North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco is endorsing three candidates for the April 21 Board of Education election: including incumbent Ruth Shaw and newcomers Sam Jaafar and Claudia Rodriguez.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“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,” Sacco said in a statement. “I am proud to support Ruth, Sam and Claudia and look forward to working with them.”
Shaw has served on the Board of Education for the past nine years and will be running for her fourth term. A lifelong North Bergen resident and a former PTA member, she works at the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority.
Additionally, Ruth and her husband John Shaw, North Bergen’s Department of Public Works 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 also 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.
As for Rodriguez, she works as a legislative aide to Sacco in the Senate, assisting him with research and drafting of legislation, as well as handling constituent services.
She has been a North Bergen resident for over 20 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 places of Board of Education President Julio Marenco – who is not seeking re-election and is running on Sacco’s municipal election team – and longtime trustee Maurena Luzzi who is retiring from elected office.