Four candidates are running for the three Millburn Township Board of Education seats up for grabs this November.
Board member Eric Siegel is running for re-election, but two other board members, Mark Zucker and Sam Levy will not be returning. And three school board newcomers are joining the race.
Siegel is finishing his first term on the board, where he has served most recently as vice president and as chair of the Special Services Committee.
"I have decided that I would like the opportunity to continue to serve the children, teachers and community of Millburn," he told The Item last week. ... Being a member of the BOE has been both challenging and intellectually rewarding. I am looking forward to the campaign."
Siegel is also an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and has high school aged children.
The other candidates are Elliot Cahn of Millburn, Rupali Wadhwa of Short Hills and Raymond Wong, also of Millburn.
Elliot Cahn, a 5th Grade teacher at the South Mountain School in South Orange, has lived in Millburn for 14 years and was the pool manager for more than a decade.
“I care deeply about this community and its future. I have been extensively involved in the community, most notably, I managed the Millburn Pool for 11 years,” he said.
Cahn said he thinks the Board of Education is a natural fit for an educator with his 21 years of teaching experience. “I want to give back to the community by using my background and skills,” he said, adding that his two young children, 7 and 5, attend the South Mountain School in Millburn.
Rupali Wadhwa is an orthodontist with her own practice in Morristown. She and her husband moved to Short Hills about five years ago for the school district, before her eldest child, who is now in first grade, was of school age. Her youngest child is 2-1/2 years old.
“My kids are young. I’m in this for the long haul,” she said. “We live in a great town with great ranking schools. I feel like it’s my civic duty as a citizen to help contribute to that.”
While the schools are excellent and the students are well prepared for college, she said, she would also like to “widen the educational umbrella so that our kids are ready to take any challenge” especially in science, math and technology curriculum.
Raymond Wong of Millburn, a West Point graduate and former military officer, is an engineer and an adjunct professor at NJIT. He has two young children, ages 3 and 1, who will eventually attend the Wyoming School.
He also moved to Millburnbecause of the reputation of its school system and has been here a little over a year.
“With my educational and engineering background, I think I would bring skills and knowledge to the board that would be different and useful,” he said, adding that his firm has a number of mechanical engineering contracts with schools and he understands the building and what goes into bringing schools up-to-date.