Camden Mayor appoints three school board members

Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd appointed two new members to the Board of Education last week and reappointed Barbara Coscarello.

The newcomers — Felisha O. Reyes and Brian E. Turner — will start at the board’s May 16 reorganization meeting. Tuesday’s board meeting will be the last for current president Susan Dunbar-Bey who chose not to seek reappointment.

After serving on the board for five years, Dunbar-Bey said she wants to enjoy retirement and travel with her husband. First stop is Disney World, she said Monday.

"I think five years is enough. I’ve done everything I could do," she said. But a half-decade hasn’t been enough to make all the changes needed in the Camden school district.

"I think we’re going in the right direction," she said.

Her advice for the newbies?

"Be prepared for the meetings. Read those packages. Network with board members from other districts.... Make time to serve on the board," Dunbar-Bey said.

After Reyes and Turner join, the board’s nine members all will have been approved by Redd. In Type I districts, the mayor makes direct appointments instead of holding a school board election.

Reyes is a healthcare prevention specialist at the Hispanic Family Center. Until last year, she also worked as a liason between parents and staff at the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey and as a youth instructor and case manager for the Puerto Rican Unity for Progress in Camden. The 2010 graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University is married to Bryan Morton, a Camden Redevelopment Agency commissioner.

Turner is an assistant city attorney who works mostly on tort litigation. He also has a criminal, bankruptcy and divorce law practice on Market Street in Camden. He is a 2002 sociology graduate of Rutgers-Camden and a 2006 graduate of the university’s law school.

Coscarello originally was appointed to the board by former Gov. Jon S. Corzine in 2009. She owns Gap Management, a non-profit management consulting service.

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