Seven people have submitted their names to fill the Board of Education vacancy created by the resignation of school board member Christopher Irving.
Former school board members Alonzo “Al” Moody and Corey Teague are among the recognizable names on the list.
Other candidates are:
- Stacy Coleman
- Vincent Arrington
- Rodney DeVore
- Allan Gamarra
- Mosleh Uddin.
Coleman unsuccessfully ran for a school board seat in 2016. Arrington is a photographer associated with assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. DeVore is a teacher at the Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI). He is tied to assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, according to political insiders.
School board members will review resumes of each candidate and interview them at a special meeting on Wednesday night. Board members will deliberate in a closed-door meeting prior to selecting one of the seven individuals on the list.
“There’s some great credible people,” said school board member Emanuel Capers of the individuals seeking to fill Irving’s vacancy. Irving resigned earlier in the month to take a New Jersey Department of Education job. He is torn between two candidates, he said, without mentioning names.
School board member Flavio Rivera is looking for an individual with a specific set of skills. “I’m going to try to take that approach. I want to know what are they going to be able to contribute right away,” said Rivera.
Four years ago, Rivera was selected by the board to fill the vacancy created by Alex Mendez’s election to the city council.
Rivera was selected for his fiscal skills.
Jonathan Hodges, longest serving member on the school board, agreed with Rivera. He wants a person who can “hit the ground running.”
School board president Oshin Castillo did not return a call for comment. School board vice president Nakima Redmon declined to comment for this report.
“I’m looking for someone who is serious about education not just someone in it for political gains,” said Hodges.
The appointment is for 11 months. Rivera said voters will have a chance to decide whether to keep the selected person or pick someone else in November.