Matunas and Carnahan clinch BOE seats

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SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS — Kara Matunas and Anthony Carnahan were elected Tuesday night in a contested race for the Spring Lake Heights Board of Education [BOE].

According to the Monmouth County Board of Elections, Ms. Matunas received about 30 percent of votes, and Mr. Carnahan received about 26 percent. Also running was Eric Bennett, who received about 19 percent of votes and Robert Phillips, who received about 23 percent. 

Ms. Matunas, 38, has been a Heights resident since 2009, and has three children who are enrolled in Spring Lake Heights Elementary School. Before serving on the board, Ms. Matunas served on the district’s PTA, serving roles of president, vice president, treasurer and secretary over the course of five years. 

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With the departure of former president James McCarthy, the board conducted interviews in to fill the unexpired term, and ended up choosing Ms. Matunas in September. Ms. Matunas now has a solidified seat on the Board of Education after Tuesday’s election. 

The response from the Spring Lake Heights Community is humbling to say the least,” Ms. Matunas told The Coast Star in an email. “I very much appreciate knowing I have their support. I am thankful for this opportunity to continue working with the members of the SLH BOE.”

Ms. Matunas is a home instructor by Freehold Regional High School district, and attended Saint Joseph’s University receiving her bachelor’s degree in English. Ms. Matunas also received her Teacher of English and Teacher of Students with Disabilities certificates at Georgian Court.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with a great team and continue the tradition of preparation, pride and possibilities for our students,” she said.

Mr. Carnahan, 47, has been living in Spring Lake Heights since 2012, along with his wife, Megan, and his children Dylan, 12, Sunny, 9, and Zoey, 6. Mr. Carnahan, before becoming BOE vice president, also served on the district’s referendum committee. 

I’m very pleased with the outcome of the election, the voter turnout and the opportunity to continue to serve our community,” Mr. Carnahan told The Coast Star. “Our school is so strong because of the outstanding administration and incredibly committed faculty, who are always focused on creating a challenging, safe and exciting learning experience for our children.”

Apart from working with the BOE, Mr. Carnahan is a college counselor at Coastal College Counseling, Tutoring & Test Prep. In 1997, he received his bachelor’s degree in history at University of Scranton, and went on to receive his M.Ed in School Counseling at University at Buffalo. 

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