Ask your local candidate a question.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Frelinghuysen School Brings in New Faces to End the Old Year

It’s been quite a month for Frelinghuysen Township School.

The past two weeks have seen the musical production of Annie, a successful if very hot Field Day, and both the pre-K and sixth grade graduation.

On June 14th, the Frelinghuysen Board of Education passed two more milestones: the introduction of the new Chief School Administrator (CSA) and a new Board of Education member.

After a rigorous search, Frelinghuysen has found its new CSA: Jarlyn Veras. Veras has served as the Director of Curriculum Instruction and Student Services at North Haledon School District since December 2020.

Before that, she was the principal at Edgewater School District.

Veras has found a warm reception at Frelinghuysen. During her introduction, she mentioned her meeting with the PTO president, who remarked that Veras has “a warm vibe.” The comment resonated with Veras: “That really is who I am as a leader and just as a person,” she said.

Veras explained that she is a lifelong educator. “This is my life’s work,” she said. “I’ve been
doing it since I was very young… This is something I do from my heart. I care about the
children, I care about the staff, I care about the community.”

Veras ended her informal introduction with a declaration of excitement about the role and the opportunity to meet her new community.

There will be a more formal community Meet and Greet for Veras at the board’s next meeting on June 28th.

Next, the board moved to replace an empty chair in its roster. Two people had applied for the open role, though one withdrew, leaving one candidate: George Riedel.

In his interview before the board, Riedel explained that he and his family have lived in
Frelinghuysen for the past seven years after moving from Rockaway. His past community
involvement includes local political work as well as volunteering as a firefighter and a coach for his children’s soccer, T-ball, and baseball teams.

Riedel expressed a deep passion for imparting the values of character and integrity to his
children. He hoped that “being a member of this board and being able to utilize that character and integrity, to better the education of the kids in this community” would allow him to continue that path of service.

He also expressed interest in increasing transparency: “in order to better the transparency
between this board, the school system, and the parents and the community that are in it – that’s something I feel very strongly about and would be honored to be a part of,” he said.

After a brief executive session, the board voted to approve Riedel as the newest member of
Frelinghuysen’s Board of Education.

The meeting ended on a bittersweet note as board president Kim Neuffer read a proclamation honoring Kristen Keesser, the departing board member, for her “untiring efforts on behalf of the children of Frelinghuysen.” Keesser served on the board for 2.5 years in the curriculum and policy committee.

Chip O'Chang
Chip O'Chang, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Chip O'Chang is an educator, fiction writer, and lifelong resident of New Jersey. He has also written for My Life Publications and NJ Indy. He lives in the NJ Skylands with his partner, two cats, and and a bearded dragon.