be mindful of the fiscal implications of implementing these state requirements.
Nappi believes a vote for her is a vote for someone who can offer her knowlegde in the areas of literacy and professional development to the district.
"If people were to write me in, they would see a staunch advocate for students who promotes policies that really strengthen our district in the area of curriculum and instruction. I would also be an advocate for school safety and question and fully vet decisions and policies that are adopted," she said.