Elissa Malesepina, of South Orange, has announced that
she will run for South Orange Maplewood Board of Education in the October election.
Malespina issued the following statement:
Elissa Malespina, a 19-year resident of South Orange and former Librarian at South Orange Middle School, is announcing her candidacy for the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education. She is also happy to announce that she will be partnering with Donna Smith who also recently entered the race. Malespina has one son Matthew who will be entering 6th grade at SOMS and is married to Joseph Malespina, a 1994 graduate of CHS and lifelong resident of South Orange. Elissa Malespina has spent her career in education and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. Malespina worked in the district for 9 years before becoming Coordinating Supervisor of Technology for the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District. She has an extensive understanding of the South Orange-Maplewood School District, its strengths and the many issues it faces. "We are at a crossroads in this district and we need a Board of Education that will work for the best interests of the children who we ultimately serve," Malespina says. "The only way for things to change is for the BOE to work hard at building relationships with all the stakeholders in the district. "We need to move away from what has become an us against them mentality, and find a way for all groups to work together in the best interest of the students." Malespina believes the Board of Education needs to do an extensive search for a new superintendent and should not be rushing the process. "I am concerned when I hear that our board hopes to have someone in place before January. A thorough search needs to be conducted and all groups must be heard. I don't want to put a timetable on the process. I want the best candidate possible and we should not be rushing this." says Malespina. Another key issue in this Board of Education race is district finances. "We face a looming deficit and we need to look at ways to help minimize that, while at the same time giving our children the best education possible. This might mean slowing down the implementation of some of the programs we are looking to put in place like the International Baccalaureate Program. I believe that while some of the philosophies associated with IB are good and should be added to the curriculum, the costs associated with it are just too much right now, " says Elissa. While Donna Smith and Elissa Malespina do not agree on everything, Malespina does not see that as an issue. "Donna and I are very passionate about doing what is best for the students in the South Orange Maplewood School District. We know that we will not always see eye to eye on every issue but will work hard to make SOMSD the best district possible."
All incumbents have announced that they will not run for reelection. Anthony Mazzocchi, the former fine arts supervisor for the school district, also recently announced his candidacy.
Send story ideas, comments, and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.