By John Burton
RED BANK – There will be another seat to fill among the nine-member borough Board of Education, in addition to those up for this November’s election.
Current Board President Carrie Ludikowski has announced she is stepping down from the board, with the Aug. 2 meeting being her last.
Ludikowski, her husband and three children are relocating to North Carolina later this summer, she told The Two River Times. Ludikowski had been on the board for nine years, first being appointed to fill an unexpired term and then running and winning in three separate elections for full three-year terms.
She won re-election last November and was elected board president at the board’s January re-organization meeting. She described her tenure on the board as “a labor of love.”
Ludikowski said she and her husband were supporters of public school and planned to send their children to the primary school when they reached school age. She heard concerns from other parents but discovered, “They didn’t seem to know why they weren’t going to send their kids to the primary school. They just weren’t.”
That response led Ludikowski to begin going to board meetings to become better informed. And that led her to participate in some board sub-committees that encouraged community members’ involvement, resulting in her initially filling a vacancy on the board.
Now, “I feel I’m walking away at a high point,” for the board and district and their accomplishments in recent years, she said.
The public school district has traditionally had difficulty overcoming what proponents have maintained an undeserving negative image. That, Ludikowski insisted, is now changing, especially over the last couple of years. “I think that there’s a lot more attention to what’s going on in the schools of Red Bank,” at this point, she said. “And I think it’s a benefit to all of Red Bank…I don’t think the school community has ever been this strong.”
According to state statute, the board will have to advertise for replacement applications, with the board voting to fill that position. The selected applicant will serve for the 2016-17 year and will have to run in the November 2017 election for the remaining term year, should the applicant choose.
There are three seats open for the November election with two incumbents, Ben Forest and Suzanne Viscomi running unopposed for their seats, according to Christine Hanlon, county clerk. Current incumbent Marjorie Lowe did not file with the county clerk’s office to run for another term.
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