BORDENTOWN – Three candidates are running for three open seats on the Bordentown Regional Board of Education (BOE).
BOE President Eileen Francisco-Cabus is running for a second term on the board through the Bordentown Township seat.
“It’s quite a responsible privilege to be part of the educational process,” Francisco-Cabus said. “The use of education being an equalizer in society can be an opportunity for people to defy who they are. It’s always important to be on the forefront of everything and be consistently innovative and creative.”
Francisco-Cabus has a 14-year-old daughter who is a student in the Bordentown Regional School District and has been an active member of the Bordentown community since moving to the area over four years ago.
Being president of the BOE the past two years has been an eye opening experience, in the words of Francisco-Cabus.
She said she learned that more than anything it’s not just the idealistic ideas that she set to do when on the board, but more of making sure the relationships between the teachers, parents and the board were in a good place to continue to find ways to better children’s education.
Over the course of the past six months, Francisco-Cabus, the BOE and the school district have navigated through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to set up proper educational avenues for their teachers and students in the safest ways possible.
The school district began the 2020-21 school year virtually and started its hybrid model on Oct. 13.
“More than ever this year, we have helped people and families in need find what they need for education,” Francisco-Cabus said. “Everything is an ongoing evolution. We will continue to examine everything moving forward and make sure we are prepared for something like this virus.”
Francisco-Cabus states the board has also discussed life after COVID-19.
When that time comes, she said the board has spoken about being able to offer challenging courses to those students who are able to take them as they prepare for college and setting up programs to help those individuals who do not plan to attend college be ready to take on the working world.
From being a part of the board the last three years, Francisco-Cabus said she has learned so much from the diverse collection of people who serve on the board.
She believes that having people from different walks of life with experience in separate fields has helped the board have “incredible conversations” to find the best paths to helping enhance the learning experience for students.
“I am so lucky to be part of this board,” Francisco-Cabus said. “It’s a very diverse board with people from different backgrounds on it. There is no internal arguing and we are a functioning board. We all have great respect for each other. We all think about what is best to help the community.”
The other two candidates running for the board are Janet Nielsen and Joseph A. Dean.
Nielsen is running for the Bordentown City seat on the board. She is a retired educator and has been on the board the past three years.
Dean is a newcomer to the board as he runs for the Fieldsboro seat. He grew up in Bordentown and is a graduate of the Burlington County Institute of Technology from the Westampton campus.
Since moving back to the area six years ago, Dean has been involved in the community as a coach in the Bordentown Area Basketball League. All three of Dean’s children are students in the school district.
Neither could be reached by press time for additional comment.