Six Candidates File To Run For BOE

By on July 30, 2018

There will be six candidates vying for two seats on the Verona Board of Education this November.

Michele Bernardino is seeking a second term on the BOE, and John Quattrocchi is running for a sixth term. Also running are Timothy Alworth, Lynn Halsey, Pam Priscoe, and David Rullo.

Bernardino, a Verona resident for the past 14 years, is the mother of three boys who attend Verona public schools. She has worked as an actuarial analyst and as the executive director of The Children’s House, the Montessori preschool in Verona. Since 2014, she has been a fourth grade inclusion math teacher for Newark Public Schools.

Quattrocchi has lived in Verona since 1993 and works investment banking at Barclays Capital in New York. He has been the president of the BOE for much of his time on the board. “The quality and success of the school district is the single most important thing about our community,” he said by text message today. “The education of our children, the responsible management of over half our collective property tax dollars, and the relentless focus on our strategy are critical. None of these things are single decision challenges. Our strategy is rooted in multi-year objectives and a continuum where our past, present and future must come together to achieve the success our community deserves.”

Priscoe is a 35-year resident of Verona and a town employee for 25 years. She has served on SCAs at F.N. Brown, H.B. Whitehorne and Verona High School. “My experience, energy and passion in working with municipal and school budgets, community groups and the citizens of Verona will assist me in making fair and reasonable decisions that affect our students and Verona as a whole,” said Priscoe in an email. “I am resolved in my commitment to ensuring decisions are made and actions are taken in a manner that is best suited for this amazing school district and great Township!”

Rullo is a lawyer and former Marine who worked for many years as a police officer in Montclair. He, Halsey and Alworth are all relative newcomers to Verona. will add statements from these candidates as soon as they are available.

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[UPDATE, JULY 31] Alworth, a music teacher, is a 10-year resident of Verona. He is married to a Verona native and they have three children under the age of 7. “Our decision to raise our family in Verona was rooted in the strong sense of community and quality school system,” Alworth said by email. “Through my experience in education, I’ve seen the many challenges and opportunities presented to the School Board, teachers, parents, and town as a whole. I feel that I’m uniquely qualified as a parent, resident and educator to help facilitate communication so the entire community can be a part of the process. I believe that as a district we have the parental support, strong teachers and resources to be considered a top district in the State and look forward to working towards that goal.”

Halsey, a resident since 2011, is the former director of sales operations for NBC Universal. She recently obtained a master’s in social work, served on the BOE’s Strategic Action Planning Committee and will have two daughters in Laning this fall. “Earlier this year, during the district’s strategic planning process, we discussed Verona’s core values,” Halsey said by email. “Integrity, passion, accountability, and teamwork were the values that resonated most. I try to live those values every day and I believe that they are the key to ensuring the Verona school system continues to meet the needs and fulfill goals in a way that benefits the entire community. I would be grateful to be a part of that effort.”

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Rullo, a West Caldwell native and Verona resident since 2013, joined the Marines out of high school and served for six years, including tours of duty in Iraq. His mother is a teacher and the oldest of his two daughters will start at Laning next year. “I have a history of public service and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to contribute in Verona,” he said. “I think it’s a good idea for people on the Board to have kids in the school system, and my kids will be in the system for the next 17 years. I have a plan for the future.”

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