EDISON, NJ – Board of Education candidates Dr. Chang-Hui Shen, Kiel Thoms and Beth Moroney held a “Meet the Candidates” at the Clara Barton First Aid Station this evening.

The event was well attended by local residents including former Mayor Antonia Ricigliano. Ms. Ricigliano engaged all three candidates on their campaign and the issues before them.

When asked why she was running for the BOE, Beth Moroney said, “For me, the needs of the children, whether they are five or eighteen, must always be in the forefront of any policy, curriculum decision and problem that the Board of Education discusses. Children come first always.”

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One of the underlying themes mentioned by the candidates and residents was openness and transparency by the current BOE.

Resident and parent Debbi Schildkraut expressed frustration with the current Board of Education’s lack of transparency. “They vote yes unanimously without open discussion as to why the board voted the way they did,” said Schildkraut..

Echoing Ms. Schildkraut’s sentiments, Beth Moroney said, “I do not feel that the current BOE have always tuned into what the parents wanted.”

“Now is the time for change from those members who continue to vote in lock step, “ said Thoms. “I will represent the families of Edison, and I am willing to work with constituents to resolve their issues.”

What sparked the candidate’s pursuit to sit on the BOE stemmed from the November 25, 2013 BOE meeting when Lindeneau Principal Rosemary Schultz’s midyear transfer to James Madison Elementary. Her transfer was never fully explained even after an outpouring of support for the principal by students and teachers.

Kiel Thoms said, “The midyear transfer was disruptive to the parents and students.” He also said.” I dislike the way teachers and principles are treated and they work under extreme pressure which results in a poor quality of education.”

Dr. Shen rounds out the slate of candidates and said, “I want to bring in the creative solutions to solve our current problem including, but not limited to, class overcrowding, high student faculty ratio, and economic achievement gap.”

Summing up their campaign, “Our team, E3 – Education, Education, Education, has made it our mission to be transparent in our dealings with the public, the school staff, and the parents. We promise to be good listeners and act with the good of the community at heart,” said Beth Moroney.

Voters are reminded  that polls will be open from 12 to 9 p.m. on April 23, 2014, at all normal polling stations used for primary and general elections.