“As a parent with kids in the system, it’s just something that we want to be involved in,” Jeof Vita commented on his reason to run his write-in campaign for the Board Of Education (BOE), “We attend the PTA meetings but this is an opportunity to do a little bit more.”
Jeof was notified earlier this year by one of his neighbors, Scott Bruckenstein, who was already on the ballot for a BOE seat, that there was still a vacant spot and it was then he knew he wanted to get involved more in the community. Currently Scott Bruceknstein, James Damm, and Troy Gerten are all running for a three-year term, which leaves one (1) seat open to fulfill a two-year term left vacant by the resignation of Jason Tribiano last year.
“Where ever we live we kind of like to be involved in the town and the community and this was a chance to do a little bit more so if I can get in there and I can contribute something positive I’m all for it,” Jeof explained during a phone conversation, “I just want to do some good stuff for the community that is now my home.”
Jeof grew up in Newark and lived in Jersey City after college before moving to Roselle Park. He said, “I was a city boy through and through which is why the whole idea of being involved in a community where you actually know everybody you’re dealing with is appealing.”
Having lived in Roselle Park with Misty, his wife, and their three daughters now for almost seven (7) years, Jeof is using social media like Facebook as well as going door-to-door and attending various PTA meetings, to get the word out that he wants to join the BOE. Working for John Wiley & Sons, a book publisher, Jeof uses technology in his division that deals with the higher education market. As Art Director for the Marketing and Advertising, he oversee the graphic design of print, video and online media to support the production of print textbooks, digital e-texts, online homework assessment tools and custom learning solutions for the Global Education division. If elected to the Board, Jeof feels his background with technology could be put to best use on the BOE’s technology committee. He stated, “At the very least, to be able to contribute to the different trends that are going on in the field currently. Other than that, just being involved in any committee and any process to do things that will better the school and find the right people for the right job. At the end of it all, whatever needs to be done I’m totally willing to do.”
Jeof understands that it will be an important time to be in the Board with teacher negotiations currently ongoing and the search for a new superintendent and principal will start soon.
“I’m not into being a talking head and not doing anything, ” he commented regarding the immediate future of the school district, “If I’m going to be involved in something I want to get my hands into it.”
As the conversation was coming to a close, Jeof was asked why he wanted to be on the Board. He reiterated that his children will be in the school system for years to come and that he wants to become more involved in the community. He added an incident that he and his family went through that embodied his feelings.
Earlier in the year, the Vita family cat went missing. The family put up posters asking for help and received numerous phone calls of cat sightings. One particular call came from some high school girls saying they found their cat. The high schoolers said they would wait and keep an eye on the cat until Jeof would get there. He packed the whole family into their van and rushed over. Jeof went to get the cat but had realized it was not their cat. He then noticed one of the girls put her hand up to her mouth as she started to break down tearing because she was so upset.
“It was so heart-warming,” Jeof recounted, “Just having her feel for us so much just reinforced the idea that this community was going to be here for us so it really made me want to be here for my community. This was now going to be our home.”
Election day for the BOE is Tuesday, November 6th; the same as the general election. A copy of Jeof Vita’s flier can be viewed below.