Anthony Mazzocchi, the former Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the South Orange-Maplewood School District and a Maplewood resident since 1981, has filed to run in the 2016 Board of Education election.
Mazzocchi had previously filed to run in the 2014 election but withdrew his petition because of personal reasons. Since leaving the district in 2013 to accept his current position as Associate Director and Professor of Trombone at the John J. Cali School of Music, Mazzocchi has remained a vocal advocate for maintaining music and arts programs in SOMSD. Read his blogs here, here and here.
The general election will be on November 8, 2016. The deadline to file with the Essex County Clerk’s Office is July 25, 2016. As of Friday afternoon, Mazzocchi was the only person who had filed a petition, according to the Clerk.
“The South Orange/Maplewood School District has the potential to transform the way it educates our children by taking into account each individual’s abilities, engagement, and personal goals,” said Mazzocchi in a statement to The Village Green. “I want to help us get to that place.”
There are three seats open in this year’s race. One BOE member, Elizabeth Daugherty, has said she will not run again after serving three terms. 1st Vice President Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad told The Village Green she will run again. We have reached out to Johanna Wright and will update this article when we receive her statement.
“We need to spend less time ranking our children and far more time helping them find their talents and passions,” said Mazzocchi. “Our system should not be a prolonged college entrance game based on defining our students by the tests they take. As a passionate educational leader, an almost 30 year resident of Maplewood, and a former administrator in district, I am proud to share in the ongoing conversation regarding how all stakeholders in our towns can best join together to help all of our children find their passion and purpose.”