For board of ed: three seats open

Seven candidates vie for three seats on the Cherry Hill Board of Education: Kim Gallagher, Corrien Elmore-Stratton, Miriam Stern, Jack Brangan, Nicholas Gaudio, Jennifer Sharman and Renee Cherfane.

Seven candidates are running for three board seats on the township board of education on Nov. 7. They are: Kim Gallagher, Corrien Elmore-Stratton, Miriam Stern, Jack Brangan, Nicholas Gaudio, Jennifer Sharman and Renee Cherfane.

All candidates were reached out to and those who responded have been included below.

- Advertisement -

Name: Kimberly Gallagher

Age: 40

How many years have you lived in Cherry Hill? 8 years

Married? Yes

Children? 2 daughters and a stepson

Ages? 17, 8, 7

Grandchildren? None

School & Degree: BA Philosophy – University of California, Santa Barbara; Masters Of Business Administration – Northeastern University

Profession: Stay at Home Mother

Is this the first time running for BOE? No, I ran for a 1-year unexpired term in 2022.

If not, how many years have you served? I have served on the board since January of 2022.

What is your involvement in the community? Prior to being on the board, I was a part of a group of parents who advocated for Cherry Hill schools to open in the Fall of 2020. We saw the future negative impacts of school closure and advocated for the children and families who needed and wanted in person learning.

Why are you running for an elected seat? I want to continue to provide a different and important voice on the Board. I will continue to ask questions and understand how decisions impact all students before casting my vote.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected? First and foremost, the hiring of the new superintendent is the biggest decision our Board will make. This decision will impact the direction of our district for the next 5-10 years (if not longer). It is a massive decision that will impact academic success, special education, and transparency/trust within the district and community. Concentrating on choosing the right figure head is of the upmost importance and will allow the Board to focus on pressing initiatives.

Board of Ed Candidate: Jack Brangan

Name: Jack Brangan
Age: (declined to answer)
How many years have you lived in Cherry Hill? 39 years
Married? Yes
Children? 3 (Grown)Grandchildren? 5
School and degree:
Profession: IT
Is this the first time you have run for a seat for
Yes, first time

What is your involvement in the community? Community resident
Why are you running for an elected seat?
Two reasons:
There is an academic slide taking place in our district. According to NJ DOE, Cherry Hill East
has fallen below the NJ minimum standard in mathematics. Additionally, West, Carusi, Barton, and Kilmer are below minimum standards in either math or English. Beck is at minimum. Secondly, the Sex Ed curriculum K-12 is full of gender ideology that begins in kindergarten. This is unacceptable. I want Cherry Hill to default to 100% opt-out, and allow parents to opt-in if they choose.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?
We need to get serious about middle school. To improve West, we must focus on Carusi. To
improve East, we must focus on Beck. We must look into grades 3, 4 and 5 to identify struggling students from the start. The district must develop a new and more comprehensive plan establishing a parallel track in Grades 3, 4, and 5 and into middle school, where struggling students are placed in small classes of 10 or fewer students. Students must function on grade-level entering middle school; otherwise, nothing is going to change. We must do more to engage.

Board of Ed Candidate Jennifer Sharman

Name: Jennifer Sharman
Age: 51
How many years have you lived in Cherry Hill? 11 years

Married? Children? Grandchildren?
I am married to a Marine Veteran who grew up here in Cherry Hill for over 30 years. We have 4 wonderful children (3 sons ages 18, 21 and 22 and a daughter age 25) and we are a beautiful, blended family. My husband and all our children have gone through the Cherry Hill Public School system ranging from Clara Barton to Carusi to Cherry Hill High School West. I am also a proud military mom because two of my sons have committed themselves to the Army and Air Force. I myself grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and have always admired Cherry Hill as a child. When we became a blended family, I was happy that my children would have the opportunity to participate in such a highly recommended school
Is this the first time you have run for a seat for BOE? No, I ran for the first time for BOE last year. I did not get elected, but I did not give up. I am running again this year because I feel a sense of duty to our students, parents/caregivers, schools, and community.
What is your involvement in the community?

I am also very active in volunteering and giving back to our community and any other community in need. My current employer is very active in helping the community, which is one of the reasons that I applied to the company. I take advantage of volunteering my time through my work in areas like Girls on the Run, Out of the Darkness Community Walk, making positive and motivating cards for people suffering with depression, military organizations and much, much more. I have also been volunteering as an advancement chair with the boy scouts for 9 years and am still very active with the scouts even though my kids have aged out. I feel blessed to be able to help these young boys and girls grow into productive, strong, confident human beings. Volunteering is such a big part of mine, and my family’s lives because it can really make a difference in the lives of others.
Why are you running for an elected seat?

I am running for an elected seat because I feel our current BOE administration has failed our children/students. We need to find a superintendent that will help bring the focus of academics back to our schools. Our Math and Reading proficiency scores are very low and are concerning. We need to have more focus on our academics because when kids are succeeding in academics it helps to build their self-esteem and helps to prepare them for the future so they can do great things for our community and country.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected? Besides our academics, I would like to concentrate on finding out why our programs and support systems are lacking for kids with disabilities. I want to be a part of the solution so that all Families are empowered for their students/children. I feel that my experience as a clinical quality management specialist provides me the ability to focus on barriers and disparities for Medicaid populations and work to find ways to resolve them. I want to be an advocate for our students and families with disabilities.

Board of Ed Candidate Renee Cherfane

Name: Renee Cherfane
Age: 36
How many years have you lived in Cherry Hill? 33
Married? Married to my husband who I met in high school at Cherry Hill West

Children? 3 daughters – 9, 5, 2

Grandchildren? N/a

School and degree: 

Rutgers University – BS Chemistry

Rutgers University – MS Chemistry

Rutgers University – BS Nursing

Walden University – MS Nursing Education 

Profession: Nurse (Nurse Educator)

Is this the first time you have  run for a seat for (Council/Committee/mayor/BOE)? NO, I ran for BOE last year as well

What is your involvement in the community? I am an active PTA member at Kingston Elementary School and Malberg Early Childhood Center. I volunteer with our Girl Scout troop, I have facilitated the participation of my employer in career events at CHW, and I am actively involved in other recreational events my children and her friends are a part of.

Why are you running for an elected seat? I come with a lot of leadership, education, and project implementation and management experience, therefore I believe I can provide a lot of great insight and perspective to the board to help management a lot of the issues we face. I find it very fulfilling to advocate for my peers and help facilitate improvement with ongoing projects. I am also a good communicator that understands how to reach many different people with varying views, so I believe I can bring cohesiveness and collaboration to the district. 

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected? My first priority is finding the right candidate for superintendent. Ensuring that we are properly vetting, interviewing, and selecting a strong candidate that will check as many of our boxes as possible, is my main focus. 

Board of Ed Candidate Miriam Stern

Name: Miriam Stern 
Age: 53
How many years have you lived in Cherry Hill? We moved here 13 years ago for the excellent schools.
Married? Children? Grandchildren?  I am married to a high school teacher who works in a neighboring district. We have 3 children who have all attended Cherry Hill Public Schools: a 19 year-old son with special needs who graduated from Cherry  Hill East and now attends college, and twin sons who are juniors at Cherry Hill East.

School and degree: I have a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. I have worked in the mental health field for 28 years.

Profession: I am the founder and Executive Director of a group counseling practice in Cherry Hill.

Is this the first time you have run for a seat for BOE?  If not, how many years/terms have you served as board of education member? 

I was elected to the Board of Education in 2020 and began serving in 2021. I currently serve as the Board President. What is your involvement in the community?  I currently serve on the Board of Jewish Family and Children’s Services in Cherry Hill and have previously served on the Board of the New Jersey chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. I am also a local small business owner in Cherry Hill.

Why are you running for an elected seat?
Since 2021 our District has achieved significant milestones: we received more state aid and alternative funding than ever before, passed a 5-year fiscally-responsible Bond to improve our schools that the state will contribute $113 million towards, implemented achievement-focused action steps to ensure our students in all of our schools receive the excellent education Cherry Hill is known for, and we will have full-day high quality tuition-free preschool for all 3 and 4 year old students within the next 5 years.  I am running to ensure that our vision for success continues.

I am committed to building on the progress we have made to ensure that no matter where our students live or what challenges they face they all benefit from the opportunities a Cherry Hill education provides. 

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?  A successful school district must have a strong and capable leader.  We are currently undergoing a thorough superintendent search process to choose our next superintendent.  If elected I will choose a leader who has an educational vision that addresses our critical areas of need: increase achievement successes through resource allocation for our students who are struggling, ensure special education services are child and family-centered, and continue responsible fiscal oversight of the Bond construction and operations budget. 

- Advertisment -