Three Board of Education Seats Up for Grabs This April

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As the city enters its second year with an elected school board, it is unclear who will run in the upcoming April 23 election.

Only one of three incumbents whose seats on the Board of Education will be up for election, has said they will run to keep their seat.

In November 2012, residents of the Hub City voted to hold elections to determine the members of the city's powerful Board of Education.

Previously, for more than a century, the Mayor would select each individual to serve on the board. 

Candidates for the Board of Education must be U.S citizens at least 18 years of age, and must have resided in the City of New Brunswick for at least one year.

To get on the ballot for the election, candidates must file a petition at the Board of Education office at 268 Baldwin Street by 4 pm on March 4, with signatures of at least ten registered votes in New Brunswick.

Dale Caldwell, Emra Seawood and Diana Fajardo are each up for election this April.  So far, only Caldwell has anounced his plans to run.

At last night's board of education meeting, all three were absent.  Seawood, whose husband passed away recently, and Fajardo, whose election to the board last year proved controversial, did not respond to emails asking whether they plan to run.

Caldwell hails from the Edgebrooke neighborhood of New Brunswick and was recently appointed the CEO of the K-8 Village Charter School in Trenton.

He also serves as a member of the City of New Brunswick Housing Authority, another position he was appointed to by Mayor James Cahill.

Caldwell is also a published author who wrote his own book, titled "School to Work to Success."  He runs his own business, Strategic Influence LLC, and serves as the President of the United States Tennis Association, Eastern Section.

However, Caldwell almost got the top job in another district that had an appointed school board.  As we reported in 2012, the disgraced Mayor of Trenton pushed hard for him to get the superintendent position in that troubled district.

In May 2012, Caldwell was one of three candidates for the Superintendent job in the Trenton school system.  Much to the dismay of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, the Board of Education instead voted to hire another individual instead.

The day after the Board voted in Superintendent Francisco Duran, two newly-appointed board members, Marisol Ovalles and Denise Millington found their appointments revoked by Mayor Mack, who, for reasons which he refused to specify, wanted Caldwell to get the job.

Mack was indicted on federal corruption charges in December 2012 and is currently in the midst of a trial.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today

Award-winning, multimedia journalist with experience in digital first and print-media. Daniel has covered local, state and regional issues, and utilized photography, social media and has written in-depth articles to produce high-quality work.