Three seats open on Eatontown school board

By Sherry conohan
Staff Writer

By Sherry conohan
Staff Writer

EATONTOWN — The candidates running for the Board of Education presented their credentials and views at a candidates forum Monday night.

Five candidates, including three incumbents, are vying for three seats with three-year terms on the board.

Charles H. "Skip" Fisher, 13 Old Queens Court, is one of the incumbents and a former board president. Fisher has served on the board for nine years and is seeking his fourth term. He said he has two children who have attended Eatontown schools and he couldn’t be more pleased with their education.

"I voice my concerns. I fight for what I believe in," he said of his approach to the board, noting his positions have not always been agreed with by the public or other board members. "If elected, I’m committed to the same basic principles."

Fisher, who is employed as an executive at Kappa Graphics, said he doesn’t want to see programs cut or class sizes increased as pressure on the budget grows.

"I know money is tight, but it’s been tight before and we’ve always managed to get by without cutting programs or increasing class sizes," he said.

Kevin Gonzalez, of 4 Surrey Lane, is an incumbent. He was first elected to the board three years ago and said he ran for election then because he was opposed to a reorganization of the school system that was under consideration. He is now seeking his second term. He said he has two children, ages 4 and 2, with the oldest ready to start school next year.

Gonzalez said one of the things that attracted him to Eatontown was the school system. He said he believes he represents the demographic of people who move to Eatontown for the schools and who stay rather than move on. He said he’s dedicated to the children in the community.

Since taking his seat on the board, Gonzalez, who works as a physical therapist for HealthSouth, said his experience has included participating in contract negotiations and seeing test scores improve.

"I’m not vocal, but I do my homework and vote my conscience," he said.

Tom Smock, 306 Broad St., an incumbent, has been a member of the board for 14 years on and off, filling both full three-year terms and some unexpired terms. He said he has three children, all of whom went through the Eatontown school sys­tem.

Smock is a lifelong resident of the borough and a graduate of the school sys­tem. He runs a carpentry business.

Fred Naimoli, 37 Sherwood Drive, said he has three daughters who graduated from the Eatontown schools. Two are accoun­tants and one is a Web page designer. He attributed their success to the sound foun­dation they received while in school in Eatontown.

Naimoli has been a member of the board for nine of the past 12 years. He works as a senior manager with the Internal Revenue Service, with a nation­wide territory.

Dora Marcouiller, 469 Wall St., is a newcomer to the race. She has four chil­dren, two in the school system.

Marcouiller, the sister-in-law of board President Mark Van Wagner, said she has owned her own catering business for 20 years.

She noted the district will have a new superintendent coming in this summer who will have new ideas, and said, if elected, she would look forward to working with the new schools chief. She said her con­cerns are taxes and possible cuts in school programs.