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The Hillsborough Education Association (HEA) members have questioned whether the current Board of Education (BOE) shares the sentiment of what is “Best for BORO” and believes members must take a close look at the direction board leadership is steering the district and decide if that is what’s best for the town’s award-winning schools.

The HEA established a screening committee composed of nine members, many of whom live in Hillsborough themselves. Chaired by Bob Fenster, HEA Parliamentarian and HHS Social Studies teacher, this committee offered all six Board of Education candidates the opportunity to answer a questionnaire and attend a live interview conducted via Zoom.

In previous years, the HEA has offered all candidates the opportunity to answer a questionnaire to publish a BOE Elections newsletter, but never endorsed a candidate. This year is decidedly different.

“Given the recent actions of the current board leadership and the debacle surrounding the reopening of our school buildings, the stakes could not be higher,” HEA President Henry Goodhue said in a prepared statement. “That’s why the HEA has taken the unprecedented step of convening a full screening committee to meet with BOE candidates and consider the merits of their candidacy.”

The three challenger candidates supplied questionnaires and attended the interviews, while the incumbent candidates declined to participate or did not respond to the HEA’s requests.

“Knowing that this was the first time we were considering the endorsement of candidates, the committee carefully prepared both written questions, as well as live interview questions to ask the candidates,” Fenster said in the statement. “We felt that the process gave us a really good perspective on who the candidates were as people and what they hope to accomplish as members of the Board of Education.”

After a through screening, the HEA Screening Committee overwhelmingly endorsed the candidacies of Cindy Nurse, Paul Marini and Benjamin Kidd for Hillsborough Board of Education.

“Cindy Nurse distinguished herself as a passionate educator, who is seeking a seat on the BOE to place our students first; and Paul Marini, a staunch supporter of Hillsborough schools, brings a common-sense approach with decisions based on what is educationally best,” Fenster said in the statement. “Benjamin Kidd, a conscientious citizen who can no longer watch the destructive actions of board leadership, is seeking a seat to provide an unrepresented voice.”

“We are proud to support board candidates who support Hillsborough students and schools,” Goodhue said in the statement. “Seeking what’s Best for BORO has never been more crucial, and the silence we received from the incumbents spoke volumes. We look forward to electing candidates who will move the board in a positive direction.”

*published  9/17/20 on CentralJersey.com