Four Running for School Board

An incumbent and three newcomers will run for three seats on the Millburn Board of Education.

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.

Natalie June 07, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Great news!!! Finally some refreshing ideas !
LDSF June 07, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Voters in the Millburn School District are fortunate to have outstanding "newcomers" running for the Board of Education this year.
Sophie June 08, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Congratulations to all these very accomplished new candidates. This really is a game changer for the Millburn board of education with a contested race since the community will now be able to question the one incumbent about this board and why they behave so badly to each other and to the community.
Nantz June 08, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Nantz approves this message!
Henny Penny June 09, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Thanks to everyone who volunteers their time to serve the community. Patch commentators can demonstrate to the Board these people want to serve on that civility is possible in this town.
yogi berra June 09, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Bravo. Maybe these new guys can get Dr. Crisfield and Dr. Burton out of their offices and into the schools .....
Sophie June 09, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Hi Yogi-- I don't know if anything can get those two out of their offices and into the schools. It's like you always say: "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."
JKH June 09, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I don't know what you are talking about--I have seen Dr. Crisfield in the schools many more times than I ever saw Dr. Brodow.
Elizabeth June 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I am also happy to see some newcomers in the race. The behavior of the current board was an embarassment to our town. I will be asking the incumbent about his role on the current board and why the board members could not treat each other and the community with respect.
Susan1 June 11, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Happy to see fresh faces in this race as well. But is it fair to ask one person to answer for the behavior of others? I don't recall Dr. Siegel being mentioned as one of the "misbehavers."
Sophie June 12, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Isn't Dr. Siegel the Vice President of the BOE?
Sophie June 12, 2012 at 04:10 PM
"dirty habits and behavior of some of the incumbents" That sounds awful! Are we talking about bad table manners or something else?
Hedley June 12, 2012 at 06:14 PM
So no WLM slate? Don't they love Millburn anymore?
Sophie June 12, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Hi Hedley -- You really are so talented. How were you able to tell which ones are WLM and which ones are not?
Hedley June 12, 2012 at 09:34 PM
WLM has a website. Didn't they tell you that? Would have made it easier for you to get your talking points and instructions. 1 of the 4 candidates is even new to town, just like you! How excited you must be.
Sophie June 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Hedley -- You were right. I just received instructions from the WLM mothership. It reads: THE BIG MOOSE FLIES SOUTH WITH MUSTARD IN THE WIND What do you think it means? It sounds like some type of invasion code. Do you think that we'll soon be overrun by those We Love Millburn people? Anyway, still want to know which candidate you're supporting? Cute Dr. Siegel?
CM June 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Hedly & Sophie -- Enough. I am sure you entertain yourselves with your banter but what a waste of bandwidth. I'm just happy that there are a few candidates with younger children, whether new to town or not. Getting tired of having an entire BOE with kids in the high school. They just become lackeys to whatever the admin wants since they are in that oh-so-important college admissions phase.
FJ June 13, 2012 at 02:38 AM
CM- Why does it matter if the BoE members have kids in the high school? they have a mucho experience with the schools, they should help.
KLF June 13, 2012 at 01:19 PM
This is not true. I believe Dr. Siegel has young kids, as does Sam Levy. Last term, we had Debra Fox, who has young kids. And Dr. Zucker's children were young when he was first elected.
Susan1 June 13, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I understand why people are concerned with civility; there seems to be a lack of it everywhere. From Gov. Jan Brewer publicly scolding the President, to snippy comments posted here on Patch, rude behavior abounds at all levels of public discourse. I say we start here by discussing the issues facing the BOE and the upcoming election with the same civility we ask of our elected officials. Just a thought....
Wilmer van Tripp June 15, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Do you mean you think they get something for their kids because they are BOE members?
The Law June 15, 2012 at 03:04 PM
This is not how it works in Millburn, or anyway the US, for the that matter. It seems you have not watched the news lately. The law is on the side of victims of cyberbullying, exactly as the kind you are actively engaging in. Laws protect the minor children you have cyberbullied, in particular. Laura Griffin seemed to know this and she was so great about keeping everything "above board." But because she left and we don't have a new editor yet, I suppose that your specific malicious, fabricated gossip posts fell through the cracks. Is this how you intend to support a candidate? Find a new method! To post specific things as you have already done IS a crime & you cannot take it back. And, I am assuming you are an adult (although it is not okay for a minor child to engage in cyberbullying like this either.) It is unforgivable to try to tear down children in any way, for any reason, in your online posts. If I were you, I would be so very worried about the repercussions that I would not be able to sleep! You DO know what an IP address is, right? In case you don't (as you appear to be uneducated in Internet law & in current legal trends that protect victims from cyberbullies) it allows you to be traced and UNMASKED to the public and legal system. I hope you are prosecuted.
The Law June 15, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I would personally like to know who is trolling the Internet like this in my town and on the Patch, lowering the level of discourse as you have. I hope that aol, the owner of Patch will recognize your posts as the crimes that they are. If you disagree with any decisions made at school, take your apparent uncontrollable frustration and temper to the principal. Or, if you have a case, hire a lawyer. But with the Internet crimes you have already committed this week, you will surely need a defense lawyer, I would think! You remind me very much of Ravi, who thought he was superior to others and smugly wreaked havoc online, without a care for others. You just can't do that, whether it is what Ravi did or it is spreading malicious gossip about people - high school students, in particular!!! Are you familiar with the recent case in which GOOGLE unmasked a troll such as yourself - simply for calling a woman a "skank"? http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-08-23/gossip/17930442_1_liskula-cohen-google-web-giant
The Law June 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Didn't think so. And these were both adults. How about the mother who posted things under a false name and caused a girl at her daughter's school to commit suicide? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,315684,00.html Interesting that you are actively engaging in cyberbullying minor children and are referring to activities of specific people and their minor children. I wonder what a judge would do with an adult cyberbullying kids like this! There are MANY cases in which the judge unmasked internet users and "threw the book" at them. Can you imagine your shame, which would certainly be appropriate! You can't take it back at this point, as it's too late. A judge can make the determination to UNMASK you for the Internet troll you are. I look forward to watching the case, and to finding out who you are. I would encourage all parties involved to pursue this troll and anything like this so that we can preserve our town as a place for decent discourse - no matter which side of an issue or which candidate you support! The following is from the Patch user website. Patch is owned by aol, and if google can unmask posters, why do you think you are so invincible on an aol site? "Please note that we reserve the right to access and/or disclose Personal Information and non-personal information we gather as required by law or to the extent necessary for us to investigate suspected fraud, harassment or other violations of any law, rule or regulation, or the Service rules or policies."
Hedley June 15, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Google the Elizabeth Board of Education and see how well that worked out for them.
The Law June 15, 2012 at 04:39 PM
You cannot talk about specific people - especially minors -- and defame them online. People are prosecuted for this, and they are UNMASKED in the legal system if the target or legal system wishes to pursue it. I thought you would want to know about some legal cases, in the event you are not aware. Even if a lawsuit does not end of up a certain way, the poster hiding can be revealed and it is more likely they will experience a great deal of stress from this process- far more their their intended target.


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