18-Year-Old Wins Seat On NJ Town's School Board

Lifelong Sparta resident Chad Wood has been elected to the town’s Board of Education just five months after graduating from high school.

<p>Chad Wood won a seat on Sparta's School Board.</p>

Chad Wood won a seat on Sparta's School Board.

Photo Credit: Wood, Grana & Gagnon for Sparta BOE Facebook

The 18-year-old is one of the state’s youngest to hold a BOE position.

Wood ran alongside Jennifer "Lonsky" Grana and Kaitlin Gagnon. The trio incumbents Christina "Longo" Keiling and LeeAnne M. Pitzer.

Wood might be young, but he comes with plenty of experience, having served as Student Council President for three years at Sparta High School, and was elected Executive President his senior year.

Wood was also elected as the BOE’s Student Representative during his senior year, which, coupled with his nomination to the United States Senate Youth Program by Sparta Township Public Schools, has given him experience in government and a passion to create local change.

Wood says the board is in need of a “younger voice at the table…a voice with a vote.” He was credited during his time as the BOE’s student representative with helping prevent a motion from being passed that would have stopped board meetings from being live-streamed for those who can’t attend in person.

Wood, Grana, and Gagnon believe Sparta’s 5.8 percent tax hike is a result of overspending and a “lack of common sense budget oversight,” prompting their Stop Raising Taxes slate.

Wood is currently a student at Sussex County Community College and says his passion for Sparta and its schools has “never been stronger.”

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