South Orange – Maplewood Board of Education member Elizabeth Daugherty, who is the longest-serving member on the current board, will not run for reelection when her term is up at the end of the year.
When her current term ends, Daugherty will have served on the BOE for three terms (for a total of nine years and eight months.) She was President of the board for three years and eight months of that time.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Board of Education,” Daugherty told Village Green. “Now that my youngest has been out of the school system for a year, I think it’s time to step down and support other candidates who have children in the schools and can bring that perspective to the Board.”
Two other Board members are up for reelection this year: 1st Vice President Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, and Johanna Wright, each of whom has served since 2014. Lawson-Muhammad has told Village Green she will run again; we have contacted Wright and will update this article with her statement.
The deadline to file petitions with the Essex County Clerk’s office to run for the BOE is Monday, July 25. The general election is November 8. Petitions are now available online.
As of Friday afternoon, one person had filed a petition: Anthony J. Mazzocchi. The former Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the South Orange-Maplewood School District and a Maplewood resident since 1981, Mazzocchi had previously filed to run in the 2014 election but withdrew his petition because of personal reasons.
“Serving on the BOE is hard but rewarding work and we are lucky to have Dr. Ramos at the helm for our district,” said Daugherty. “South Orange-Maplewood is a wonderful school district, but there is definitely room for improvement. I hope that as we move into election season in the fall, community members will pay attention to the tone set by each BOE candidate and consider whether that person will be a constructive, solution oriented member of the Board, or a destructive, negative influence.”
She continued, “Thank you for the opportunity to serve this community. I have enjoyed it and still have 6 months to go!”