Day, Unis Win Board Of Education Election


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Jim Day
Jim Day

In an upset, challenger Jim Day ousted three-term Board of Education member Glenn Elliot in Tuesday’s election. Incumbent Michael Unis was elected to a third term.

The unofficial tallies were:
Jim Day: 1467
Judy DiNapoli: 840
Glenn Elliott: 991
Michael Unis: 1369

Turnout for the election–the first contested Board election in many years, was 41.1%, compared with was 21.2% for the Town Council election earlier this year. The total turnout in the 2012 presidential election, by comparison, was 65.7%, down more than 10 percentage points from the 2008 general election.

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Michael Unis
Michael Unis
Day, who moved to Verona 10 years ago, has served on Verona’s Public Safety Committee and coached youth baseball and soccer. He also helped to shape the Verona Board of Education’s new five-year plan as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for Finance. He campaigned on a four-part plan for the schools: increase efficiency in the school system, expand the curriculum, improve school buildings and maintain fiscal responsibility.

Unis was elected to his first term on the Board while he was still a college student. He taught in Newark under the “Teach for America” program and recently became the director of operations at a charter school there. He ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, improving education around the Common Core standards, and “school preservation”, which he intended to mean long-term financial planning and school safety.

Elliott was gracious in defeat, congratulating Day and Unis’ father at Town Hall, where the votes were counted. He had served three terms on the Board, and was a sitting member of the BOE’s Buildings & Grounds committee for most of that time.

DiNapoli polled the strongest in district five. She is a lifelong Verona resident, a graduate of Verona public schools and a former employee of the public school district. DiNapoli worked for the district for 35 years until she was laid off in 2011.

In separate action Tuesday night, the Board of Ed appointed former Board member Steve Spardel to fill the unexpired term of Dawn DuBois. The vote was three to one. Anthony Gardner and Donald Flood had also been nominated from the field of seven people who filed for the seat.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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