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HyunJu Kwak for Ridgewood Board of Education

Dear Ridgewood Community,
The pandemic-related challenges seem to be ever-morphing, but commitments by parents, teachers, administrators and the whole community to maintain scholastic excellence for our students remain steadfast. There is much work to be done to ensure that students and teachers are given the resources to excel as the school returns to normalcy. My goal, as always, is to advocate for the students of our district and work for the Ridgewood community at large, so that our crown jewel continues to shine and that the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are allocated effectively and efficiently. In order to stay on this mission, I am seeking re-election to the Board of Education this November 2nd.
In the words of Mr. Rogers, “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond.” I feel deeply in my heart that this is my time to respond for Ridgewood and to keep working for the students and the community.
Thank you and please reach out to me at or message me for any questions and concerns.
HyunJu Kwak

Achieved in just one year:
*As Chair of the Negotiations Committee, I led the settlement of the teacher union contract before its expiration for the first time in 18 years. This resolution removed any potential distraction, so that teachers and the whole school community could better focus on our student needs.
*Worked with administration toward safe reopening of schools in fall 2020 and back to pre-pandemic schedules for 2021.
*Find efficiencies, including identifying over $108,000 in funds for tax relief and reducing over $600,000 in spending without impacting academics or programs.
*Maintain fiscal discipline by stabilizing Board of Ed taxes in 2021, limiting tax increase to less than 2%.
*Appointed a new Superintendent of Schools and a new Business Administrator.
Going forward goals:
*Keep schools fully open safely.
*Provide educational and mental health support, continue to focus on the curriculum, exceed NJ Department of Education scholastic benchmarks and continue our own tradition of excellence.
*Ensure optimal allocation of funds, respecting the contributions of the taxpayers at large.

15 thoughts on “HyunJu Kwak for Ridgewood Board of Education

  1. She wasn’t my first choice last election, but she has done a good job and should be re-elected.

    Lembo is in over his head and Dani is a miserable bully.

  2. Ms. Kwak is such an easy choice for BoE. Highly qualified and always well prepared, unfailingly polite, highly effective. I don’t believe we have seen anyone close to her caliber in recent years (except, perhaps, Mr. Dani).

  3. while prepared, these are not her accomplishments alone, many are a team effort and decision by others on the BOE right? She can’t just go off and spearhead an initiative. Other than that, yes she is polite.

  4. Taxpayer – Chris Kaufman contributes NOTHING to the team and Sheila is beholden to the RPS employees (although I believe her experience is important to the group). Ms. Kwak preparedness IS an accomplishment; if you attend or watch the BOE meetings you will see that she has prepared beyond and beyond what has been distributed to the BoE members. She is extraordinarily smart and insightful. And, no, she cannot go off and spearhead an initiative but she can most certainly raise issues that need to be addressed. In one year, she’s accomplished an incredible amount of benefits for the schools AND the taxpayers.

  5. She is wicked smart, highly educated, spends tons of time preparing for each meeting, never loses her cool even when others might. She is aces. I am bullet voting her

  6. We are so fortunate that such an accomplished and compassionate woman is willing to serve on the Board if elected. I truly hope she is. Chris Kaufman should not be re elected. Anyone that listened to the Board meeting last night would have heard from his own mouth that the Board should basically stay out of administrative business including budget over sight. Based on his idea of a Board member’s duties, we don’t need a Board.

  7. Too bad she is not running for village council!

  8. I wish we had three good candidates like her.
    Sheila is part of administration. She is not a board member. She’s there just to sing praises.
    Chris doesn’t come prepared to meetings and doesn’t understand what’s being discussed.
    Mohammed had NEVER attended any BOE meetings except to ask for eid holiday.

  9. Nothing against the other candidates but HyunJu is exactly what Ridgewood needs to sustain our claim of educational excellence, which directly impacts our property values. HyunJu’s position is always brilliantly thought out and flawlessly executed for the greater good of all Ridgewood. The other candidates seem to be part of the old-school “me, I and mine” clique.

  10. I’ll add that Susan Madison, another BoE candidate, mid-morning coffee in the Heights sends exactly the wrong message about “cliques” . . . essentially that only those stay-at-home people with school-aged children matter. I know that probably isn’t the case, and she may be a great candidate, but it really sends a message that she is not interested in representing the entire cohort of Ridgewood taxpayers. Very off-putting so I cannot wait to hear the positive things she has to bring to the table.

  11. Anonymous – I guess if you really tried to find out about Susan, you may find many of your “assumptions” inaccurate.
    Susan Madison and the team supporting her are working parents. The coffee has a beginning and an ending time for that reason. I guess you also “assume” this will be the only event Susan will be hosting. I guess you also missed the other non-cliquey event she was part of last Sunday afternoon.
    It’s quite a stretch to to connect dots that the choice of coffee time and location somehow connotates that she can’t represent an entire cohort of Ridgewood taxpayers. I think you should have some more information before you make your “assumptions”.

  12. I found the time of Susan Madison’s coffee actually appreciated as her first event. She might be respecting the community of being an outside event and that it is in the morning. Many community events lately are indoor and at night, which doesn’t necessarily respect the Covid time we are in and or having to either get child care and or being out at night with the early darkness.
    How sad to assume it’s her only event instead of her first event.
    Why are we becoming such a critical society?

  13. Hyunju Kwak and Susan Madison look good but, no one is addressing CRT & LGBT etc.

    That would certainly get my vote, of course, along with watching the monies and informing the public what is going on with these issues.

  14. Susan Madison’s final statement tonight was, at best, sophomoric. Reading your partial CV and saying “I am a parent. I will represent you. Vote for MEEEEEEEE!” just gave me another reason NOT to vote for her. She doesn’t seem to give a rats behind about the taxpayer and being fiscally responsible.

  15. From fiscal responsibility perspective – the scariest person is Mahmoud. He repeated multiple times – I have five kids that need to go through the system, and I will make sure to spend the money they need to avoid outside tutoring.

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