By KATHY CHANG
METUCHEN — An incumbent and two newcomers will fill the three, three-year seats on the Board of Education that were available in the election on Nov. 8.
Newcomer Alicia Sneddon Killean recorded the most votes with 3,397; newcomer Eric Suss received 2,826 votes; and incumbent Jonathan Lifton rounded out the third spot with 2,268 votes.
Incumbent John A. Mindler Jr., who served on the board since the end of February filling a vacant term, received 2,019 votes losing his bid for his first elected term, and newcomer William Rezes received 1,547 votes.
Suss, who will serve his first term on the board, said he is honored and humbled by the election results.
“I would like to thank Alicia, Jonathan, John and Bill … people like them make Metuchen special,” he said. “The borough would have been in good hands with any of the candidates. Each one of them set a high bar for excellence, and I will do my best to live up to this standard and not to let the children of Metuchen down.”
Suss said he looks forward to working on improving the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) experience at all student levels in all grades, understanding the impact of all the local construction on the schools, providing more transparency into the processes employed by the schools and implementing full-day kindergarten.
Killean, who will also serve her first term on the board, said during the campaign that her main interest is what she feels is the biggest challenge currently facing the board — maintaining quality schools and programs as the town grows and changes.
She is currently a K-12 math and science supervisor in Holmdel.
“This is an extremely broad topic which will involve discussing building capacity and improvements, school structure, course offerings, technical infrastructure and community outreach,” said Killean. “Compounding the challenges of growth are the educational mandates being imposed by the state. To this end, I believe that my professional experience, commitment to the town and dedication to our children will be extremely beneficial. I am excited about the possibility of being involved during this crucial time.”
Lifton, who will serve his third term, had said during the campaign that the district continues to have challenges, including increasing enrollments and tight budgets.
He said with the current teachers’ contract expiring at the end of this school year, his experience on the board is an important asset to have.