WESTFIELD, NJ — Five people are running for three seats on the Westfield Board of Education this November: Current member Peggy Oster and newcomers Lynn Benner, Simon Cirasa, Kent Diamond and Anthony Marotta.

For this series, each day this week a different candidate has answered the same questions posed by TAPinto Westfield. Candidate’s responses are published unedited, except as needed for spelling and punctuation, in alphabetical order. Because he did not respond, Marotta has not been included.

Today’s candidate is Peggy Oster:

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Q. Please tell us about yourself and why you are running.

I have lived in Westfield for 29 years and raised my five children here. All of my children have attended and graduated from the Westfield Public Schools with the youngest graduating in 2017. Two years ago, I returned to the workforce as the CEO of Sterling Products in Passaic, New Jersey. 

I am running for the board of education to continue serving the community using the skills, capabilities and determination to do the best for those around me. Education is imperative to the success of our young citizens and I would like to continue to develop new and creative ways to challenge the future students of Westfield.

2. What is your professional background and education, and how will you use that on the school board?

I graduated from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, in 1981 with a Bachelors in Economics and International Relations. I worked in New York in the finance sector (DBL and Salomon Bros.) for 10 years until I retired to raise my family.

3. What do you see as the major issues in this election, and what is your stance on them?

I believe the major issues that face the board in the next couple of years is providing a top-level educational experience for all students while being fiscally responsible. In Westfield, the majority of the cost associated with education is provided by our local tax payers and the board has to be mindful of spending while continuing to provide a quality education and maintain our older infrastructure.

4. Is there anything else about you that we should know?

I have been a member of the board for the past three years. I have been the vice president for the past two years and a member of the Curriculum, Facilities, Technology (current chair) and Negotiations committees.

Want to learn more?

Read our Q&As with Lynn Benner, Simon Cirasa and Kent Diamond.

A board of education candidates night was hosted by the Westfield PTSO Wednesday. To read our recap, click here.

All candidates have been invited to post statements on TAPinto Westfield. To visit the candidate statements section, click here.

The election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 7.