Elissa Malespina, former librarian at South Orange Middle School and a candidate for the South Orange – Maplewood Board of Education, has withdrawn from the race in order to spend time on a recent book deal.
Malespina announced her decision in a press release Friday morning. She had been running on a ticket with Donna Smith.
The move leaves five candidates running for three open seats in the November election: Smith, Maureen Jones and Elizabeth Baker, who are running together on a ticket, Tony Mazzocchi and Dr. Godwin O. Molokwu.
Here is the entirety of Malespina’s press release:
Elissa Malespina announced today that she will not be seeking a seat on the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education this November due to a book deal.
“This was a very difficult decision. A unique opportunity to publish a book on augmented reality in education recently presented itself and it’s a project that will take considerable time and focus. Showing other educators how to leverage technology tools in the classroom is such a passion of mine, and is a way for me to make an impact not just in my own community but nationwide”she said. “After discussing it with my running mate, I’ve made the decision to move forward with this project and consider a run for the Board of Education in the future.”
Malespina, a 19-year resident of South Orange and former Librarian at South Orange Middle School, says she will continue to stay involved with the school district and hopes the issues she brought to the table will continue to be discussed by all the candidates in the upcoming weeks.
“Increasing stakeholder involvement, building better relationships between teachers and administrators, doing a thoughtful superintendent search, infusing more technology into classrooms, taking a good look at the IB program and increasing training for implementation of these types of initiatives –these are all issues that I care a lot about.
Donna Smith, who joined together with Malespina, supports her decision and hopes she will consider a run in the future.
“Elissa brings a lot of great ideas and energy to the table that I think the community will benefit from. I’ve already learned so much from her. I understand this was a big decision and I will continue to support her in all her endeavors. I know she’ll continue to be a strong voice in our two towns and maybe the timing will be better in the future.”