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HyunJu Kwak for Ridgewood BOE

photo of HyunJu Kwak at Brown graduation

Dear Ridgewood,
I grew up in Paramus in an immigrant family with modest means. I loved going to school, and whatever time I had left, I worked as a cashier at a local supermarket to pay my way for activities like a school trip to Paris. I knew that education was an investment towards a better future and school was a gateway to opportunities. I had a view, thanks to my parents, that if I work diligently, I can make a difference in myself and the world.


I was admitted early decision to Brown University, and was later selected by Oxford University as the first visiting scholar from Brown who is Asian and a woman of color. A barrier was broken.
Another barrier was broken when I was elected by Ridgewood residents for a one-year seat on the Board of Education last year. I am the first woman of color to be elected to the Board and the first minority ever in a leadership role as Vice-President at the Board in its 125+ year history. I want students to see me on the Board and realize that I represent the norm and not the exception. I want to set a path so that other women of color will speak out, stand up and run for the Board and for public office.

The BOE position is an honor and I have given, and intend to commit if re-elected, my absolute best.
Thank you.

HyunJu

14 thoughts on “HyunJu Kwak for Ridgewood BOE

  1. Is the blog going to rescind its 2018 endorsement of Cris Kaufman?

    He has been a big disappointment on the board.

    Like Sheila, he has become part of the administration and rubber stamp team. Doesn’t go prepared to the board meetings. Doesn’t contribute to any discussion and treats every meeting as a wrestling match. Don’t forget he tried to get a coach fired for his own benefit.

    I think blog should rescind it’s prior endorsement of Kaufman.

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  2. I just want someone capable, sincere and can do the job. Spare me the “first woman of color” bullshit – we get it, your an Asian woman, I gathered that by the name. It has zero to do with why I would care to vote for someone. In fact – it’s a turn off.

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  3. Brogan and Kaufman need to go. Kwak has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected.

    Susan Madison is also deserving of a vote- a bond analyst by trade.

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  4. I have a lot of respect for this lady and her family. She has achieved a lot and I admire her for that. She also does a good job and is a no nonsense type of person. Both she and her husband are an asset to our community. BUT, I hate to see in her bio mentioning gender and color. She doesn’t need that stuff in order to be elected. Her achievements and her work so far are more than enough to pick her as a choice. I want someone who is qualified based on achievements and I DO NOT care if she has a color or if she was the first woman to be whatever. Just because of this I would abstain on her this time. We have a big enough woke crowd in RW and I hate to see such an accomplished person try to appeal to them.

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  5. Brogan is probably the most prepared and knowledgeable Board of Ed member.

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  6. Brogan is a disaster. Spend, spend, spend.

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  7. Brogan has been there for over 20 years. She is more like an administrator than an elected representative. Kaufman is never prepared and focuses on bits and pieces of the agenda that appeal to him, like the wrestling coach whom he wanted replaced and he is running with Mahmoud who would have been better off running independently of Kaufman. Susan Madison. speaks well at meetings but Ms. Kwak really asks the important questions and is always prepared. She has my vote.

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  8. Brogan is the most destructive force of the Board of Ed.

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  9. Where in her writing does she ask for votes because of her race and gender?

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  10. Here – I fixed it.

    Dear Ridgewood,
    I grew up in Paramus in an immigrant family with modest means. I loved going to school, and whatever time I had left, I worked as a cashier at a local supermarket to pay my way for activities like a school trip to Paris. I knew that education was an investment towards a better future and school was a gateway to opportunities. I had a view, thanks to my parents, that if I work diligently, I can make a difference in myself and the world.
    I was admitted early decision to Brown University, and later, Oxford University. I was elected by Ridgewood residents for a one-year seat on the Board of Education last year.
    The BOE position is an honor and I have given, and intend to commit if re-elected, my absolute best.
    Thank you.
    HyunJu

    Once you “un-woke” the message, there does not seem to be a lot here other than the successful election to the BOE last year as a reason she is qualified. I probably will vote for her because she IS a good BOE member, but please spare me the rest. I don’t care, as it should be.

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  11. BROGAN FOR BOARD OF ED!

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  12. 1. Brogan supported a $30m Performing Arts Center
    2. Brogan supported a $95m bond referendum
    3. Brogan has no sense of fiscal discipline whatsoever

    If you want your taxes to go up 20+%, you know who to vote for.

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  13. One candidate hasn’t shown up at a single meeting in the past year. He hasn’t dialed in or written in at boe meetings. Why is he even running?

  14. Sheila must have over 30+ years of service.

    At this point she should step aside. It was a nice run.

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