Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. is the new deadline for filing for those who wish to be candidates in this November's election for three available positions on the Bernards Township Board of Education, with four candidates already filing by Tuesday morning.
Those who had filed as of Tuesday morning, according to the board office, included incumbents Robin McKeon, on the board since 2009, and Audrey Cohen Sherwyn, seeking to be re-elected to another three-year term.
The other two candidates who already had filed paperwork seeking to be included on the November ballot for the school election include Bev Darvin Cwerner, a former board member, and Louis D'Autorio, a longtime resident and 1995 graduate of Ridge High School who said he is making his first try at being elected to the board.
Both Cwerner and D'Autorio also are applying to fill a vacant position on the board that will last until the end of 2012. That vacancy was created by the resignation of Board Member Susan Carlsson on May 21, who said she had expected to end her second term on the school board in April.
However, since school elections for board members has now been moved to the November general election, Carlsson's term would have been extended until Dec. 31, as has McKeon's and Sherwyn's.
Board members are scheduled to interview D'Autorio and Cwerner at the June 11 board meeting, the board's business office said after the deadline for applying for the vacancy passed late in April. "It is the intent of the board to make a final selection on June 11 after the interviews; the successful candidate would be sworn in immediately," the township school district's website said then.
Both Cwerner and D'Autorio confirmed they would seek election in November, no matter who is chosen to fill the remainder of Carlsson's term for six and a half months.
D'Autorio, a member of the Basking Ridge Fire Co. for 15 years, said he has lived in Basking Ridge for most of the past 25 years. He is a 1995 graduate of Ridge, and said he is married but has no children in the school system.
He said he and his wife, who grew up in Basking Ridge, "love the community." He said he feels the school district's costs have grown out of control and he wants to make the township more affordable for those who want to live here even if they don't have children in the school system.
D'Autorio said he is owner of Regal Dry Cleaners in Long Hill Township, and also runs a delivery service.
"I am a firm believer that everyone should volunteer and be a part of the community," he added.
She said she has lived in town for 17 years, and she and her husband have two children in the school system. She has a degree in education, formerly taught kindergarten and a Masters Degree in business administration.
She said she served as one of the William Annin Middle School representatives on the District Curriculum Committee this past year.
On Sunday, she said she is seeking to be elected again to the board because, "I feel it's a critical transition time for our district, with our two top administrators changing, and I feel it's in the best interests of our schools and students to have someone who does not need much time to ramp up, and who can hit the ground running...and ensure a smooth transition of leadership."