MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Whatever the results in November's election, there will only be one man at the horseshoe table in the district's Administration Building. Five local residents, all women, have filed with the Essex County Clerk's office to run for the three three-year terms open on the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education. For the one-year unexpired term, only one candidate filed. None of the incumbents — Elizabeth Baker, Anthony Mazzocchi, and Robin Baker — filed for reelection. 

Kamal Zubieta was appointed to fill Javier Farfan's seat when he resigned in January, but only for one year. She is now the only candidate for the last year of the term.

Maplewood resident Susan Lewis Bergin and South Orange resident Courtney Winkfield are running as a team. Bergin is a lawyer and volunteer with the South Orange Maplewood School District, and Winkfield has a master’s degree in education and works for the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Equity & Access. Bergin had applied for the open board seat in January. 

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Elissa Malespina of South Orange is running solo. She is currently the librarian at Verona High School and taught in the South Orange-Maplewood School District for nine years.

Melanie Finnern of Maplewood and Deborah Engel of Maplewood have also filed. 

The Essex County Clerk's office deadline for accepting applications has passed and now the office will certify the petitions.


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