Linda Stork, Yeni Mendez Romero and Brittany Richardson, candidates for New Brunswick Board of Education Credit: Carlos Ramirez / New Brunswick Today

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—This Tuesday, April 16, New Brunswick residents have the opportunity to shape the future of its schools with their votes.

Three seats are up for the the Board of Education in New Brunswick, with three incumbents and three challengers vying for the three-year terms.

The incumbent candidates, including board president Jennifer Sevilla, along with board members Diana Solis and Edward Spencer, are running together as a unified team under the banner of “New Beginnings.”

Meanwhile, challengers Yeni Mendez Romero, Brittany Richardson, and Linda Stork have formed a team running under the banner “Students First.”

Registered voters may vote in person on Election Day, Tuesday, April 16, at their assigned polling location, which will be open from 7 am-8 pm.

Voters can find their assigned polling location on the state website.

On April 10, a candidates forum was hosted by director April Nicklaus on behalf of Empower Our Neighborhoods, at the Unity Square Community Center, located at the corner of Remsen Avenue and Suydam Street.

All six candidates were invited to share their vision for the future of New Brunswick’s public school system, however only the three challenger candidates running under the Students First ticket elected to attend. 

Linda Stork, candidate for New Brunswick Board of Education

Linda “Lindy” Stork, a resident of New Brunswick for 46 years, brings a wealth of experience to the table as a candidate for the Board of Education.

Stork’s background in education is extensive, with over 30 years of service as a bilingual kindergarten teacher in New Brunswick, and certifications in Early Childhood, Elementary, Bilingual/Multicultural, and ESL Education.

She is a graduate of Rutgers University Livingston College with a degree in Urban Teacher Education, and holds a Master’s Degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from Trenton State College.

Beyond her professional qualifications, Stork has been active in the New Brunswick community both as an educator and a parent. Her children attended Lincoln, their neighborhood school, before moving on to graduate from local high schools.

Since retiring from teaching, Stork has remained engaged with children’s programs at the public library, and served on the board of the Friends of the New Brunswick Free Public Library.

Throughout the years, Stork has been a familiar presence at school board meetings, advocating for the students of New Brunswick.

As a candidate, she looks forward to contributing to a decision-making process that prioritizes the needs of students above all else.

Yeni Mendez Romero, candidate for New Brunswick Board of Education

Following Stork, Yeni Mendez Romero introduced herself as a parent of a student in the New Brunswick public school system and as a former student of the district herself.

A graduate of Middlesex County College, Mendez Romero is also the first female entrepreneur in her family, running her own business on Livingston Avenue.

With her background as a former Youth Group leader at Holy Family Parish in New Brunswick, Mendez Romero values community integration, and aims to foster stronger connections between families and students in the district.

Her experience as a business owner provides her with the time and expertise to develop innovative ideas and modernize the school system.

Lastly, Brittany Richardson introduced herself as a born and raised graduate of New Brunswick High School who is committed to bettering safety, diversity, and better opportunities in the school system.

Following introductions at the April 10 forum, the candidates answered questions from the host, April Nicklaus, as well as the audience.

Addressing school safety, the candidates propose a multi-faceted approach that prioritizes prevention and intervention, and for increasing the number of counselors in schools to address students’ mental health needs promptly.

Furthermore, they call for revisiting disciplinary measures such as out-of-school suspensions, favoring more effective alternatives like in-school suspension.

The issue of metal detectors in schools sparked a nuanced discussion among the candidates.

While acknowledging concerns about the perception of schools resembling jails, they recognize the need for ongoing dialogue and proactive measures to ensure student safety without compromising the learning environment.

(L-R) Linda Stork, Yeni Mendez Romero and Brittany Richardson at the candidates forum on April 10. Credit: Carlos Ramirez / New Brunswick Today

Moreover, the candidates emphasized the pivotal role of the school board in setting policies and priorities for the district.

They asserted their commitment to transparency, accountability, and responsive leadership, vowing to advocate for the best interests of students and educators alike.

With the election right around the corner, the candidates urge voters to consider their platforms and commitments to fostering inclusive, safe, and equitable learning environments for all students.

With community support and active participation, they believe New Brunswick’s schools can chart a course toward excellence and opportunity for generations to come.

Writer at New Brunswick Today |

Ravi is a recent Philosophy and Political Science Rutgers graduate who is interested in government, public safety, and culture.

Ravi is a recent Philosophy and Political Science Rutgers graduate who is interested in government, public safety, and culture.