|Board Member, Jersey City School Board, At-large|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||April, 2010|
Lester resides in Jersey City, New Jersey. Lester earned her B.S. degree in Business Marketing from Temple University. She began her career as a marketer in Madison Avenue before she co-founded The Learning Community Charter School and served as its board president for six years. Lester now works as a singer-songwriter and operates an "ABC Sing With Me" music business catering to infants and toddlers.
Lester challenged fellow incumbent Angel Valentin for an at-large seat with a one-year term in the general election on November 5, 2013. Lester was a member of the slate of candidates endorsed by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and campaigned under the name "Candidates for Excellence," which included Micheline Amy, Jessica Daye and Ellen Simon running for the three-year term seats. Valentin was a member of the separate "Children First" slate of candidates, which included Gerald Lyons, Lorenzo Richardson and Gina Verdibello running for the three-year term seats.
|Jersey City Public Schools, At-large General Election, Unexpired term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Angel Valentin Incumbent||54.1%||7,698|
|Nonpartisan||Carol Lester Incumbent||45.7%||6,506|
|Source: Hudson County Clerk, "Official Election Results," November 14, 2013|
Lester ran as part of the Friends of Amy, Daye, Simon and Lester, which reported $35,360.49 in contributions and $11,505.03 in expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Lester received an endorsement for her campaign from Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop. She also received endorsements from board members Vidya Gangadin, Sangeeta Ranade and Carol Harrison-Arnold along with Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro and Councilwomen Diane Coleman and Candice Osborne.
|Jersey City Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2010|
|Nonpartisan||Angel Valentin Incumbent||19.5%||6,851|
|Nonpartisan||L. Terry Dehere||6.8%||2,380|
|Nonpartisan||June A. Mulqueen||1.6%||561|
|Nonpartisan||John R. Muniz||1.4%||485|
|Source: Hudson County, New Jersey, "School Board Election Results," accessed October 31, 2013|
Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.
What was at stake?
There were four seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents Carol Lester and Angel Valentin filed to run against one another for the single at-large seat with an unexpired one-year term, while fellow incumbent Gerald Lyons competed against 11 challengers for three at-large seats with three-year terms. Incumbent Sterling Waterman did not file for re-election. Josephine Paige, Peter A. Basso and Jay Cordero initially announced runs for the three-year term seats, but all three withdrew from the race before November.
Alleged board meeting incivility
During a candidate forum held on October 24, Ellen Simon criticized Lorenzo Richardson for comments he made during a school board meeting in July, 2012 shortly after the hiring of district superintendent Marcia V. Lyles. Richardson had denounced the controversial hiring decision and told the board, "My advice to all of you board members: Whoever has a gun to your head, let them pull the trigger. At least you will die with respect. OK? Cause if I was in that position, I’d tell them to pull the trigger." Simon argued that this was symbolic of the degree of incivility common at Jersey City school board meetings and that Richardson had spoken inappropriately. She added that, "This rhetoric has no place in a board of education. [...]And this kind of incivility is what has torn the board apart." Richardson defended his comments, insisting that he meant the board should ignore pressure from the New Jersey state government to hire Lyles, not that he meant they should commit suicide for their decision.
About the district
- See also: Jersey City Public Schools, New Jersey
Hudson County underperformed in comparison to the rest of New Jersey in terms of its median rates of average household income and poverty rate but outperformed the state average in higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Hudson County was $57,660 compared to $71,180 for the state of New Jersey. The poverty rate in Hudson County was 15.1% compared to 9.4% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 35.3% of Hudson County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 35.0% in New Jersey.
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 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Carol + Lester + Jersey + City + Public + School"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Summer Dawn Hortillosa, Jersey City Independent, "Meet the Board of Education Candidates: Carol Lester, Gerald Lyons, Lorenzo Richardson, Angel Valentin," October 30, 2013
- Jersey City Public Schools, "Board Members," accessed October 31, 2013
- New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, "Standard Search," accessed December 20, 2013
- Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal, "In bizarre turn, Jersey City school board hopefuls endorse teachers union," October 23, 2013
- Jersey City Board of Education - Candidates for Excellence, "Endorsements," accessed October 31, 2013
- Jersey City Board of Education - Candidates for Excellence, "Issues," accessed October 31, 2013
- Terrence McDonald, The Jersey Journal, "Shake-ups in Jersey City school board race; three hopefuls drop out," October 15, 2013
- Terrence McDonald, The Jersey Journal, "Testy exchanges dominate Jersey City school board candidate forum," October 25, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Hudson County, New Jersey," accessed October 28, 2013
- State of New Jersey Department of State, "Statewide Voter Registration Summary," accessed October 27, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
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