Anton J. Massopust
Massopust graduated from Perth Amboy High School in 1958. He later earned a B.S. in Biology in 1962. Massopust worked as a biology teacher at Perth Amboy High School before his retirement. He has been active as a member of the Beautification Committee, Bicentennial Commission in 1976 and his current role as City Historian. Massopust and his wife, Marcella, have two adult children.
Massopust sought election to a full term on the board against eight other candidates in the November 5, 2013 general election.
|Perth Amboy Board of Education, At-large General election, 3-year term, 2013, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Israel Varela Incumbent||17.1%||1,741|
|Nonpartisan||Mark Carvajal Incumbent||11.4%||1,161|
|Nonpartisan||Anton J. Massopust Incumbent||10.7%||1,090|
|Nonpartisan||Benjamin L. Salerno||10.1%||1,026|
|Source: Middlesex County, "Election Results," November 12, 2013</ref>|
Massopust reported $5.00 in contributions and $5.00 in expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, which left his campaign with no cash on hand.
Massopust did not receive any endorsements in this election.
During a December 20, 2012 interview with the board for a vacant seat, Massopust explained his views on the major issues facing the district:
"Mr. Massopust stated that Charter Schools are not new - you had Catholic, Jewish, and Quakers running them forever. It's a place where kids want to go and make up their own rules. It's not the only way to work and they don't have the resources the public schools do. He was a teacher for 31 years; he had good students who went on to do many things. Everything a student needs is here if they are willing to take advantage of it. Charter Schools can't compete with what we have here."
Role of board members
"Mr. Massopust stated it's the eyes and ears of the community. Ensure that the child who enters the school system gets the best education that they can and make sure that it's done right. They should guide things, talk to teachers to see how they are doing and support them."
District's biggest challenges
"Mr. Massopust stated that he's taught all grades K through grade school. Kids having kids, the parents are not old enough to guide their kids correctly."
What was at stake?
Tense relationship with superintendent
The Board of Education and Superintendent Janine Caffrey have developed a contentious relationship over the past four years. Caffrey has been removed by board votes in April and October 2012 but remained in office due to the intervention of the New Jersey Education Commissioner. These suspensions occurred because of allegations that Caffrey circumvented the board when implementing counseling programs and manipulated contracts to avoid bidding procedures. The board voted in October 2013 to remove Caffrey and seek an interim superintendent to serve through June 2014. Board member William Ortiz noted after the vote that the district is seeking someone with "emotional IQ with people" to replace Caffrey. Judge Kimberly Moss rejected Caffrey's appeal for reinstatement on November 7.
Caffrey countered that board members Obdulia Gonzalez, Milady Tejada and Israel Varela were deflecting attention from state ethics investigations. The Office of Administrative Law held hearings on October 16 into accusations of ethics violations by the three board members. Gonzalez, Tejada and Varela were accused of colluding with local unions to increase pressure for Caffrey's removal and paying reporters to write inaccurate stories about the superintendent. The second allegation stemmed from local reports that Caffrey spent time in a mental health hospital in 2009.
About the district
- See also: Perth Amboy Public Schools, New Jersey
Perth Amboy lagged behind state rates for poverty, median income and higher education achievement in 2010. The city had a poverty rate of 19.9% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 9.4%. The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Perth Amboy's median income at $45,369 while the state median income was $71,180. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (15%) was below the state average (35%).
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Anton + Massopust + Perth + Amboy + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- The Amboy Guardian, "It’s Unanimous — Massopust In," January 4, 2013
- PAF-AFT, "Biography," accessed October 21, 2013
- New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, "Standard Search," accessed December 27, 2013
- Perth Amboy Public Schools, "Board Agendas and Minutes," December 20, 2012
- NJ.com, "Perth Amboy school board puts superintendent on paid leave," April 25, 2013
- NJ.com, "Perth Amboy superintendent may be out for good; continues to collect $177,500 salary," October 3, 2013
- MyCentralJersey.com, "Judge rules Perth Amboy schools chief will not be returning to work soon," November 8, 2013
- 2010 U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Perth Amboy," accessed October 21, 2013
- City of Perth Amboy, "General Election Results," accessed October 21, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014