Sharon Cantillo, a longtime members of the Brick Township Board of Education who has served multiple terms over the past decade, has announced she will not seek re-election to the seven-member panel.
In a prepared statement read from the dais at least Thursday’s meeting, Cantillo – one of three board members in the history of district to attain the state-ranked “Master Board Member” title – thanked the community but said she decided against seeking another term because her experience and opinions have not been valued since a new board majority, led by the Democrat-backed Clean Slate Team, took five of the seven board seats over the past two elections. Since the new majority took office, Cantillo has frequently said she has been left out of board e-mails and cannot garner information about items on meetings agendas. In many cases, she has abstained from voting on items because she said she was unable to research what she would have been voting on.
“I am disappointed that my training and experience was not valued as I thought it should be, and this board did not utilize it as I felt it should have,” Cantillo said. “I did not have the opportunity to serve the students of Brick the way I would have liked to, or did in the past for almost 9 years. It has been difficult to sit as President for eight years and be involved to the extent I was, to now, barely knowing what is going on before the public does.”
“My vision for the future of this district are obviously very different than those of my fellow board members,” she continued. “I do not believe partisan politics belong in our school district or its budget.”
While school boards are technically nonpartisan, it is common for candidates to be tacitly supported by political parties. Cantillo’s slate, which ran independently and contained both registered Republicans and Democrats, lost seats over the past three elections. Besides John Barton, who ran on his own for years before being elected in 2014, Cantillo remains the only board members who is not aligned with the Democratic party.
“While I am honored to have served our town as a board member for 9 years, I am not comfortable being identified with such a highly political board and therefore, look forward to volunteering my time and expertise to our wonderful school district as a private citizen,” Cantillo said