|Perth Amboy Board of Education, At-large|
|Years in position||4|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||April 20, 2010|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 What was at stake?
- 4 About the district
- 5 Recent news
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Varela is the owner of Unitech Autobody in Perth Amboy. He is a board member of the Business Improvement District. Varela has been involved in the community as a karate instructor as well as a T-ball coach.
Varela sought re-election to the board against eight other candidates in the November 5, 2013 general election. He ran with challengers Anthony Bermudez and Samuel Lebreault as part of the Together for Quality Schools slate.
|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>|
Varela reported no contributions or expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Varela did not receive any endorsements in this election.
Varela won election to the board along with Mark Carvajal and Kurt Rebovich, Jr. on April 20, 2010.
|Perth Amboy Board of Education, April 20, 2010|
|Nonpartisan||Kurt Rebovich, Jr.||32.5%||717|
|Source: City of Perth Amboy|
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 Varelas, Obdulia Gonzalez and Milady Tejada 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.
In April 2013, Superintendent Caffrey alleged that Varelas resided in Hunterdon County rather than Perth Amboy. This allegation led to a heated discussion where Varelas argued that he spends weekdays in the district and his son goes to high school in Hunterdon County. Caffrey cited enrollment forms that listed an address in Flemington as well as informal discussions with residents familiar with the Varelas family. A May 2013 investigation by the New Jersey Education Commission found no evidence to substantiate Caffrey's claims. Varelas claimed that his ethnicity contributed to Caffrey's efforts at removal from the board.
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 100.0%. 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 "Israel + Varela + Perth + Amboy + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Manta, "Unitech Autobody," accessed October 21, 2013
- Facebook, "Together for Quality Schools," accessed October 21, 2013
- MyCentralJersey.com, "Two Perth Amboy BOE candidates sever campaign ties," October 8, 2013
- New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, "Standard Search," accessed December 27, 2013
- 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
- NJ.com, "Perth Amboy school official claims bias against Hispanics after state probe ends," May 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