BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - The deadline for filing to become included on the Nov. 4 ballot for one of five seats up for election this year on the Bernards Township Board of Education is 4 p.m. on Monday, July 28. A nominating petition to be submitted by that time to the Somerset County clerk's office at 20 Grove St. in Somerville.

The seats available include three full three-year terms, and two other unexpired terms created by the resignation of two board members in the past year. The Board of Education has nine seats.

A new board member, Karen Gray,  was just appointed last week to fill an absence on the board created by the resignation of Board Member Christopher Viereck. Since Viereck had just elected been to a three-year term in November his resignation earlier this summer creates a two-year unexpired term that will be listed on this November's ballot.

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A separate one-year unexpired term - created when Board Member Audrey Sherwyn resigned late last year to relocate from the area - also will be on the ballot. Board Member Karen Richman was appointed to fill out Sherwyn's seat until the election, when she would have to seek re-election in order to remain on the board.

The terms of three other board members expire this year. Board members Susan McGowan, Priti Shah and Linda Wooldridge must decide whether to file to seek re-election by July 28 as well. The full terms are for three-year positions on the board. 

Competition for board seats has varied greatly in the past few years, with the most crowded slate of candidates being nine competing for three board seats in the 2011 election. 

Prospective school board candidates can obtain a “School Board Candidate Kit” online at, according to the Bernards Board of Education website.

Published by the New Jersey School Boards Association, the School Board Candidate Kit includes a nominating petition, information about legal qualifications for school board candidacy and the role of the school board member. Information about the New Jersey School Ethics Act and important dates in the school election process are also included in the kit.

Candidates who have filed a petition with the Somerset County Clerk should also visit the Board of Education Office to pick up a "Board Basics Packet," the BOE website advises. The board office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday at 101 Peachtree Road in Basking Ridge, according to the website.