Who Will Run for the Board of Education This Year? It Could be You.


The Clifton Board of Education is responsible for setting the policies, goals, and objectives for the school district. It represents the needs of the community to Administration, and communicates the needs of the district to the community. It also, and importantly, holds the superintendent responsible for implementing those policies and ensuring that the goals are reached. The superintendent is selected and hired by the school board and as the chief executive, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the district. School board members are residents of the community - they are laypeople who are invested in ensuring that our schools are strong. They are your neighbors, friends, local business owners, and often, parents. Board commissioners are in non-partisan positions and all are volunteers who receive no pay or other compensation for fulfilling their duties.

Potential candidates might wonder, “What sort of time commitment is involved in being a board member?” Public meetings happen once or twice a month, depending on the month. Some of those meetings are fairly short and finish by 9:00 (they start at 7 pm). Some, however, are much longer and can last until 10:30 or later. It all depends on how many presentations are scheduled, how many members of the public show up to speak, and how much business the BOE needs to discuss. Additionally, board commissioners serve on several committees, which meet separately. A commissioner can expect to attend several of these committee meetings per month. There are also quarterly county and state-level meetings. Commissioner Alan Paris said that he typically spends anywhere from 14-25 hours a month on BOE business, including meetings and the preparation time for each, school functions, and training sessions. “There is some activity virtually every week with the exception of school holidays,” he said.

Commissioner Richie Mejia said that the position is time-consuming but that with proper planning, it’s all quite doable, even with a busy professional schedule. “The decisions one makes as a commissioner have the power to change our future generations. It’s not an easy thing but with the right mindset I encourage those to run!” Mejia said.

Our BOE consists of nine seats, each with a three-year term (except in the case of someone taking over an unexpected vacancy). Three commissioners’ seats will be up at the end of the year - Fahim Abedrabbo, Feras Awwad, and Jim Smith. All three have confirmed that they intend to run for reelection in November. Other possible candidates are not yet known but The Clifton Times will report on them once the July 31st petition deadline has passed.

Click HERE for the candidates’ kit if you are interested in running for a seat. All you need is to be a US citizen, a Clifton resident, and to gather ten signatures from registered Clifton voters.

Important dates:

Monday, July 31, 2023 – Nominating Petitions Due to County Clerk’s Office

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023 – Election Day

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