Three Board of Education Positions Open in Tuesday’s Election in Montville

Montville Township Board of Education 2014 Election. Credits: Courtesy of Melissa Benno & Michael Johnson

MONTVILLE, NJ - Three Board of Education positions are on the ballot for Montville Township in Tuesday's election. Board member Frank Cooney will be stepping down, and since newcomer Michael D. Johnson is running uncontested, Johnson will be slated to take Cooney’s place. Board members Michael Palma and Matthew Kayne are running for re-election, also uncontested. 

Johnson, a 2013 graduate of Marist College, lives in Montville and works as a para-legal. When asked why he is running, Johnson stated, “Having grown up in Montville, I’m no stranger to its school systems. I attended Valley View for elementary school, moved up to Lazar in the early 2000’s, and graduated from MTHS in 2009. Throughout those years, some of my earliest (and favorite) memories have centered around service. I joined the Builder’s Club in Lazar, continued my role in the Kiwanis Family through High School, and really developed an appreciation for public service and politics in college. Today, I’m an officer of the Montville Kiwanis Club, and a member of the Montville Township Drug Awareness Council-Municipal Alliance. Taking a more active role in the system that helped to shape me into the person I’ve become felt like the next, natural step in giving back to our community. I’m hoping to bring a fresh, new perspective to the Board as a fairly recent MTHS graduate, and carry on this legacy of ‘Mustang Pride.’”

When asked what he thought was the Montville School District’s most important goal, Board Vice President Matthew Kayne stated, "With the unprecedented amount of mandates coming from Trenton these past few years, combined with a great reduction in state aid year after year, our District has worked hard to stay ahead of the curve. The administration, led by Dr. Fried, has strengthened, and we are moving in a positive direction, developing a strong sense of trust, stability, and communication within and outside of the school community. Despite restrictive state-imposed financial limitations, our District has been prudent, but spends where needed. We have been able to add new curricular initiatives focusing on student-centered learning (including the science and humanities research programs at MTHS), enhance facilities, increase professional development, all while working to strengthen policy, security and safety."

Sign Up for E-News

“As a Board our biggest responsibility is to procure the best superintendent possible,” continued Kayne. "Just after the end of this current school year, Dr. Fried's contract ends. As he has done much to help our District progress in a positive direction, I have great concern as to how we, as a District, can work within the state-imposed superintendent salary cap to procure the best leadership possible should Dr. Fried decide not to stay."

Palma, when asked the most important goal for Montville as a school district, replied, “The most important goal for our District is to ensure that our students receive a well-rounded education that will prepare them for life not only in the classroom, but in the real world. While academics will always be our priority, we are also committed to investing resources to help our students to grow both socially and culturally to ensure their future success outside the schoolhouse walls. Schools need to consider the skills young adults need to achieve both in college and in the working world. With so much talk in our country about ‘failing schools,’ the potential failure of which we must be acutely aware is the failure to produce students with marketable skills other than being book smart.”

Johnson sited his focus on learning and the community as important District goals, stating, “The modern educational landscape has changed considerably since my days at MTHS. The introduction of the Common Core has ignited a great deal of debate and discussion; the safety and security of our students has become a particularly pressing concern in light of recent national trends; and yet, I’m a firm believer that a great deal of this turmoil boils down to the sense of community and spirit within our schools. I was a freshman at MTHS when Dr. Kramer stepped down, and remember how chaotic everything seemed when leadership changed from one year to the next. We’ve come a long way since then, but open communication and transparency are going to play a large part in making sure that we maintain this balance. That’s why I believe that our focus on ‘Communication and Community Involvement,’ as well as ‘Student Learning’ will be paramount."

​“While our current goals emphasize raising communal awareness and bringing outside groups into the working of the District, I would also like to see a greater focus on community outreach in the form of service projects, " Johnson continued. "As I’ve stated, I’m a firm believer in the positive impact that community service can have on our students. Youth engagement and participation in community affairs is sorely lacking, not just in Montville, but throughout the country. I’d like to continue the Mustang track record for innovation, and build upon the amazing historical and cultural roots our community has for service, ensuring that our District is committed to providing our youth with the opportunities to become a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry.”

The three members will be installed in January at the Board of Education’s reorganization meeting, at which time a new Board president and vice president will be elected by Board members.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, February 23, 1:00 PM

Montville Senior Center, Montville

Walter Choroszewski's "Presidential Scandals of ...

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

"Forever Green" Hike (10&up)

Education Health & Wellness


Sat, February 24, 1:00 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Lunar New Year Celebration at Library

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink


Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, Montville Township

Snowshoe Sundays at Pyramid Mtn

Health & Wellness

Towaco Civic Association Scholarship Applications Available

February 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Calling all high school seniors living in Montville Township! It's time to apply for the annual Towaco Civic Association scholarship award. The winning applicant will be selected based on their community service record.

Applications are available at Montville Township High School, or email alan.guenzel@wfafinet.com for information.

The deadline to apply is March ...

Boy Scout Michael Manetta Achieves Eagle Scout Ranking

February 11, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Members of Boy Scout Troop 74 gathered on Jan. 14 as Scout Michael Manetta was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor.

Officials such as members of the Montville Township Committee, the Montville Township Board of Education, former post commander Frank Warholic of VFW Post 5481, Dee Cook, who is treasurer of the Dog Park Advisory Committee and Fishawack ...

SHREK THE MUSICAL Comes to Montville Township High School

February 19, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ- SHREK THE MUSICAL is the spring production for the Montville Township High School Drama Club. The performers will stage the Tony Award-winning musical Thursday through Sunday, March 1 through 4 at MTHS. SHREK THE MUSICAL is based on the 2001 Dreamworks movie. Tickets to this fun family production are only $15 for adults and $12 for students and senior ...

The Morris County Crusaders Prepare for 2018 after Strong First Season

February 20, 2018

EAST HANOVER, NJ - When the discussion about football in an unlimited weight league among eighth graders, Coaches Odysseas Delaportas and Jeff Eisele of Jefferson decided to take action. American Youth Football, a non-profit football and cheer program bearing the logo, "non intrusive all inclusive seemed like a perfect fit. 

Delaportas and ...

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...

Author Donates Portion Of Sales To Equestrian Aid Foundation

February 23, 2018

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Author Shane Ledyard will donate a portion of the paperback sales of his latest book, “Sycamore Whispers,” to the Equestrian Aid Foundation through February.

Equestrian Aid Foundation provides financial assistance to horse people from all corners of the U.S. equestrian world who are facing catastrophic injury or illness.

Purchase “Sycamore ...


How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting can have an ...

Ask the Care Advocate

Dear Heidi,

My mom lives home alone and a few days ago she fell while reaching for something

in her hallway closet. She was able to push her emergency alert button and they

called me. I live nearby so I went to check on her and she had pain in her leg and hip

area. We got her to the hospital and it turns out that she broke her hip. She had

surgery to repair it and now we are faced ...

Century 21 The Crossing Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses this weekend:

Saturday, Feb. 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, Feb. 25 from 1 - 4 p.m. 

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
8 Summit Drive, Bld #10, North Caldwell


Another Luxury Listing in the Pond Section of Montville Presented by Century 21 The Crossing

MONTVILLE, NJ - Century 21 the Crossing and Jason Failla do it again!  Another luxury listing in the Pond section of Montville.

"This new listing has had over 13,000 views in less then a week," Century 21 The Crossing's Jason Failla said. "Anyone can list your home, it takes a comprehensive marketing strategy to sell it!"

"Luxury is in each ...

Century 21 Open Houses

MONTVILLE, NJ - Century 21 presents the following open houses:

Saturday, Jan. 27 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, Jan. 28 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
8 Summit Drive, Bld #10, North Caldwell
12 ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Pet Corner