The West Essex Board of Education has three open seats in this spring’s election. Dawn M. Smith will run unopposed for a three-year term representing the sending district of Roseland. Three candidates will vie for two Fairfield seats, that held by incumbent Frank Antonucci and the seat being vacated by Council President Phyllis Helmstetter. Anthony Rubinich and David Zaccaria are both first time candidates vying for the two seats representing the sending district of Fairfield.
Rubinich, 48, has lived in Fairfield for 12 years. He has three children who are all currently enrolled in West Essex schools.
Voters will go to the polls on Wednesday, April 27 for a chance to vote for Rubinich. The public will also vote on the district's proposed $34.5 million school budget.
Patch recently posed some questions to the candidate:
Please describe what qualifications you feel you have to serve on the school board. Why should a resident vote for you?
I am energetic, organized, and results-oriented, as well as a certified Project Management Professional, PMP, well-versed in managing large-scale technology projects with challenging cost, schedule, and performance requirements. I will leverage my skills to help ensure our education is delivered effectively, efficiently and economically. I personally benefitted from a high-quality education and want to ensure our children get the very best opportunity to do so as well, including both academically and culturally.
What do you think are the top three issues facing the district?
Budgetary constraints and cost pressures, lack of administrative stability, and the need to constantly balance short-term and long-term needs successfully without adversely impacting key stakeholders.
What do you think makes the district unique/special?
While comprised of four sending districts with varying backgrounds, priorities and resources, the district does a great job integrating the students.
Have you ever served on this or any other school board on the past? Please explain.
I have never served on any other school board before. However, I believe this affords me the opportunity to bring common sense approaches to solving problems based on my relevant work experience. I have also been active in our community over the years, including as a recreation coach and scout leader, a current member of the Township Environmental Commission and also as an activist for flood control reform. I have always demonstrated a strong commitment to getting things done and doing the right thing.
What is your current occupation?
I am a program manager in the aerospace and defense industry as well as a New Jersey-licensed Real Estate agent.
Please describe your previous work experience.
I have always worked in technology fields. Other than six months managing large-scale commercial software development projects, I have worked in the aerospace and defense industry.
Describe your education.
I graduated from Nutley High School; the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a bachelor's degree; and Montclair State College with an M.B.A.