4 candidates seek seats on Board of Ed

All three incumbents seeking re-election

Staff Writer


Staff Writer

LONG BRANCH — Four residents, three of them incumbents, are running to fill three open, three-year terms on the city Board of Education.

Incumbent Avery Grant, 70, of 405 Atlantic Ave., is running to continue the improvements that are being made in the school system.

"The school improvements are going well," Grant said. "It [the work being done] is a blessing to both the children and their parents."

A retired electrical engineer and a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Army, Grant said that he will bring three unique talents to the board.

"I am very involved with the community, I have a very deep background in education and I am very politically involved with the city."

His running theme is, "With Avery, children are first."

Incumbent Armand R. Zambrano Jr., 53, of 117 Vanderbilt Ave., is running for his fourth term on the board.

"I enjoy the board because my professional experience brings many issues to the table," Zambrano said. "I want to continue with the program at Long Branch."

A science teacher at Bayshore Middle School in Middletown, Zambrano said he wants to continue improving the quality of the education program.

"The program has developed over the last nine years for children’s success and that is the key to the city’s future," Zambrano said. "I want to continue in the best interest of the children."

Incumbent Michelle Critelli, 49, of 510 Westwood Ave., is running again to provide quality education for all the students of Long Branch.

The high school guidance counselor in Monroe Township said that she has a lot to bring to the table because of her 25 years of experience working in the education field.

"I know a lot about the city because I have lived here my entire life and went through the city’s school system," Critelli said. "My three children are in the system now and I care deeply about all the children and what goes on in the system."

She has been active in the school system by sitting on the boards of her children’s schools’ PTOs.

"We [the board of education] have continued to work on staff development and the curriculum that I have been a part of for three years," she said.

Newcomer Kevin Cieri, 45, of 387 Brighton Ave., is running to offer voters an option outside of the returning candidates.

He is an information insurance manager at Fort Monmouth, where he has been for 17 years.

This is his first run for an elected office, although he has previous volunteer community service.

"Just like I am involved with my own kids education, I want to ensure the success of all of Long Branch’s kids," Cieri said. "I have some ideas as to what can make a district better than it is now."