5 Candidates File to Run for 3 Spots on South Orange-Maplewood Board of Ed

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Five candidates — including two incumbents — are running for three seats on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education.

Election day is November 8.

Running are incumbents Johanna L. Wright and  Stephanie M. Lawson-Muhammad and challengers Anthony Mazzocchi, Susie S. Adamson and James Henry Davis III, according to the Essex County Clerk’s Office. The deadline to file was Monday, July 25 at 4 p.m.

Wright and Lawson-Muhammad are both completing their first three-year terms on the Board of Education. The two, who have sometimes sparred during meetings, are not running together.

Lawson-Muhammad is running with newcomer James Davis. Davis’ LinkedIn profile indicates that he is Director and Associate General Counsel for TIAA-CREF.

In an email to supporters, Davis said that he and Lawson-Muhammad would be running on a platform to accelerate the pace of closing the achievement gap in the district.

“[W]hile some progress has been made — it is way too little and too slow. Especially for children of color. Stephanie and I believe that we can all agree that the pace of change needs to increase.”

Susie Adamson, who is running solo, is a former President of the Seth Boyden PTA and a member of the President’s Council. Adamson has not yet released a statement on her candidacy.

Tony Mazzocchi is known to many in the district as the former Supervisor of Music and Fine Arts. Mazzocchi now works as Associate Director and Professor of Trombone at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Mazzocchi has remained a vocal advocate for maintaining music and arts programs in SOMSD. Read his blogs herehere and here. See the story on Mazzocchi’s candidacy here.

Former Board of Education President and current Board member Beth Daugherty announced in June that she would not seek a fourth term.

There are nine seats on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education. Each year, three seats come up for elections; terms are for three years. New Board members are sworn in January, and the full Board elects the president during the January reorganization meeting.

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