Mayor Nick Sacco is announcing his support for the "Our Children First 2015" ticket for the upcoming North Bergen Board of Education Election, featuring longtime Board Trustee Ruth Shaw and newcomers Sam Jaafar and Claudia Rodriguez. Shaw, Jaafar and Rodriguez will be running in the April 21 School Board election in ballot positions 4, 9 and 11. The ticket includes two women and the first Arab-American candidate for local office.
"This School Board ticket represents the diversity that makes North Bergen such a dynamic place and it features three candidates with strong ties to our community who care deeply about public education," said Mayor Sacco. "I am proud to support Ruth, Sam and Claudia and look forward to working with them."
Ruth Shaw has served on the Board of Education for the past nine years and will be running for her fourth term. She is a lifelong North Bergen resident and a former PTA member and she works at the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority. Ruth and her husband John Shaw, North Bergen's DPW Superintendent, have two children who attended North Bergen schools and graduated from North Bergen High School. Sam Jaafar is a Supply Chain Manager at a large engineering firm and will bring a strong background in management to the board. He has lived in North Bergen for over 15 years and has three young children in township schools. If elected, Jaafar would become the first Arab-American elected official in township history. Claudia Rodriguez works as a legislative aide to Senator Sacco, assisting him with research and drafting of legislation and handling constituent services. She has been a North Bergen resident for over twenty years with two children who graduated from North Bergen High School and four granddaughters, one of whom is a Pre-K student and all live in the township.
Jaafar and Rodriguez are running in the place of Board of Education President Julio Marenco, who is not seeking re-election and is running on the Sacco Team for the Township Commission, and longtime trustee Maurena Luzzi who is retiring from elected office.