Candidates for Madison Board of Education
Friday, October 25, 2013 • 12:00am
MADISON, NJ -Johanna Habib has lived in Madison for 12 years. She served as treasurer for the Torey J. Sabatini School (TJS) PTO and co-chaired adult socials for three years. She has supervised several improvement projects at TJS and the Madison Junior School (MJS) including playground upgrades, landscaping projects and sound system installations. She has served on the beautification committees at TJS and MJS and as an active member of the Garden Club of Madison.
As treasurer of the Madison Music Association (MMA), which supports the visual and performing arts programs throughout the school district K-12, she advocated and helped to raise funds for the arts programs at all district schools. She spearheaded a joint project between the MMA and MEF to purchase concert acoustic shells for the MHS auditorium and posture chairs for the elementary school music programs. She is also a volunteer for the Marching Dodgers Booster Club. A lifelong musician, Habib can frequently be seen accompanying school district ensembles or performing with the Madison-based band, Kings Road, where she plays keyboards.
Habib earned her B.S. in Business Logistics from The Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Business Logistics. She earned her M.B.A. from St. John’s University. She previously worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals and Philips Electronics B.V. in various supply chain management positions.
Habib and her husband, Brian, have two children in the school district. Brian works in the financial industry and is also active in the Madison community. He serves as one of the head coaches for the Madison Recreation Department’s Cross Country and Track and Field programs.
Leslie Lajewski believes her professional background, life experience and commitment to Madison is an asset to the BOE. As an attorney with twenty years of practice in labor and employment law, Leslie made the decision in 2010 to retire from her chosen field and become a full time stay at home mom. She is married to Dr. Wayne Lajewski , owner of Madison Medical and current physician for the Madison School District. They have two sons who attend MJS. As their sons entered their pre-teen and middle school years, Leslie felt strongly about making the choice to participate in their growth and development on a full-time basis.
She has served the community and the Madison School System for a number of years with experiences in fundraising, school events, financial matters, coordinating, organizing and problem solving. She has been involved with the CAS PTO in various capacities. For over twelve years, she has served as a member of the Madison YMCA HR Committee and serves as co-chair for Madison’s May Day Committee.
In business and in various years, she has been recognized and named as a Super Lawyer in Labor and Employment Law, one of the ‘Top 100’ Attorneys in NJ, one of the ‘top 50’ Women Attorneys in NJ, one of the Best Lawyers in America and honored and named one of NJ’s Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ. As a past volunteer, she served on various committees to ensure ethical behavior among attorneys for the West Essex Ethics and Fee Arbitration Committees and the West Morris Ethics Committee.
“My attributes can add a new dynamic to the Board of Education given my experience and achievements as an attorney, a school system volunteer, an active member in the Madison community and of particular importance as a parent,” Lajewski said.
“ I believe my credentials, past responsibilities and current obligations to those who rely on me positions me well as a board member. I’m a new voice with a view point that can embrace school challenges including changing regulations, testing and budget constraints. I’m committed to our community on a whole, and I can bring even greater value to an excellent school system already in place.
”Tom Piskula is a 24-year resident of Madison and has spent 17 years in the investment management business with Citibank in securities lending and with Prudential in a variety of roles, serving as a Managing Director.
He earned his Ph.D in Economics from The City University of New York. He is currently a teacher of Economics and Finance at graduate and undergraduate levels at Baruch College.
Piskula describes himself as "budget savvy," a "commmunicator" and a 'community marketer." Having earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and leading several organizations in the investment business, he has managed mutual funds sold directly to the public with every aspect in public view.
“I know the benefits of public involvement and oversight. I would like to re-invigorate the invitation to those community members that are interested to be involved with the Board of Education and to oversee its activities. My goal is not only to realize more fully the benefits of Madison’s accomplishments, but to attract the next generation of accomplishers and to increase my involvement as a positive force for our children and for our community,” Piskula said.
He is a member of the Episcopal church in Morristown and participates in the Community Soup Kitchen of which the church houses. He is also involved in political activities. Piskula’s 7-year old girls will enter Central Avenue School next year.