HOBOKEN MATTERS: Board of Education Candidate John Madigan

It is election season again and there are several seats up for grabs in Hoboken's Board of Education. These individuals play a crucial role in the growth and success of our school system and as a thriving and growing school district, this election is a very important one!

To gain a better understanding of the candidates, LH contacted each one and sent the exact same questions. The responses are 100% unedited & unchanged in any way. Ailene McGuirk and Patricia Waiters are running as independents, while Tom Kluepfel, John Madigan and Malani Cademartori are running as a slate.

Please note: Candidate Patricia Waiters declined to participate despite several attempts.

Order of listing does not reflect any endorsement or preference.

This is a non-sponsored post, and serves informational purposes only.

For more information on any candidate or slate, please click the top photo to visit their

website and/or FB pages. To read responses from another candidate, please click on

their photo at the bottom of this post.

Election Day is TUESDAY NOV 6th



How long have you lived in Hoboken, and do you have children in the Hoboken Public School system?

I’ve lived in Hoboken my whole life and I graduated from Hoboken High School.

Our two sons are in college now, but they went to Hoboken public schools up to the 8th grade.

Hoboken Public schools are a controversial topic, with many transient Hoboken residents citing the schools as reason for moving to suburbia. What do you think is the biggest misconception about our schools, and what would you like the community to know?

Our public schools provide extraordinary opportunities — not only innovate academic programs, but arts, sports, afterschool enrichment, counselling. And students do excel.

What motivates you to become a member of the BOE, and what is your experience in public education?

I want to see community pride restored in our public school system. My experience: I graduated from Hoboken High School, I’ve been a public school parent, and I’ve been on the BOE since January 2016.

As a member of the BOE, do you see yourself as a representative of the community or of the school system? What does that mean to you?

The board is elected by the community to oversee the school system, so we represent the community’s goals for the district.

What do you think is the school system's greatest challenges right now, and what are your plans to address this?

Even though many students excel, we need to continue to help our at-risk students achieve more. I will continue to support the administration’s programs that focus on those kids.

One of the most common comments/questions we hear about the school district is, "The elementary schools have improved, but I don't know if I want my child staying in the public district for middle or high school." What is your response to this?

I used to think like that, too, mostly because you hear things from people who don’t really know the schools but who spread old rumors. I would tell people to do what I did … get involved and learn the truth.

What is your view of the relationship between the BOE and the superintendent of schools? What is your ideal relationship between the two offices, and how will you work to achieve that?

I've learned at the School Board workshops that the most important job of the board is to hire the superintendent. And then to not only support the superintendent, but to pay attention, ask questions, and make sure the district is achieving the goals we set.

If a parent, teacher, principal or even a student comes to you with an issue, suggestion or complaint, what do you see as your role in addressing this?

That’s something else board members learn -- that we can’t interfere with the adminsitration of the schools. We can’t get between parents and teachers, or teachers and principals. We have to refer problems and complaints that come to us to the superintendent. That's not my opinion, that's just board policy and correct procedure.

What is your philosophy of special education and how will you support the needs of special needs children?

As board members, we don’t pick and choose between kids. Every kid should get what they need to succeed.

Let's end on a fun note- when you aren't campaigning and have some down time, where do you like to go in Hoboken?

I have fun umpiring Little League games and reffing recreational basketball games.


Read responses from other BOE candidates

Please Note: Patricia Waiters declined to participate in this questionnaire