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New BOE Members, Including Moorestown's Youngest Ever, Take Office

“Brandon never ceases to amaze me,” says the father of the board's youngest-ever member.

When most kids were still playing video games and building forts, Brandon Pugh was already thinking about his political future.

Pugh, 20, was sworn in Thursday as one of the newest members of the Moorestown Board of Education, along with Sheryl Sawin and David Weinstein—officially making him the youngest board member Moorestown’s ever had, and certainly one of the youngest in the state.

It came as no surprise to his father, Sgt. Randy Pugh, of the Moorestown Police Department, who always expected great things from his son.

“Brandon never ceases to amaze me,” he said, explaining how his son had an interest in politics from an early age. “I knew when he was very young, 7 or 8 years old … He was always more adult-like.”

Thursday’s reorganization meeting was mostly routine matters—reupping the district’s contracts, designating banks, adopting the New Jersey School Board Member Code of Ethics—but the younger Pugh said it was “exciting.”

“I spent a ton of time before this meeting preparing,” he said, just before ducking into an executive session to discuss personnel with the rest of the board.

Board members Don Mishler and Kathy Goldenberg were once again chosen as board president and vice president respectively during the meeting.

Weinstein was sworn in for his second term, while , is taking her first crack at public office.

The background of the board members may be diverse—and the younger Pugh, who’s presently pursuing a degree at The College of New Jersey, may be separated from his colleagues by decades—but Sgt. Pugh is certain his son will fit right in.

“He’s completely comfortable in this environment. I fully expect Brandon to be a team player with the rest of the board,” he said. “Whatever he’s involved in, he comes up with incredible ideas.”

In addition to reelecting Mishler and Goldenberg, the board extended contracts with Garrison Architects and school physician R. Blair Summergill, of Moorestown Family Practice, until June 30. The district will put out requests for proposal in the spring.

The board also reapproved a contract for legal services with Arthur F. Risden, of Comegno Law Group.

Justine January 04, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Youngest ever on BOE is quite the accomplishment. Bravo Brandon Pugh! Does anyone know, is Victoria Napolitano the youngest to ever take office for town council when she is sworn in? I was told she was - just verifying. How great would that be to have the youngest ever on both boards? Talk about fresh perspective!
Rob Scott (Editor) January 04, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Justine, I'm not sure about Victoria. She's certainly one of the youngest, but I think it might be difficult to determine whether she's the youngest ever. I don't know whether anyone actually keeps track of that kind of information, but if I can find out, I'll let you know.
Polly-O January 04, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Can't one argue they have the greatest stake of all in keeping our taxes in check so they can buy homes some day? So they can start their families in good old Moorestown instead of much more affordable Mt Laurel? I think it's a stretch to say they have no "skin in the game" just because of their living arrangements, especially for a renter who lives in a development that pays hundreds of thousands in property taxes. As taxes go up rent goes up. Skin the in the game for sure, I would say!
Rob Scott (Editor) January 04, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Polly-O, I'm inclined to agree with you. Perhaps I'm biased because—in the spirit of full disclosure—I'm still a renter, but I've never quite understood that logic, that someone who rents is somehow less qualified than someone who owns to make these decisions. I've covered municipal government for years and seen elected officials who are property owners make woeful decisions regarding taxes and other matters.

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