SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange–Maplewood Board of Schooling stuffed its vacant seat on Feb. 10 at a particular assembly, swearing in Kamal Zubieta as the most recent member of the BOE. Zubieta will serve the second 12 months of the time period Javier Farfan gained; Farfan resigned in January. Zubieta will have the ability to run for election in November to serve the remaining 12 months of Farfan’s three-year time period.
Zubieta was interviewed on the assembly together with two different candidates, Susan Bergin and Sharon Tanenbaum Kraus. Every was given 5 minutes to introduce herself and was then questioned by the board; after an hour-long government session, BOE member Anthony Mazzocchi nominated Zubieta. She was accepted with a vote of 6-2. Second Vice President Erin Siders and BOE member Johanna Wright solid the opposing votes.
Zubieta has lived in Maplewood for 16 years and has three kids at the moment within the district.
“The experience has been principally implausible, nevertheless it hasn’t been with out bumps,” she stated about her household’s expertise within the college system. “I wish to categorical my curiosity in serving to to easy these bumps, my curiosity in strategic planning, cautious execution and the required help of our superintendent.”
Zubieta has a math and economics diploma from the College of Michigan and an MBA from the College of Chicago. She stated she would deliver her expertise in mission administration, monetary planning and course of enchancment to the BOE.
“My modus operandi is to all the time systematically analyze information, to analysis choices, and to thoughtfully and purposefully think about public and peer sentiments,” she stated. “I’d additionally deliver my inner compass and what I imagine to be good, industrial and pragmatic selections.”
In her speech and the questions that adopted, Zubieta talked about balancing the district’s funds in opposition to the $140 million services improve plan for which the district bonded, along with bettering psychological well being companies for college kids and faculty safety.
“I put together meticulously, analyze fastidiously, deliver related enterprise and group expertise, pay attention compassionately, and think about numerous opinions with compassion,” Zubieta stated.
She additionally touched on particular training in her interview, saying the district ought to concentrate on bringing out-of-district college students again to South Orange–Maplewood.
“I wish to be sure that we will present what kids want in our district,” Zubieta stated. “There could also be kids who must exit of district, and I perceive that. However the extra kids we will preserve right here, the higher off for us, each by way of tradition and pragmatically by way of our monetary limitations.”
Tanenbaum Kraus ran for the BOE in 2019’s election. A journalist and journal editor, she stated on the assembly that she would elevate the BOE if chosen.
“I nonetheless imagine that my presence and my viewpoint and my expertise are going to be of worth to the board,” Tanenbaum Kraus stated previous to the board making its closing choice. “Every job I’ve, whether or not it’s paid or volunteer, I strategy in the identical approach, and that’s ‘What can I do to make it higher than after I first arrived?’ I elevate the requirements for myself and for others. I’m direct, I’m thorough, I’m supportive and I’m a tough employee. Ultimately, I wish to work as a workforce to realize these targets. I need this job and I can do that job. I’ve the power, the curiosity, the eagerness and the time to do it.”
Bergin has been volunteering within the college district for years and stated her background as a lawyer would serve the board effectively.
“My volunteer file demonstrates my dedication to supporting the district so we do proper by each pupil, however with my skilled background I perceive being on the board just isn’t the identical as volunteering at college or feeding our college students,” she stated on the assembly. “I’ve been following the board for years and admire that we’re at a vital level, on the cusp of elementary training integration and main services enhancements.”
BOE President Annemarie Maini stated all three of the candidates have been spectacular.
“Your written resumes have been all spectacular, and your solutions to questions have been considerate and full,” Maini stated. “I feel I converse for the board after I say we’re all very impressed with everybody’s willingness to serve the group, your expertise and your experience. Our group may be very lucky.”
Photograph Courtesy of SOMSD