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Meet the Candidates 2018

Lincoln/Roosevelt School PTO hosted a MEET THE CANDIDATES NIGHT on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in the Lincoln/Roosevelt School Auditorium at 34 N. Hillside Avenue, Succasunna, NJ 07876. This event was moderated by the NJ League of Women Voters.

Meet the Candidates Night

The Four Candidates running for the Roxbury Board of Education in alphabetical order are:

  • Minnie Borrero
  • Leo J. Coakley
  • Danielle McCabe
  • Kathy Purcell

They are vying for three seats of 3-year terms.

Below are Candidate Bios provided for this evening.


MINNIE BORRERO (Ballot Position #4)

Minnie Borrero headshot Minnie Borrero is a mother, business executive, and proud Roxbury resident. Ms. Borrero moved to Roxbury 10 years ago after meeting her significant other, Ken Rust. Together they have three children. Tom, who attends the College of Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh; Rob who attends Roxbury High School; and Emma who attends Kennedy Elementary School. The boys were/are active in the National Honor Society, Roxbury Bands, and Boy Scouts while Emma is a Daisy Scout and softball player for Roxbury Recreation.

Ms. Borrero is President of Strategic Healthcare Alliance (SHA), a Morris County based business. SHA conceptualizes and implements communication activities targeting health plan decision-makers, an industry Ms. Borrero has worked in for 25 years. As President, Ms. Borrero manages a staff of 15 full and part time employees and a network of freelance consultants. She is responsible for all elements of the business including business development; salary, benefits and payroll; financial reporting; and client communications. She has a degree in business administration from Delaware Valley College.

Ms. Borrero is very active in the community. She serves as a Girl Scout troop leader, is a Friend of the Roxbury Library, volunteers at Eleventh Hour Rescue, and is an active member of the Kennedy School PTA. She has also donated time and supported the RHS National Honors Society, Roxbury Band Parents Association, Boy Scout Troop 188, and other organizations.

Goals & Objectives

If elected to the Board of Education, I plan to ensure students succeed, serve as a sensible check on spending and thereby drive increasing property values by:

  • Reducing teacher turnover by getting the teachers a fair contract
  • Supporting smart safety by ensuring initiatives are effective, practical & cost efficient
  • Working with the Town Council for a viable solution regarding voting in schools
  • Ensuring residents have greater visibility and input into BoE decisions

“Over the past year, I have advocated for necessary changes to both the school board and the town council of Roxbury, with partial success. While I have been successful in driving discussion, many key issues have been sent to committee, making them more likely to languish. Meanwhile, teachers continue to retire and leave the district ‘for personal reasons’ which has resulted in RHS’ ranking falling 90-points among NJ public schools.

For 2018, the district has indicated that health benefit increases, special education costs, unfunded mandates and facilities appropriations are the greatest budget concerns. While many of these are concerns (personally, I believe special education should be bolstered); moving forward, it would benefit the district to more tightly manage and shift available school budget funds toward teachers in order to remain competitive in the state and increase retention rates. It’s time to stop leading in spending and start leading in rankings.

As a member of the Board of Education, I will continue to push for resolution to our key issues and bring a fresh perspective to decision-making.”


LEO J. COAKLEY (Ballot Position #1)

Leo Coakley headshot With a continued focus on student achievement and effective use of resources, Mr. Coakley has served on the Roxbury Board of Education since 2013 and is seeking another 3-year term. He has been a resident of Roxbury since 1979. His two children and three of his grandchildren have graduated from Roxbury High School, and four grandchildren are current Roxbury students. Mr. Coakley is an Air Force veteran and retired Civil Engineer. He was a founding member of the Roxbury Soccer Club and his community involvement has included volunteer service to St. Therese Parish and the local Wreaths Across America program.

  • MBA - Management - Fairleigh Dickinson
  • BS - Civil Engineering - NCE (now NJIT)
  • Professional Engineer (Retired) - Extensive project planning, development & management experience
  • Current Board President (2 years) and former Vice President (1 year)
  • Trained for and awarded “Master Board Member” title by the New Jersey School Boards Association
  • Completed over 60 training hours in board governance, finance, student achievement, legal aspects of special education and school technology

The many positive initiatives implemented during his tenure include: establishing full day kindergarten, restoration of EMS sports programs, re-establishment of the community newsletter, recognition of RHS graduates enlisting in military service, pro-active facility security enhancements, maintenance and curriculum improvements reflecting the 21st century needs of our students – all with fiscal management improvements keeping the district within the 2% tax levy cap requirements.

“It has been rewarding to work with our current board and administration to advance the Roxbury experience for our students and implement sound economic solutions for our taxpayers. I look forward to keeping Roxbury on the path of ever-evolving improvement.”


DANIELLE MC CABE (Ballot Position #3)

Danielle McCabe headshot Danielle McCabe and her husband, Sean have been Roxbury residents for five years. Their two children are currently in the Roxbury school system, one in 4th grade and one in 1st grade.

Ms. McCabe attended Towson University in Maryland where she studied Exercise Science and subsequently graduated from Chubb Institute with a Massage Therapy License. Foregoing her dream of working with the New York Giants, she applied her certification to help those who are in pain both physically and emotionally.

Ms. McCabe established her career at Massage Envy where she spent time working hands-on with clients and their wellness plans. After injuring her wrists Danielle transitioned to a Clinic Administrator position for the next eight years.

As an entrepreneur who is in the process of starting her own business, while raising her children as a stay at home mom, Ms. McCabe understands the value of preparing Roxbury students for the variety of career opportunities they may encounter. She believes education is the core of everything they will do in their lives and wants to be sure everyone has an equal opportunity. She values the district and believes there could be improvements made. School security and our children’s safety is her top priority, while also making sure every child has an opportunity to receive an excellent education. She feels it is important to be involved in what is going on with the community and to be able to drive change.

She also feels that losing teachers and having to shift staff around is another challenge facing our schools. “I plan to help come up with a swift resolution for this, so our children and parents can feel comfortable in our schools. Knowing who our teachers are and letting them build a foundation with our district is the number one way to ensure our children are receiving the best education possible!”

Goals & Objectives

I really want to make a difference in the community and help residents understand the board and the decisions they need to make. The community needs to be in unison, this will only make us stronger. One of my goals is to ensure the safety of our schools and to ensure that our teachers have what they need to mold our children’s minds.

Community Involvement

  • Room mom at Nixon School
  • Nixon PTA Treasurer for 1 year
  • Nixon PTA President Currently
  • Volunteer for children’s sporting events

“Nothing is perfect, nor will it ever be. However, I would like to see this community come together as a group for the betterment of our children. We need to work together not against each other to build a better future for our children. This is why I want to be a part of the Board of Education, to help break down the wall between us. I have a passion for my kids and community. I look forward to playing a larger part in their education and being part of something dedicated to student achievement!”


KATHY PURCELL (Ballot Position #2)

Kathy Purcell headshot Kathy Purcell and her husband Fiore have been residents of Succasunna for the last 25 years. Ms. Purcell’s three oldest children are all highly successful graduates of Roxbury High School. Ms. Purcell’s youngest child attended private high school after Roxbury middle school. All have been very active in many activities and community service projects in Roxbury over the years.

Ms. Purcell is currently employed as an IT healthcare consultant. She continues her work in IT at University Hospital (UH) in lead roles on ongoing, successful clinical project implementations.

  • BS - Nursing – UMDNJ and Ramapo College
  • University Hospital (retired) - a Level 1 Trauma Center in Newark - 27 years in nursing and management in the Emergency Department
  • 11 years experience in Information Technology Department at University

Ms. Purcell participated in the effective ratification of 2017 contract negotiations for HPAE Professionals Union at UH. Additionally, she was involved with the planning, implementation, and execution of the Disaster Team Plan at University, prior to and after the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001.

Ms. Purcell is running for the Board of Education because she is excited about improving the learning experience of the students and affording both the staff and students the tools they need to flourish. She believes in the Board’s responsibility to afford staff and students the necessary instruments to help them reach stated goals of learning in a sound and safe environment.

“Learning styles and cultural diversity are just some of the challenges society faces today. Along with change comes learning, acceptance, and personal growth. I feel that as a team working towards a common goal, the Board can achieve success.”


Don’t forget to vote on November 6, 2018!


Sponsored by the Lincoln/Roosevelt PTO

President: Caryn Block

Vice President: Heather O’Brien

Treasurer: Natalie Berry

Secretary: Nicole Watson