Home School News Brick BOE Candidates Include Local TV Spokeswoman

Brick BOE Candidates Include Local TV Spokeswoman

Alana Pagano, known for her commercials with Pine Belt car dealerships, is running for Brick school board. (Screenshot: YouTube)
Alana Pagano, known for her commercials with Pine Belt car dealerships, is running for Brick school board. (Screenshot: YouTube)

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.

  • Joseph Woolston Brick

    Is the school board a political position? It shouldn’t be, People should not be using our kids and the schools as stepping stones to higher office, which a lot of the people that get on school boards seem to do. I like her attitude but she has to realize that Talty is pretty much a shoe in. In fact all the people running with Talty have to realize they have a snowballs chance in heck.

    • Joseph, if you mean Alana, she’s not running against Talty. She’s running for the three-year term. Talty is running for the one-year term (his old seat).

      As far as the board being political: Well, it’s a “nonpartisan” (technically) body, but I would suppose any office in which you must convince thousands of people to vote for you cannot be fully non-political.

      • jo jo ormaz

        Very “Well – Put”……! whewww that was the best answer to give !

  • lazereye

    let the games begin

    • jo jo ormaz

      This is going to become a Hot Ticket !! anyone contact News 12 or News 11, Fox 5 yet !! ??

  • Geoff Dubrowsky

    Thanks again Dan for keeping us informed and making sure we remember who are former board members !

    • anniesez

      Geoff do you have a problem with Larry Reid, Walter Campbell or John Talty? They are the former board members and in my opinion did a good job.

      • Geoff Dubrowsky

        Yes I do but if you have a different opinion you are certain welcome to it!

      • jo jo ormaz

        when did our taxes go down last time? they keep voting for the contracts and raising the taxes 2x’s a year?
        That’s why they don’t want someone “new” on board, they want the family and friends on board to keep everything inside” This is all about the new contracts coming in 2016 – 2017 that they don’t want the public to know about?

      • joseph jr

        the tax rate for the BOE for the last three years has been
        about .18% and facilities and curriculum have moved ahead at greater than
        average rates. Jo Jo when you talk about tax rates please try to differentiate
        between BOE, Council, fire, and county. There are differences in their

  • jo jo ormaz

    wish they had a sign in sheet for those who attended BOE – we never saw HER there unless she was in the parking lot – marketing and selling advertizement? she’ll make a great actress – alright!

    On a serious note, there are a few good people up there we’ve recognized the names. now I recognize who they were trying to block !

    This is going to get at good as the Presidential Race !! I want someone new, not an actress. we have enough up there acting out in public monthly!! we have some reading to do! C’mon Dan – Let see a good Bio on these folks!! let’s get a real story, one on one. follow these folks. Let’s see what they are really about..!

    I have my two votes in already.!!

    • We’re going to do a full story connecting the dots on everyone. Our hope is to have a webcast candidates’ debate (granted, it would be even more crowded than the first Fox News debate next month) and of course we’ll do our usual candidate profiles as we’ve done going back to the Patch days with some pointed questions about specific district policies.

  • Mark Story Jenks

    Dale Carnegie wrote the book “How to win friends and influence people”. Who wrote the book on “How to build a retirement off of the taxpayers expense”?

  • KMC

    I just want to see someone get on the board that has no affiliation with the Board president or Karen Cusanelli. I think it is time to get some new ideas and people who are going to do what is best for the students that attend school in this district. Unfortunately we have not seen that in quite some time.

    • anniesez

      Can I ask what Karen Cusanelli and Mrs. Cantilla did for you to write that?

      • KMC

        They did nothing to me. But they are going to be on the board with the new members coming on. I am hoping that everyone remembers why they are there. It has not been a good couple of years in Brick Twp. with the school district. Considering everything that happened with the Superintendent that they hired. And not being able to agree on another board member. It would be nice to see people get elected who will vote on their own and not be affiliated with anyone. I don’t want to see people get elected that have been on the board that had anything to do with what has happened in the last 6 mos.

      • KMC – Karyn Cusanelli was not on the board when Uszenski was hired.

      • KMC

        Good to know. But I still want people elected who are independent of who is already on the board. That seems to be the reason we are short one board member.

      • Michael

        We watch the meetings and attend meetings when we can. Ms Cusanelli is one of the finest members of the board. She doesn’t seem to be a political puppet by any means. She truly wants what’s best for our kids and the school system.

      • scottsman

        I agree Michael, as does Mrs. Cantillo. I think these two board members have maintained their poise on some pretty heated nights at the BOE meetings lately. It’s easy to spot the puppets at the meetings and I know they not Mrs. Cusanelli or Mrs. Cantillo.

      • scottsman

        KMC – did you know a search firm was used for the hiring of the superintendent? Another 5 people were on the board at the time and a unanimous vote was made. Why blame anyone now? How could they have known what was to happen? Mrs. Cusanelli seems to be a concerned board member that votes fairly on all issues I’ve watched. I think the same can be said for Mrs. Cantillo. You seem to have a personal issue with these women. You sound a little bitter, or should I say bias?

  • Frank Rizzo

    She has my vote…maybe more people will come out to the meetings if she rocks a mini skirt and some heels.

    • joseph jr

      know where your mind is?

  • JJones

    Isnt she related to owner of Pine Belt dealers..???

    • jo jo ormaz

      [ we’ve heard that also?? ] It’s all about marketing, funny how someone who’s on TV all the time would be the one for “name recognition ” – it’s known as “strategy ” – lol
      Hey now, there’s a concept – there are 18 other car dealers near by; perhaps they will reach out to all the candidates for a “Marketing Ad- spot until Nov ?” could you imagine what that would be like.? Wait – I just can’t, but wait, I can see it happening. [ I’m sure the dealerships phones are ringing for a marketing gimmick “].
      Speaking of Lonely Housewives of NJ:
      I’m sure that Bobby Ciasulli is already scouting out who he want’s to be his spokes person for Honda or Toyota.. ! Those dealerships will do anything for advertisement and sometimes so would the spokesperson.”

  • BillyBrick

    So a pin up girl from a Chevy, Alana High heels, and a pin up girl salesman from Ebay, David Fischer. Who is doing the background checks on these two? I hear the background check business is a hot commodity in Brick these days. These two should produce some headlines!!

  • Deborah Butters Cogill

    She’s annoying; forget my vote!!