By Vincent Todaro
Ocean Township — There may be only be two candidates on the ballot for this year’s Board of Education race, but that doesn’t mean three people won’t be elected.
It’s likely the third seat will be filled by a write-in candidate, according to board vice president Sylvia Sylvia, who, along with board president Sean Moore, is running to retain a seat.
“There will be write-ins, and someone will get that seat,” Sylvia said. “Each year there are three seats open, and every year there are write-in’s.”
In fact, there could be multiple write-in candidates, she said.
All three open seats are for three year terms, and whoever wins will have the challenge of finding a new superintendent, as John Lysko plans to retire, she said. In addition, they will inherit brand new full day kindergarten and block scheduling initiatives.
Sylvia, a former PTA mom, has served three and half years on the board, including time as vice president. While board terms are usually three years, hers was extended when the board moved its elections from April to November.
Sylvia, who led all vote getters the last time she ran, said she wants to continue what she started during her first term on the board. She said she spent her first year basically learning what is required of good board members.
“I found out what’s important, and how to get it done. It was just learning the basics of what’s involved,” she said. “It takes a lot of listening and learning. From my second year onward, I was able to implement what I leaned. There were a lot of development courses”.
As for what the future holds, she said the board needs to replace Lysko, a valued superintendent who began his position about the same time she joined the board.
“He’s rolled out really important programs, such as full day kindergarten, and block scheduling at the high school,” she said.
Such programs will need to be refined, she said, adding she wants to make sure they continue. Students needs a “21st century education “to be successful,” she said.
Sylvia received roughly 3,000 votes in the last election, and Moore was close behind, so it’s very unlikely either will lose their seat to a write-in candidate. While there are three open seats, only two incumbents are running, as long time board member Ann Marie Sparaco declined to run again.
Moore, who is board president, did not respond to queries asking him to comment for this story.