Four Candidates Will Run For Seats On Cranford Board of Education

Caren Lissner

CRANFORD, NJ — This is going to be a school year like none other, and each town's board of education will have a lot of big decisions to make when it comes to education and coronavirus precautions.

Monday was the deadline to file to run for seats on elected school boards in New Jersey.

According to the Union County clerk's office, four people are vying for three-year seats on the Cranford Board of Education. They are:

  • Lisa A. Carbone
  • Kristen Mallon
  • Kurt Petschow
  • Francis N. Riccio III

Last year, six people ran for three seats.

The election will be held Nov. 3.

New Cranford supervisor of fine and performing arts

In other district news, on Tuesday, the Cranford Board of Education announced Zakiya Atkinson as the new supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts. Ms. Atkinson was selected after a search process and interviews.

Atkinson began her career in K-12 education as a dance teacher and dance program director in the Performing Arts Academy at Memorial High School in West New York. During those 10 years, she served as a district Performing Arts Facilitator, developed curricula, participated in county and state arts initiatives, directed performances, facilitated social justice education, and collaborated with district leaders and staff on performing arts and STEAM programming.

Atkinson earned her MA in Dance Education from New York University, BA in Communications & Theatre from Temple University, and a Certificate in Holocaust & Genocide Education from Saint Elizabeth University.

She is the founder of Zaman Dance Theatre Collective and the Essex County Metro West Dance Festival.

Atkinson has served on the faculties at William Paterson University, New York University, and Bronx Community College. She has also been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Education Association, Bates Dance Festival, the Body Politic Laboratory at Gibney (NYC), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ms. Zakiya Atkinson is a doctoral student and an Arnhold Fellowship recipient in the Dance Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University.

According to a school release: "Zakiya Atkinson is excited to be named the new fine and performing arts supervisor for the Cranford Public School District. She is eager to collaborate with staff, students, parents, and community members to continue the cultivation of artistic literacy in the district."

Other school updates

In other school news:

  • After announcing preliminary plans last week to reopen the Cranford schools with coronavirus restrictions on Sept. 8, Cranford Superintendent of Schools Scott Rubin gave updates Thursday in response to a parent survey of the plans. A final plan will be released July 31.
  • In the currently proposed plan in Cranford, elementary students will go to school every weekday, with single-session days and no lunch. Middle school students will attend every other day, and high school students will go two to three days per week, alternating. Remote learning sessions will fill in the gaps.

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This article originally appeared on the Cranford Patch

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