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Seven Candidates Submitted Petitions for Board of Education Positions


PARSIPPANY — Seven candidates have filed to run for three available seats on the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District’s Board of Education, according to the Morris County Clerk’s Office.

The following individuals have submitted their nominating petition to the Morris County Clerk:

  1. Kendra Von Achen – Returning Member (term expires 12/31/2022)
  2. Andrew Choffo – Returning Member (term expires 12/31/2022)
  3. Alison C. Cogan – Returning Member (term expires 12/31/2022)
  4. Michelle Shappell
  5. Jack S. Raia
  6. Yvonne Ferise
  7. Falgun Bakhtarwala

The election for each seat will be held on November 8, 2022. Each seat will be held for three years.

The Board of Education is made up of nine members who are elected by registered voters of Parsippany-Troy Hills Township.

Members are elected to three-year terms. The Board President and Vice-President are elected by the majority vote of their fellow Board members.

The Board of Education members consist of:

Mr. Timothy Berrios (2023) President
Mrs. Judy Mayer (2024) Vice President
Mrs. Sheethal Abraham(2024)
Mr. Andrew Choffo (2022)
Mrs. Alison Cogan (2022)
Mr. Matthew DeVitto (2023)
Mrs. Susy Golderer (2024)
Mrs. Deborah Orme (2023)
Mrs. Kendra Von Achen (2022)

Requirements for candidates running for the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education candidates are:

To Become a member of a local board of education in New Jersey, you must:

  • Be able to read and write
  • Hold citizenship and one year’s residency in the school district
  • Have no interest in any contract with, or claim against, the board
  • Not hold office as mayor or member of the municipal governing body
  • Be registered to vote in the district and not be disqualified as a voter under N.J.S.A. 19:4-1

Board members must undergo criminal history record checks through the New Jersey Department of Education within 30 days of election or appointment.

Serving on a School Board (From NJSBA)
As one member of the school board team, you will be expected to cooperate with administrators, educators and the community in order to fulfill certain basic responsibilities:

  1. Providing responsible citizen leadership in determining community goals for public education.
  2. Developing a philosophy of education that will become the basis for sound educational decisions on a wide range of issues.
  3. Developing written operation policies to serve as guidelines for action and decision making.
  4. Developing a community understanding of educational issues and school policies through the maintenance of effective communications systems.
  5. Providing adequate financing for the present needs and future plans of the district.
  6. Establishing conditions of the recruitment and evaluation of an excellent professional staff.
  7. Evaluating the educational program of the schools in order to better meet the needs of the students.
  8. Ensuring a quality education for all students by providing adequate facilities and equipment.
  9. Providing the student services necessary for all the pupils of the district.
  10. Engaging in self-improvement and inservice training programs for the purpose of providing intelligent, well-informed leadership.

You should also:

  1. Understand that your responsibility is not to administer the schools, but to work with the board to see that the schools are well run.
  2. Understand that education today is extremely complex.
  3. Listen to opposing views and be able to defend the board’s philosophy and goals.
  4. Be willing to invest the many hours necessary to meet your responsibilities.
  5. Serve out of a sincere desire to benefit the community rather than for personal glory or to carry out personal objectives.
  6. Bear in mind that, as a state official, you have a responsibility to all the children in the state, not solely to those in the local district.
Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Governor Division 9 Kiwanis Club of NJ, and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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