Laurie Keats

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Laurie Keats
Laurie Keats.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Jackson School Board, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Master'sNew York University
ProfessionRetired educator
Campaign website
Laurie Keats campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Laurie Keats was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Jackson School Board in New Jersey. She lost election to the board on November 5, 2013.


Keats resides in Jackson Township, New Jersey. Keats earned her M.Ed. degree from New York University. She served as a classroom teacher for 32 years and as a grant writer and coordinator for seven years in the Jackson School District until she retired in 2012.[1]



See also: Jackson School District elections (2013)


Keats unsuccessfully ran against four other candidates for one of two at-large seats in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Jackson School District, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSharon E. Dey Incumbent 25.6% 4,007
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngThomas Colucci 25.6% 4,006
     Nonpartisan Laurie Keats 19.6% 3,072
     Nonpartisan Tina Pohlemus 16.3% 2,563
     Nonpartisan Tracey Murnane 12.6% 1,982
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 46
Total Votes 15,676
Source: Ocean County, New Jersey, "Official results," November 14, 2013


Keats reported no contributions or expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[2]


Keats did not receive any official endorsements for her campaign.

Campaign themes

In an interview with the Tri-Town News, Keats provided the following campaign themes for 2013:[1]

Enhancing student achievement and teacher performance are top priorities. The rigor of the new Common Core State Standards will make our students more capable of competing in a future workplace.

As we begin the implementation of these standards and their assessments, teachers must be given opportunities for increased professional development and increased knowledge to implement science, technology, engineering and math programming. We must continue upgrading technological capabilities within each classroom.

Full-day kindergarten, an initiative explored by our new superintendent of schools, is a priority the district needs to implement — the sooner the better.

Jackson’s tragic history of student vehicular accidents cries out for driver safety programs in all schools, to be coordinated with the township police department.

These issues must be addressed while ensuring fiscal responsibility so the taxpayer burden is not increased.

What was at stake?

There were two seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbent Sharon E. Dey filed for re-election, but fellow incumbent Linda A. Lackay decided not to run for re-election after spending a decade on the board. Dey competed with four challengers in the at-large race.

Religious high school construction debate

During the fall of the 2013-14 school year, local Rabbi Ephraim Birnbaum proposed the construction of a new private high school in Jackson to serve Orthodox Jewish female students. Oros Bais Yaakov High School would span 7.5 acres and accommodate 190 students initially before a planned expansion would increase its capacity to approximately 400 students.[3] Jackson township zoning board officials delayed their ruling on whether or not to grant a variance for the proposed school in order to conduct a traffic-impact study.[4] Hundreds of Jackson School District parents protested the proposed high school at the zoning board's meeting, arguing that it would damage district finances and potentially endanger local water and septic systems due to its planned location.[5]

About the district

See also: Jackson School District, New Jersey
Jackson School District is located in Ocean County, New Jersey
Jackson School District is located in Ocean County, New Jersey. The county seat of Ocean County is Toms River. According to the 2010 US Census, Ocean County is home to 580,470 residents.[6]


Ocean County underperformed in comparison to the rest of New Jersey in terms of its average median rates of household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Ocean County was $60,712 compared to $71,180 for the state of New Jersey. The poverty rate in Ocean County was 9.5% compared to 9.4% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 24.5% of Ocean County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 35.0% in New Jersey.[6]

Racial Demographics, 2012[6]
Race Ocean County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 93.1 73.8
Black or African American 3.4 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.6
Asian 1.9 9.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Z 0.1
Two or More Races 1.2 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 8.7 18.5

Party Affiliation, 2013[7]
Party Ocean County Registered Voters  % of Total
Republican 108,575 28.65
Democratic 73,922 19.50
Libertarian 127 0.01
Green 78 0.01
Other 81 0.01
Unaffiliated 196,246 51.82

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[8]

Recent news

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