After only two candidates made a public presentation in front of the Jersey City Board of Education last night, Lekendrick Shaw was appointed to serve as a trustee and later confirmed he’ll be running with “Education Matters” team in the fall.
Shaw, an aide to Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey and Tara Stafford, the daughter of late Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Epps who is also seeking a three-year term in November, were the only two candidates who asked the board to consider them at last night’s caucus meeting.
John Hanussak had also submitted his name for consideration, but did not attend the hearing.
Ultimately, Shaw got the nod by a vote of 5-3, with Trustees Lorenzo Richardson, Joan Terrell-Paige and Gevonder Dupree voting no.
“Lekendrick has always served his community and as an entrepreneur his business background will be an asset to the Board of Education,” Prinz-Arey told HCV.
Given that Shaw was nominated by Trustee Gina Verdibello, who is seeking a one-year term in November, we asked him if he plans on running with her on the Education Matters ticket, which is backed by the Jersey City Education Association.
“It’s a great slate, I really believe in the work they’re doing. I look forward to working with the Education Matters team, I’ll be working very closely with them,” Shaw confirmed.
” … I want to thank individually all the board members who expressed their confidence in me, and I look forward to working will all board members despite those who didn’t cast their confidence tonight, I’m sure that I can be able to develop a rapport and a relationship and ultimately as they get to know me and I get to know them we can build some consensus.”
He added that the big difference between his skill set and Schapiro’s is that he won’t court controversy while serving on the board.
We then asked BOE President Sudhan Thomas if Shaw has some big shoes to fill in light of Schapiro’s departure, a harsh critic of the board president, until at least the November 5 election.
“In my experience each board member comes in with their own unique disposition .. It’s going to be interesting to see how Shaw, with his public life background, we’re obviously excited about this unique opportunity, and we’re looking forward to having him,” Sudhan said.
“In the experience I’ve had, you can actually compare apples to apples because each board member brings in their own value. And [despite] all the jokes about Matt Schapiro, he brought in his own unique disposition to the board, and today we have a replacement and we’ll see how it goes.”
The process to fill former Schapiro’s vacant seat had been anything but easy up to this point.
He submitted his resignation to the board’s business administrator Regina Robinson on May 31st with the explicit direction that his seat be placed on the ballot this year, but nevertheless, his replacement wasn’t initially going to be selected by voters on November 5th.
However, Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso changed that and additional candidates seeking a one-year term on the Jersey City BOE have until September 3rd to submit their petitions for nomination.
Hudson County Supervisor of Elections Hilda Rosario confirmed this morning that the only new candidate that has submitted their petitions since the aforementioned August 9th court hearing is Sonia Cintron.
We live streamed the board’s nomination and swearing-in of Shaw to our Facebook Page, which can viewed below: