Battershill and Rigoglioso Win Seats On The Wayne Board of Education

Battershill and Rigoglioso Win Seats On The Wayne Board of Education

By Stephanie Tulpan, Staff Writer

Results from the Wayne Board of Education elections are in. Spots two and three on the voting ballot, Ryan Battershill and Barbara Rigoglioso, now have seats in the Board of Education after sweeping about 16,000 votes from the Wayne population. 

They were up against six other candidates in the running: Wilson Alequin, Matthew Giordano, Suzanne Pudup, Stacey Sher, Cynthia Simon, and Jacob van Lunen. The other seats were taken by Giordano with 5,631 votes, Stacey Sher with 5,510 votes, Jacob Van Luen with 5,127 votes, and Suzanne Pudup with 5,432 votes. Alequin and Simon did not win seats on the Board this election. 

In an interview with TapintoWayne, Battershill was asked about the responsibilities of Wayne Board of Ed. Trustees. He stated, “Over the past couple of years, parents have been diligently speaking out about the concerns surrounding issues including the pandemic, medical mandates, parental choice, sex education, and the highly controversial curriculum changes. We must return to a non-partisan board of trustees, one that works together to make decisions that are in the best interest of the community.”

Both Battershill and Rigoglioso believe in securing these responsibilities. As Wayne residents who have had children either currently or formerly in Wayne Public Schools, they use their parental experience to avidly advocate for protecting the education of children in the district. Rigoglioso is also a substitute teacher at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, New Jersey, and puts her experience in teaching towards the cause. 

Battershill and Rigoglioso’s agenda can be narrowed down to the “Children First” ticket, which they proposed pre-election. This ticket advocates for the cultural and educational well-being of children growing up in Wayne Township Public Schools. Its main aim is to keep education in schools primarily based on core subjects such as math and science, and not social, racial, or reproductive issues. Battershill and Rigoglioso believe that education regarding social issues should be in the hands of the parents, not the school. 

When Wayne Hills sophomore Alexia Vukdedaj was asked about the Board of Education’s influence on students’ education, she said, “Education sets students up for college, job opportunities, their future, etc., [so] if the Board of Education focuses on the quality of content students are taking in, the future of Wayne will be secured.”