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Number of Candidates in This Year's Board of Education Elections Exceeded School District's Expectations

Eight candidates seek three open seats this November.

was expecting more people to run in this year’s School Board than usual, but even it didn’t expect eight people to register for three open seats.

Of the eight people running, Galloway Township Board of Education Member Rich Dase is the only incumbent. He’s served on the board for approximately 20 years, at one point serving in the position of Board President.

Bob Iannacone and Eileen Kasunich were also up for re-election. Kasunich was up for re-election last year and decided , but when Board Member Kathy Styles-Landgraf last June because she moved out of district, Kasunich replaced her on the board.

Those who registered to run for school board on Tuesday included: Douglas C. Shiner, Jr.; Sherri Parmeter; David Carmen; Ersi Tollja; Robert W. Criss; Madeline Avery; and Wayne Melnik.

“I anticipated that we may have more individuals interested in running for the Board since our district has tried to promote community involvement,” Galloway Superintendent of Schools Dr. Annette Giaquinto said in an email on Wednesday. “The total was higher than expected.”

One way the school district has promoted community involvement is through the Superintendent’s , in which members from all walks of the community have provided feedback to the school district. It began prior to the district’s most recent referendum and has continued ever since.

has been a member of that committee.

The district also held a town-hall style meeting at the Atlantic County Library System’s Galloway Branch to discuss the referendum, and promoted the date throughout the community.

As for the election, which the district chose to move to November following the passage of a state law allowing them to do so in January, the school district issued a public announcement stating that elections would take place Nov. 6 and that petitions would have to be filed through the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office.

Residents were paying attention.

According to Giaquinto, the registration number of eight is the highest that have ever registered. In the last 10 years, the year in which the most candidates registered prior to 2012 was 2004, when five people registered.

Although Dase is the only incumbent, he isn’t the only person who filed to run in November with experience in education.

Madeline Avery has been a teacher at in 1984, and was the school’s Teacher of the Year in 2011.

According to Giaquinto, Criss was a Galloway Board member for a year and a half. He served in 2002-03, according to the school district’s website. 

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