HomePalmyra NewsPalmyra BOE swears in new members

Palmyra BOE swears in new members

Board of education holds annual reorganization meeting

From left, returning board member Amy Austin is sworn in for her new term alongside newcomers Stefanie Ferrado and Erica Campbell at the Palmyra School District Board of Education’s annual reorganization meeting.

Stephen Finn

The Sun

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The Palmyra Board of Education met on Jan. 3 for its annual reorganization meeting. Incumbent Amy Austin returned to be sworn in for a new term alongside newcomers Erica Campbell and Stefanie Ferrado.

Mark Russell was re-elected to serve another term as board president, and Laurie Beck was re-elected to serve another term as vice president.

Austin, who began her tenure on the board as a write-in candidate in 2016, was happy to be re-elected and continue serving her home district.

“I have young kids in the school district so I’m happy to continue and take the district into the next chapter,” said Austin.

Austin believes the district is on the right track making changes and improvements like the recent decision to add a stand-alone middle school to the district that will offer more opportunities for children at the sixth- to eighth-grade level.

Although Ferrado doesn’t have children in the district she sees this opportunity as a way to give back to her community. Her husband Steve is a volunteer member of Palmyra’s Independence Fire Department, which inspired her to look for ways she could similarly involve herself in the workings of her town. She was thrilled with her victory in the November election.

“It was very exciting. I’m interested in the policies and the way that society is versus the way the board works,” said Ferrado. “I want to keep Palmyra as good as it is and actually make it better.”

Ferrado recognizes she is new to the school system but is looking forward to establishing herself as a presence on the board.

“I have a lot to learn, this is the first time I’ve been elected to an office. There are a lot of ins and outs and policies and procedures that I’m not so sure about. I have a lot of reading to do. I’m learning, and while I’m learning, hopefully I can do some good,” said Ferrado.

Campbell is another newcomer to the board, however she brings with her years of experience working in education. Leading up to her election, Campbell engaged in some grassroots campaigning that ended up paying off.

“I went door-to-door and met a lot of the residents. It felt really good that the residents had that kind of confidence in me, that they trusted me to be on the board,” said Campbell.

Campbell has worked in education for 22 years as a teacher and vice principal at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in New Brunswick.

“I’m bringing a lot of educational experience to the board and a lot of experience working with students and understanding students and knowing what their needs are,” said Campbell.

Russell has high hopes for the future of the board heading into the new year.

“We spent last year opening up the board, a little more transparency, and this year, the makeup of this board is very good, very collegial,” said Russell. “I feel very confident this board is going to hit some of the goals we set for it.”

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