To the Editor,

In this year of Presidential elections it’s easy to overlook the contests on the lower end of the ballot, but they, in some ways, are more important to people on a personal and daily basis. Case in point, the School Board election in South Plainfield.

This year, more than most, can be a turning point for our schools and our students.  We, as a school board, have a reputation in the state of New Jersey as being “crazy”.  When you say you’re from South Plainfield you get either a smirk or a pitying look from certain people, depending on their outlook.  We are extremely lucky to have acquired the marvelous Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent we have now. I’d like to see us keep them.

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If you look back on the past few years you will note the difficulty in hiring and retaining central administrators.  There’s a reason, in my opinion, for this sad state of affairs.  Just this past week we’ve had evidence of the arrogance and unsuitability of particular people.   It is the micro-managing and constant interference by some board members in the daily operation of the district.  Rather than following the proscribed role of a board member, some choose to think of themselves as administrators.  THEY AREN’T! 

By replacing the incumbents with other personalities and skill sets, we will be giving our parents, children and staff a needed boost toward a blue ribbon status for our schools. Keeping the meddling hands out of the mix will be a positive move on our electorate’s part. My opinion and you know I have one, is that Jim Giannakis, Tom Cassio, and Pio Pennisi are the three people who should be elected by us. Jimmy has proven himself to be a dedicated and hard working board member who knows how to make the hard decisions that are coming down the pike in the next year or so. Tom Cassio is a business owner with a deep connection to our town and our youth. He has a fresh mind and a new outlook that would be helpful to the remaining board members. Pio Pennisi has a unique position in the board member world, he has been both board member and Superintendent of Schools in Dunellen.  Who better to weigh in on the kind of decisions they will be making in the next few years.

Vote lines 1 -3 -5 on election day. Jimmy Giannakis, Tom Cassio, and Pio Pennisi.

This endorsement is a personal one as a private citizen and not as a Board member or an endorsement on behalf of the entire board.

Carol Byrne