The Forward Together Hoboken Board of Education slate’s meet and greet at Ganache Café saw Mayor Dawn Zimmer and seven city council members join the crowd of supporters.
Irene Sobolov, a current board member seeking re-election, told Hudson County View she is looking forward to a third term.
“Back then the issues were very, very different. We were up against corruption, illegal contracts, multiple audit violations and we all worked through that together and now it’s so exciting because all of that time and energy that went into fixing that is now going towards focus to the classrooms,” she recalled.
Sobolov was also proud to mention the new programs in the district that were implemented by the board and Hoboken Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Johnson.
She spoke of the nationally recognized STEM program, known as Project Lead The Way and the universal aftercare program where children receive a free dinner.
Jennifer Evan, the current Hoboken BOE vice president also seeking re-election, gushed about the new programs added to the school district as well, praising the efforts of the board and referred to this election as a “continuum of progress.”
“I proudly served the past three years. I’m really proud of the things we accomplished in terms of adding more programs for the kids so that they are happy in school, so that they have tools they need to be successful.”
Evans elaborated by using the Response to Intervention program as an example. At first , the program was only available with Reading as the subject to First graders. Now the program includes math and is open to other grades.
Completing the Forward together slate is Sheillah Dallara, a mother of two children who attend Wallace Elementary School.
Dallara is known for being active at Wallace PTO meetings, volunteering her time at school charity fundraisers and has worked closely with Dr. Johnson mainly due to her concerns for her autistic son.
“I feel like we need a voice for parents with special needs students and families to represent them on the board.”
If elected Dallara would like to provide help educate and promote the special needs program to especially to parents who have special needs children but don’t really understand what the program is all about.
Dallara has also been providing mediation and well being workshops to special needs children and would like to see “wholesomeness education to all the schools.”
Also in attendance were Hoboken City Council President Jennifer Giattino, 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco and Councilmen-at-Large Ravi Bhalla, David Mello, James Doyle.
2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher was the one who recommended Ganache Café to Forward Together, the same cafe she had her kickoff campaign launch in 2015, an election she won convincingly.
“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of progress in the Hoboken schools over the last several years. We’ve seen this great transition with the existing school board and Irene and Jen has really been a part of that,” explained Fisher.
Fisher concluded that she is supporting Dallara because “what I look for in a candidate is someone who is committed to our schools and not just saying they want to be involved in our schools and in our community, but really have demonstrated by being involved.”
The Hoboken BOE election is on November 8 and six candidates are seeking three, three-year terms. Parents United, the team opposing Forward Together, hosted a meet and greet on Tuesday.