Gerald Lyons

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Gerald Lyons
Gerald Lyons.jpg
Board Member, Jersey City School Board, At-large
Former member
Term ends
November 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
AppointedSeptember 11, 2012
Appointed byJersey City School Board
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sThomas Edison State College
Associate'sHudson County Community College
Master'sNew Jersey City University
Office website
Campaign website
Gerald Lyons was an at-large member of the Jersey City School Board in New Jersey. He was first appointed to the chamber in 2012. Lyons lost his re-election bid on November 5, 2013.


Gerald Lyons resides in Jersey City, New Jersey. Lyons earned his Associate's degree from Hudson County Community College, his B.A. degree from Thomas Edison State College and his Master's degree in Educational Technology from New Jersey City University.[1] He has spent more than 26 years as an educator in New Jersey, and he currently serves as the supervisor of instruction at the Hudson County Schools of Technology.[2]



See also: Jersey City Public Schools elections (2013)


Lyons was the only incumbent competing for one of three at-large seats with three-year terms in the general election on November 5, 2013. He faced a total of 11 challengers for the seats. Lyons was a member of the "Children First" slate of candidates, which included Lorenzo Richardson and Gina Verdibello for the three-year term seats and Angel Valentin for the one-year term seat. A separate slate of candidates endorsed by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop was campaigning under the name "Candidates for Excellence," which included Micheline Amy, Jessica Daye and Ellen Simon for the three-year term seats and Carol Lester for the one-year term seat.[3]


Jersey City Public Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJessica Daye 21.1% 9,351
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMicheline Amy 17.7% 7,879
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEllen Simon 10.6% 4,702
     Nonpartisan Lorenzo Richardson 10.2% 4,511
     Nonpartisan Gerald Lyons Incumbent 8.9% 3,950
     Nonpartisan Gina Verdibello 7.6% 3,383
     Nonpartisan Kevaan G. Walton 6.2% 2,770
     Nonpartisan Denise Davis 4.8% 2,137
     Nonpartisan DeJon Morris 4.3% 1,914
     Nonpartisan Carol L. Gabriel 2.7% 1,214
     Nonpartisan Josephine Paige 2.2% 982
     Nonpartisan Susan Harbace 2.2% 961
     Nonpartisan Telissa E. Dowling 1.4% 608
     Nonpartisan Personal choice 0.1% 44
Total Votes 44,406
Source: Hudson County Clerk, "Official Election Results," November 14, 2013


Lyons reported $16,910.00 in contributions and $16,466 in expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, which left his campaign with $444.00 on hand.[4]


Lyons did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.


Jersey City Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMarilyn Roman 20.5% 4,501
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngVidya Gangadin 19.2% 4,220
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSangeeta Ranade 17.1% 3,762
     Nonpartisan Gerald M. Lyons 13.5% 2,968
     Nonpartisan Frank Lorenzo 11.3% 2,490
     Nonpartisan Amanda Khan 10.8% 2,370
     Nonpartisan DeJon Morris 5.6% 1,233
     Nonpartisan Jayson H. Burg 1.9% 415
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 20
Total Votes 21,979
Source: Hudson County, New Jersey, "2012 School Board Election," accessed October 28, 2013

Campaign themes

Lyons' campaign website listed the following campaign themes for 2013:[5]

Identify successes and replicate them

Too often, the only news we hear about our schools relates to what is going wrong with them. There are many success stories related to entire schools, individual programs, teachers and students. We need to showcase the positive and get others excited to join in their success.

Embrace and engage the entire community

The problems within the Jersey City school district are multi-faceted and deep-rooted. The best chance that we have at identifying areas of need and developing corrective procedures is to address those problems from all angles. We need to embrace all elements of the community and get everyone to work together with the goal of every student finding success in our schools.

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.[6]

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.[7]

About the district

See also: Jersey City Public Schools, New Jersey
Jersey City Public Schools is located in Hudson County, New Jersey
Jersey City Public Schools is located in Hudson County, New Jersey. The county seat of Hudson County is Jersey City. According to the 2010 US Census, Hudson County is home to 652,302 residents.[8]


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.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
Race Hudson County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 66.4 73.8
Black or African American 15.0 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.2 0.6
Asian 14.8 9.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Two or More Races 2.4 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 42.6 18.5

Party Affiliation, 2013[9]
Party Hudson County Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 176,138 50.34
Republican 27,539 7.87
Libertarian 188 0.01
Green 96 0.01
Other 54 0.01
Unaffiliated 145,878 41.76

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.[10]

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