Running for the Third Time, Jean Marie Mitchell Says This Year's 'Ticket is Strong'

School board elections will take place on November 6.

For the third year in a row, Jean Marie Mitchell is running for school board.

“I am dedicated to be on this board,” Mitchell, 50, said. “I am dedicated to the school district.”

While Mitchell ran and lost last year, she already served a year on the board during the 2010-2011 school year.

As the mother of a sophomore at Hoboken High School, Mitchell said she wants to make move the district forward and make more people aware of the Hoboken High School, which she calls “Hoboken’s best kept secret.”

Mitchell’s son has been in the Hoboken public schools since Kindergarten, she said.

The Kids First ticket of which Mitchell is part, recently underwent some changes. Sitting board member Theresa Minutillo announced that she wouldn’t be running for re-election. Tom Kluepfel—one of the founders of the Elysian Charter School—then joined Kids First. Also running with Mitchell this year is sitting board member Ruth McAllister.

Running against Kids First, is a three-member ticket that calls itself Move Hoboken Forward.

The candidates that make up Kids First, Mitchell said, is “strong” this year. Last year, Mitchell ran with Cliff Godfrey and Steve Feinstein. All three candidates lost in 2011.

“That ticket,” Mitchell said, “wasn’t as strong as this ticket, I’d say.”

This is also the first time that the school board elections are being held in November. Candidates have been seen campaigning and registering people to vote.

Mitchell, who has lived in Hoboken for more than a decade, attends the monthly council meetings and takes pride in the fact that her attendance record is clean. In fact, it’s one of the things she is disappointed with about some of the current board members.

“I am frustrated and disillusioned,” she said about some board members, without naming any names. “They don’t even attend committee meetings.”

On Mitchell’s to-do list are tasks such as “improving the reputation or the image of the district and of course improving scores.” Also important, Mitchell said, is to get more parents involved. “I find that the more involved the parent is,” she said, “the more successful the child can be.” 

While Kids First currently holds a five-vote majority on the school board, Mitchell said it’s not enough.

The school board has been under some criticism lately with a disappointing ranking in New Jersey Monthly and a slow increase in test scores. Superintendent of Schools Mark Toback, meanwhile, has said that those numbers represent the school district of two years ago, rather than today’s situation.

About Toback, Mitchell had no criticism whatsoever. , said that she is “thrilled with his performance.”

While the Hoboken Board of Education is an unpaid position, Mitchell—who works full time as a information technology manager during the day—said it has “kind of become my life.”

“I’m a single parent,” Mitchell said. “I am serious about this. I don’t want to just talk about this. I want to be able to get back on the dais and serve again.”

Stay tuned to Patch for interviews with all the school board candidates.

Sting Ray October 14, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Passkey, what, your cell phone contract ran out? Need another cell phone? Hungry for a steak dinner? Yeah, we know, you want your free stuff back. Take another spin.
Redwing forever October 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Jean what would you do if a teacher checked in and for 72 days did not show up for class to teach. would you give them a coaching job or get rid of them? show us tonight go talk about this problem and i will support you !!!!!!!
Passkey October 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM
In September 2010, then Board Member Mitchell told the public in a "welcome back to school letter" in the Hoboken Reporter, "The High School will be offering Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which parents were requesting for years."-- as many high school parents came to realize, AP was NOT ready to go in 2010-2011 and it was over a year before AP classes began in HHS. She also claimed "enrollment has increased throughout the district"-- another "error as district enrollment is down. Finally, she also said, "Mr. Joy, the interim principal for Hoboken High School has returned. He has made outstanding improvements to the educational programs and facility in his short time with us." - we now know his "outstanding improvements" included having the 3rd lowest graduation rate in Hudson County, a high school that failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress for his 2 years there (first time ever), and the precipitous drop in NJ Monthly rankings which is well documented. Jean Marie has proven she is either ill informed or she will say what she has to so she can be part of the team. She is not credible. http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/9480196/article-A-back-to-school-welcome-to-all?instance=secondary_stories_left_column
Facts Alone October 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I bet even Cliff Godfrey and Steve Feinstein won't vote for this broad after the way she trashes them in this story. Maybe those two will chip in to buy her a copy of Dale Carnegie.
lorraine morgan October 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM
oh my,you could very well be correct about this. There seems to be a big push to vote for tom K. Remember that early on , Tom was running independently and probably has his own loyal voter base, who may bullet vote to make sure he gets elected. This is a very likely scenario. This election is going to be about Every Man or Woman for Themselves and well they can endear themselves to the voters.


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