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Four Candidates for Four Slots on Montgomery School Board

By Barbara A. Preston l Updated August 11, 2021

(Correction made to profile for Maria Spina)

Four candidates have filed to run for four seats on the Montgomery Township Board of Education in the November 2 election. This is significantly different from last year, when eight candidates vied for three seats.

This year’s candidates are, from left, Martin “Marty” R. Carlson of Skillman, Maria Spina of Rocky Hill, Richard Specht of Belle Mead, and Patrick Todd of Montgomery.

The following board members' terms will expire in December: Michael J. Morack Jr. of Montgomery is not seeking re-election; Antoine Yver of Rocky Hill is not seeking re-election; and incumbents Richard Specht and Patrick Todd.

The Montgomery / Rocky Hill School District Board of Education is made up of nine seats. Elected members serve three-year terms. Each January, the board elects a new board president and vice president.

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As described by the board of education website, "the board’s responsibilities include: setting and evaluating policy; establishing goals; overseeing that the district schools are well run by the administrators they have hired; and adopting a fiscally sound operating budget for the school district. Board members act on the superintendent’s recommendations, meet with civic groups, and receive input from parents, students, and community members."

The four candidates who will appear on the November 2 ballot are listed below. Three are running unopposed for three three-year terms. One is running unopposed for the one unexpired one-year term left open by Minkyo Chenette last January.

Marty Carlson

Works for Verizon Wireless in Network Security. Education: University of Minnesota, BS, chemistry, 2000;

Centenary University, MBA, 2009; University of Maryland, master’s degree in cybersecurity, 2018.

Maria Spina

Starting a new position as a middle school math specialist with New Brunswick Public Schools. She took off last year to be at home with her three Montgomery Township School District students during hybrid/remote instruction. Spina earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 2000; a master's degree in education from Georgian Court University in 2007; and an Ed.M in school leadership from Harvard in 2016.

Richard Specht (Incumbent)

Specht has served on the Montgomery School Board since September 2020, when he was appointed to fill an unexpired term. He is an independent information technology consultant. He is raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association as a rider in the Summer Biking Challenge on August 29.

Patrick Todd (Incumbent)

Works as an associate director, test security, for The College Board. He was elected to a one year term last year, and is seeking a three-year term in November. Read his candidate profile from the last election.

Full candidate profiles will appear in the September issue of The Montgomery News.

If you have a question for the candidates, please email


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