School Board Candidates: Build Your Team Now. File In Mid-July. Win On November 5.

Seth Grossman Will Give This Twenty Minute Seminar With Materials On Monday, May 13, 2024 at 6pm.  New Life Assembly Church, 5071 Fernwood Ave., Egg Harbor Twp, NJ  08234. Questions and Answers Afterwards.

We need more patriots with traditional, Bible-based Jewish and Christian values on our local public-school boards.

Our public schools must again teach traditional American values and critical thinking skills. Young Americans must be taught how to discern what is true and what is not. They must again be taught traditional American values of right and wrong.

Our children must again achieve academic excellence in reading, writing, mathematics, and science.

Our public schools must again be economical, efficient, and accountable to the home and business owners who pay for them.

We must also give taxpayer funding and support to those parents who educate their children at home or in schools that are not owned and run by the government.

America’s founding fathers including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin were educated this way.  So were most Americans until just about sixty years ago.

Traditional American values include The Ten Commandments and Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.  America was never perfect. However, when Americans embraced these values, we brought more wealth, opportunities, safety, peace and justice to more people than any other nation in world history.

The value of our “high trust society” was even recognized in Communist China.

Above Image:  In 2002, Zhao Xiao, shocked the Communist regime China with his research paper entitled Market Economies With Churches and Market Economies Without Churches

After years of research as a Communist atheist, Zhao Xiao concluded that Christianity made America a successful and prosperous country. He urged his nation’s leaders to embrace Christian values instead of Communist doctrines.

Zhao observed that most Christians do what was right in their everyday lives because they want to–not because government laws or police force them. Most nations, including non-Christian nations like Japan that embrace these values are known as “high trust societies”.  Most of them are prosperous, free and happy.

Until sixty years ago, most public schools in America taught those values and those skills.  Now, they don’t.

This is not the time to talk about why that happened. We are here to fix this problem.

Most public schools are run by school boards with nine elected members.  Candidates for these school boards must file petitions with their County Clerk by the last Monday in July (July 29 2024). Every November, the three candidates with the most votes are elected to three year terms.

Towns that share a Regional High School also elect one or more other school board members to run that school.

We need more patriots with Bible-based Jewish and Christian values on these boards.

Anyone who files a petition with ten signatures can be a candidate on the November ballot. However, this no achievement, except in the rare cases when there are no other candidates.

Most candidates who do nothing but get ten signatures on their nominating petition get a few votes, lose the election, and are never heard from them again.

Others spend lots of time and money on posters, handouts and Facebook pages. Most of them also lose.

Every now and then, a truly dedicated person will work hard, get lucky and win one of the nine seats on a school board.   Then he or she will spend many hours each week attending and preparing for school board meetings but will achieve very little.

That is because being a successful school board candidate requires planning, preparation, and being part of a team.

The first step is to decide whether you are qualified to be on a school board.  School Board members have enormous responsibility. Each year, they hire, fire, evaluate, promote and discipline dozens of employees. They budget, tax, borrow and spend millions of dollars.  Yet they receive zero compensation for this work and responsibility. This is crazy and designed to fail. However, it is deliberately designed to work that way.

Are you qualified?  The Old Testament of the Bible offers some guidance. Read Book of Exodus, Chapter 18, Verse 21.

Jethro advised Moses, his son-in-law, to choose people with these four qualities for public office:

1.           People of Accomplishment.  People who have been successful in other areas of life before being chosen to have power over others.

2.           People Who Fear God. That means people who will do the right thing, even when nobody is looking and they won’t get caught.

3.           People Who Speak The Truth

4.           People Who Are Not Hungry For Money

If you have these qualities, you can be a successful school Board member. Anyone with good character and ordinary intelligence can quickly learn the skills and information need to succeed in any public office.

The most important skill is to learn how to be part of a team. Politics is not like a horse race or a boxing match.  It is like football, baseball, or basketball.

No matter how smart or hardworking you are, your success or failure will depend on the team you are part of and how you work with it.

You need two teams.  First, you need a team to work with on your local school board.  You then need a second team to win the election.

1.           Stephen R. Covey wrote 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Habit #1 is “Begin with the end in mind”. Build your team on the School Board first.  Find out about the nine people already on the board.  Who are they?  Meet them.  Learn about them. Do any of them agree with you on most key issues?  Which three will be running for re-election this year?  Do you need to replace all three school board members running for re-election?  Can you run together with any of them as a team?  You need to know by the end of this month.  You should have your three member school board team together by the end of this month, by May 31.

2.           Once you have your three-member team, you must reach a general agreement of what your goals are and which issues are most important to you. You must also reach a general agreement of how much time and money each of you plan to spend on this project and what each of you expects of yourself and each other.

3.           You must agree on a three word slogan that will appear on the ballot under each of your names:  Hint: Each word should be chosen to win support from voters who don’t know you, and may not even agree with you on most issues.  Example: “Achievement, Excellence, Efficiency”.

4.           Once you build your three (or 4) member team of candidates, assemble your campaign team to win the election.

5.           The first people you should talk to are the political people of your town.  They are leaders of your local Democratic or Republican political clubs.  They are also the elected officials of your town, township, or county government.  Meet them and talk to them as soon as you decide to be a candidate.  Ask them for advice, and listen to what they say, whether or not you agree with them.  Keep in mind, however, that most Democratic Party leaders and officials have ties to the NJEA Teachers’ Union and probably oppose everything you want to do.

a.                       Then, find out roughly how many votes you need to win the election.  Look up how many votes were needed to win the last two elections.

i.      November 2023 Galloway Township:

·      Ebenezer Bilewu (Incumbent): 629

·      Ethel Hermenau: 722*

·      Virginia A. Larrea: 805*

·      Sherri Parmenter (Incumbent): 842*

·      Regional Board of Education Race (Unopposed):

·      Margaret Guenther: 1,072*

ii.      November 2023 Ocean City:

·               Jocelyn Palaganas: 1,685*

·               Corey Niemiec: 1,412* (Won with later mail-in votes)

·               Michael Allegretto: 1,985*

·               Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes (Incumbent): 1,005

·               Robin Shaffer (Incumbent): 1,416 (Lost by later mail-in votes)

·               Steve Flogaus: 1,122

·               Kevin Schaffer: 1,243

·               Write-In: 67

b.                       Think through how you are going to reach the voters you need to win.  Make a plan to reach the voters you need between now and November 5.

  1.                      Contact as many parents of students in your public schools as you can. Contact friends of your children and grandchildren.  Contact the leaders of parent associations and other school-related clubs.
  2.  Order and print a list of all voters in your district in two ways:

    i. Alphabetical with phone numbers

    ii.      By street address and neighborhood

    a.  Carefully look at the voter list.

i.      Which voters are friends or relatives?

ii.      Which voters are in your church or social group?

iii.      Which are Facebook friends?

iv.      Which voters are customers or owners of businesses you patronize.

v.      Get as many email addresses as you can.

 b.   Make sure you tell everyone you know to vote for you and all 3 (or 4) members of your team.

6.                       Use your nominating petition as a tool to build your team.

i.      Try to get the signatures of at least a third of the voters you need to win the election.

ii.      The law says you can get on the ballot if you get the signatures of ten voters on you nominating petition.

iii.      If you don’t have at least 100 signatures on your nominating petition by July 15, you may not be a serious candidate.

iv.      Have at least ten to twenty people out getting signatures for you.

v.      Pay attention to where you are getting your signatures, and where you are not getting them.  Once you are a candidate, make an extra effort to reach voters you did not reach during the petition campaign.

vi.      Personally thank every voter sho signs your petition, and every volunteer who helps you get signatures.

vii.      Pay attention to which of your volunteers do the work they promise to do, and which do not.

Above Image: School Board Petition Form from Atlantic County Clerk. Download and print the complete form from School-Board-Petition-2023.pdf (, Add your personal information to First Page.  Then make at least 10 copies of first three pages.  Each set will be a separate “book” of your petition to be circulated by a different person.  When you are ready to file your petition in July, you assemble these “books” and submit them as a single document.  The Clerk for each county in New Jersey has a similar website with the particular form for that county.

7.  Comply with NJ campaign finance laws as soon as you file your petition, or as soon as you or anyone else spends any money on your campaign. Go to NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission – Home for a general idea of what you need to do. Go to your local political club or elected officials and ask them for help.

8.                        Go to the County Clerk at least one week before petitions are due.  Make sure your nominating petitions meet all legal requirements and that you and your entire team will be on the November 5 ballot.

9.                       Prepare a proper bracketing form and letter.  Make sure you and your entire team will appear together on the ballot, and that your names will be “bracketed” together with the same three word slogan. This is one of the most important things you must do!

10..    Once you and your entire team are on the ballot, and bracketed as a team, prepare a plan on what to do during August, September, and October to get the votes you need to win.

11.           Watch the movie the Godfather, if you haven’t seen it in the past five years.  The former mayor of London once said that everything he learned about politics, he learned from watching the movie the Godfather.  Think things through before doing or saying anything important like Michael.  Don’t act on impulse or anger like “Sonny” (Santino).  Don’t let anyone outside the family know what your thinking.

12.           Go through your Facebook page and delete anything you would not want to say again now.

13.           Never have free, open, and careless conversations with reporters or opponents.  Anything and everything you say will be used against you.  If anyone from the media asks you a question, get their email address and respond to him or her by email. That way, you control your message and don’t get misquoted.

9.           Click image above or this link to visit the NJ School Board Association Website. Becoming a School Board Member: Candidate Kit – New Jersey School Boards Association (  Learn what you can from them. However, remember that they do not share our goals and are very happy with how our public schools are being run right now.

10.   Talk to people who have won elections before.

11.   Never say anything publicly until you first test it with several close friend or advisors.

12.   Dare To Struggle. Dare To Win.  If you and your team win, you get to the starting line.  The battle begins.  Congratulations.

13.   Have realistic expectations.  Much of your achievement will just be knowing what is going on in your public schools.

14.   Be prepared to run for higher office.  If you succeed as a school board candidate, you are more than qualified to hold almost any state, county or local public office. is a tax-exempt, non-political education organization of roughly 200 citizens who mostly live near Atlantic City, New Jersey.  We formed this group in 2003. We volunteer our time and money to maintain this website. We do our best to post accurate information. However, we admit we make mistakes from time to time.  If you see any mistakes or inaccurate, misleading, outdated, or incomplete information in this or any of our posts, please let us know. We will do our best to correct the problem as soon as possible. Please email us at or telephone (609) 927-7333.

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  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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