EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ – The conversation was lively and the participants were eager to speak at the "Meet the East Brunswick Board of Education Candidates Night” hosted by the East Brunswick Education Association this Monday night at the Community Arts Center.  Candidates Wesam Berjaoui, Mark Csizmar, Heather Guas, Liwu Hong, and Curt Philipczak made opening addresses and fielded questions from moderator Wayne Dibofsky, former Associate Director Government Relations at New Jersey Education Association.

The event was facilitated by EBEA President Dr. Dana Zimbicki who noted, “It is our pleasure to be able to supply the East Brunswick community with our “Meet the Candidates” night as one of our many PRIDE events.”  Throughout the school year, the PRIDE Committee (Partnerships Result in Dynamic Education) has the goal of building positive relationships with the East Brunswick community through a variety of school/community-wide events.  The next PRIDE event is “Mall-O-Ween,” trick-or-treating at the Brunswick Square Mall on October 26.

On Tuesday, November 5, registered voters with identification will select three of the following five candidates.  Also on the ballot are candidates for New Jersey Assembly, Middlesex County Freeholders, and Middlesex County Sheriff.

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Here are some excerpts from the published statements of the candidates:

Wesam Berjaoui

  • Raised in Brooklyn, a place that “shaped my values and character”
  • Inspired by his family values
  • Three children enrolled in the district
  • Says “It is our responsibility to cultivate each child’s uniqueness”
  • Wants to create a long-term plan for fiscal responsibility

Mark Csizmar

·Born and raised in EB, EBHS ‘82

·26 years as an EB Police Officer and DARE Officer in EB Schools

·Former lead School Security Officer at Hammarskjold

·Currently serving as Appointee to the BOE

·Chair of Security Committee; served an several other BOE committees

Heather Guas

·28-year Special Education and English teacher at J.P. Stevens High School

·Worked for EB’s Daisy Recreation Program for ten years

·Teaches Professional Development programs; parent of three students in the district

·Interested in programs “inspiring respect and diversity” in the district

·Wants to “examine and plan for dealing with the district’s aging facilities”

Liwu Hong

·Scientist, inventor and attorney

·Invented Victrelis, part of new treatment for Hepatitis C

·Three children currently attending EB Schools

·Chairperson of Technology Committee

·Co-chairperson of United Chinese-American Association of New Jersey

Curt Philipczak

·Parent of two children in district; active in PTA

·Former BOE Member 2010-2016

·Former Chair of BOE Finance and Policy Committees

·CPA, interested in “comprehensive budgets and complete transparency”

·Active leader in township Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops


" 'Meet the Candidates Night' held on October 7, 2019 was very successful. Approximately 100 residents were in attendance. This year, community members were given the opportunity to submit questions online prior to the event. The event will be televised up until the November 5 elections on EBTV. The East Brunswick Education Association is proud to be able to sponsor community informational events. The community had the opportunity to pose questions, listen to the five candidates respond, and then personally speak with each of them after the forum at our "meet and greet dessert reception,'" says Zimbicki.

Click here to watch the entire event as recorded by EBTV.