Grasso, Burnetsky, Acevedo win seats on Jackson school board

JACKSON – Vicki Grasso, John Burnetsky and Gus Acevedo were elected to three-year terms on the Jackson K-8 School District Board of Education in the Nov. 6 election.

Grasso and Burnetsky are current members of the board, and Acevedo is a former member of the board.

Grasso joined the board in January 2016. She is the parent of three school-age children. Grasso was re-elected to a three-year term after receiving 11,671 votes, according to results posted online by the Ocean County Clerk’s Office.

She said she was “pleasantly surprised” because she was unsure how the election was going to turn out.

“I was trying to not be optimistic or pessimistic, I was really trying to let it run its course. I was obviously very pleased with the results and I am super excited to represent not only the taxpayers, but the kids of Jackson,” Grasso said.

She said she is also a taxpayer representative and said it is important moving forward that decisions are made with taxpayers in mind, but she added that the students are her first priority.

“We have a really great mix of personalities on the school board. None of us are (on the board) with an agenda, to my knowledge, which is refreshing because nothing is politically motivated,” Grasso said.

She said she is looking forward to having an opportunity to continue working with Superintendent of Schools Stephen Genco.

“I am very excited to continue to work with Dr. Genco because although we do not always agree on every single thing, he is super transparent and super student-centered. Moving forward, it is nice to have someone to work with to make those decisions because his priorities are the same as ours. He is truly advocating for kids and what is in their best interests,” Grasso said.

She said it never feels as if the board is in conflict with the administration.

“Until you really get to know the workings and what goes on behind the scenes in Jackson, you just do not realize how dedicated the people are who are at the top and that is really why the district is moving in the direction it is moving. You do not see that everywhere,” Grasso said.

Acevedo will rejoin the board in January after winning a three-year term with 8,727 votes. He said he is hoping he will be able to help make a very good school district better for all families and for all students at all levels.

“When I found out I won, my wife and I looked at each other and thought without as much as a word, ‘We are in this together. We are so ready to begin,’ ” said Acevedo, who has lived in Jackson since his parents moved to the town in 1959 from Puerto Rico.

“I served (on the board) for many years in the past during times of rapid growth and during years when the stress of such growth represented serious challenges to the town,” Acevedo said. “I believe I served with distinction, honestly and energetically. My goal then was to provide the best affordable schools at all levels for all the children at all levels of their ability.”

Burnetsky is a longtime Jackson resident and business owner. He joined the board in January 2016. Burnetsky was re-elected to a second three-year term after receiving 9,280 votes.

Board President Scott Sargent received 8,485 votes and fell short in his bid for re-election on the seven-member panel that oversees the operation of the school district.