New Sparta BOE Members Plan to Involve Community More
Three newcomers defeat school board incumbents in Tuesday's election.
After three newcomers defeated Sparta Board of Education President Keith Smith, Vice President Dorothy La Beau and board member Isa Wolf in Tuesday's election, the newly-elected members are already planning where they want to see the district improve.
John Surdoval, who braved the storm last week and stood outside campaigning, said he believes three things are most important for the school district.
"I think to improve the academic performance for all the children, having honest and transparent budgets to the community, and really involving the community a lot more," he said.
Surdoval, who has two children ages 6 and 7 in the district, said he would like to involve the community more by giving them opportunities to voice their opinions.
He said having workshops as a second meeting per month is one alternative he has thought about.
Surdoval, who works full time at a restructuring firm and has lived in the township for four years, said he was "honored that the people of Sparta chose to elect myself and my running mates."
Newly-elected member Karen Scott said she is "very excited" to join the board again. She had served one other term from 2007-10.
Scott, who has lived in the township for 42 years and has been a teacher for 44 years, believes the district should "focus on academics and academic integrity."
"Sparta used to be a phenomenal district, and we've fallen somewhat," she said. "I'm hoping that we can turn things around. We have wonderful students in Sparta and I think they deserve the best opportunity to achieve their potential."
The third member elected, Kim Yeomans, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Scott garnered the most votes on Tuesday with 4,515, according to unofficial results posted by the Sussex County Clerk. Yeomans received 3,853 and Surdoval received 3,641.