Candidates running for the Brick Township Board of Education include former board members, newcomers and at least one local celebrity.
Known as the cheery spokeswoman for the Pine Belt family of automotive dealerships on Route 88 (“between Lakewood and Brick”) Alana Pagano is dipping her foot into local politics for the first time in her run for a three year term on the board.
“I am really excited at the opportunity to help the community in any way I can,” Pagano told Shorebeat Monday afternoon.
Pagano, who works in marketing for the dealership outside of the commercials, said her public persona on television is separate from her candidacy.
“I hope people will be able to see my dedication and loyalty to the future of Brick Township and the education system,” she said.
Pagano has been a Brick resident since she was eight years old and plans to remain in town and send her own children to the township’s public schools when the time comes.
“I have tremendous pride in what I do and I want Brick schools to be the best in the state if not the country,” she said.
Three, three-year terms and one single year term (to replace the unexpired term of former board member John Talty) are up for grabs in November’s election. Current board members Frank Pannucci, Jr. and Michael Conti are running for township council instead of seeking re-election to the board; Susan Suter is not running for another term.
Talty is in the rare position of running for his own unexpired term after board members split on allowing him to rescind his resignation after his recovery from open heart surgery sped up.
Talty is being challenged by former Republican township council member Mike Thulen and George W. White, a former school administrator in Jackson who sought to be appointed to Talty’s seat after his resignation.
Numerous candidates are seeking the full, three-year term. In addition to Pagano, former board members Larry Reid and Walter F. Campbell are running. Also running is Victor Finamore, John Lamela, Madeline Colagiovanni Iannarone, David Fischer, Leonard Figula, Lois Turner, Martin Ebert, Victoria Pakala and Stephanie A. Wohlrab.