Central Picks New Board Member

The Central Regional Board of Education met at the Hugh J. Boyd, Jr. Elementary School in Seaside Heights, since that is one of the towns that sends kids to the regional district. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS – The Central Regional Board of Education chose Al Aires to fill a vacant spot on the board at a recent meeting.

Aires fills the spot that had been held by Jennifer Gindel. She had been on the board for about four and a half years, and stepped down over the summer due to a work commitment taking her out of Berkeley. She originally ran for the board with the last name Leicht.

Her absence left a spot for a Berkeley representative. The board interviewed five candidates: Sylvia Stamos, Arron Rustici, Megan Flynn-Sidoni, and Joseph Corso.

Corso had been interviewed during the public portion of the August meeting, with each board member asking at least one question. The meeting was held at the Hugh G. Boyd Elementary School in Seaside Heights. In the summer, Central holds its board meetings in their sending districts.

Board secretary Kevin O’Shea said Aires will serve throughout 2017 and 2018. If he wants to stay on the board, he would then have to run for election in 2018 to earn the last year left on her seat.

Aires had run for the board in 2016. He received the highest number of votes among the losing candidates. He received 4,162 votes, which was about 700 votes less than the next highest candidate. According to a letter that he wrote The Berkeley Times during his campaign, he has lived in Berkeley for 41 years, and is a Central graduate. He said he ran a self-funded campaign, independent of any political party. He said he was an assistant principal in Jackson.

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.