MANVILLE: Husband to succeed wife on school board

By Mary Ellen Day, Special to the News
   One school board member will likely be succeeded by her husband, as a result of Tuesday’s filings for the Board of Education.
   Three seats are up for election in November, and only three people filed.
   Incumbent Kelly Harabin will serve her second term while Sharon Lukac and Arthur Thomas Cornelson will have their first.
   Current members Trish Rodzinak and Stephanie Cornelson chose not to run again.
   ”I have enjoyed my first term and I feel we have a great team in place,” said Ms. Harabin. “We have accomplished some great things in the past few years but we are not done yet. I believe that I am open-minded, a hard worker and I am dedicated to studying any of the issues facing our district. I believe every child should have a voice. My hope is that we can help each child to be successful and to reach their full potential.”
   Ms. Harabin is a Manville High School and Fairleigh Dickinson University graduate and is employed by the Manville Credit Union. Her involvement in other organizations include being a past treasurer of the Roosevelt PTA and the current high school PTSA treasurer; the Manville Municipal Alliance; a Girl Scout co-leader, and fund raising for Special Olympics.
   Ms. Lukac has run for the school board before but this time will be able to serve.
   ”I believe that serving as a school board member is one of the most important responsibilities a citizen can undertake,” she said. “I would like to contribute my time and effort and work as a team with my fellow school board members to continue improving Manville’s schools for our community’s children.
   ” My biggest goal is to contribute in any way I can to continue improving our schools effectively, and at the same time reaching that goal wisely to ensure taxes stay stabilized in the current economic situation,” she said. “I plan to work as a team member with fellow board members to ensure all of Manville’s children are provided a quality education, and establishing educational goals to help shape the future of our community and society.”
   Ms. Lukac and husband Joe have three children, ages 18, 15, and 12, who are all in Manville schools. She has held offices in the PTA and volunteered over the years for many events benefiting children and the community.
   First-time candidate Mr. Cornelson, husband of current school board member Stephanie, said he wanted to run.
   ”My wife elected not to run again in order to focus on her new duties as recreation director,” he said. “I chose to run to continue the efforts she and the other members of the BOE have established.
   ”I believe education is one of the cornerstones of life,” he said. “We continue to raise the bar for our children and that requires people who are committed to excellence in our schools. I see the path (Superintendent Johanna) Dr. Ruberto and the current BOE established to move our schools forward I support and want to continue those efforts. I want to be part of making our community a stronger place and that begins with our school system and kids,” he said.
   Mr. Cornelson said, “I am a stakeholder in the efforts and results of our schools and this is the best way to help see a return on my ‘investment.’ Our schools, provide a cornerstone for our children and our community and I believe that quality public education is a result of hard work from our students, teachers, administrators and board members. My goal is to be active participant in achieving great results for all parties involved.”
   He has been involved in the community since 2003 as a baseball and football coach for Manville Youth Athletic League. Mr. Cornelson has also been a soccer coach for Manville Recreation over the last 10 years.
   He has a degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and received his MBA from New York University. Mr. Cornelson is the VP of operations at Cyalume Specialty Products.