Board Member Bios


Nicole LaRusso, President
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Ms. LaRusso just began her second-term as a Board Member, she was elected in November 2016.


Ms. LaRusso has lived in East Windsor since 2002 and has four children who are enrolled in the district.


She saw a need to become more involved as a parent and community member.


Special education and mental health are two areas Ms. LaRusso is very passionate about and she has been a huge supporter of social-emotional learning (SEL). She is so happy and proud that our District has SEL programs in place in all levels of education.

Christina "Tina" Lands, Vice-President
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Tina Lands has served on the board for just over one year.
Ms. Lands was motivated to become a board member from her passion for equitable education and the success of all of our students. She is proud of our district goals especially the goal to have every child reading at grade level by the third grade, as well as the enhancements in our Arts and embedded STEM programming. She looks forward to how our administration and staff work hard to continuously improve in many areas, with a key area strengthening Math and Language Arts in our middle school.



Jeanne Bourjolly
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Ms. Bourjolly was appointed to the Board in January 2020. She is humbled and honored to serve her community. 

Ms. Bourjolly has always had an interest in the education of our youth as they are the future of our community and our great nation.

An area that she is excited to see the district improve on this year is the overall curriculum with respect to ensuring that the curriculum is more STEM-orientated.

Paula Calia

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Paula Calia, an accomplished and versatile professional, is a dedicated EWRSD Board of Education member. With a solid academic background and extensive experience across multiple industries, Paula brings a wealth of knowledge and a deep commitment to ensuring all students have access to quality learning opportunities.
Paula obtained her Master's Degree in Mathematics from New York University and has 20+ years of experience in various corporate positions, ranging from technology to human resources. In addition to her corporate achievements, Paula has been an adjunct math instructor at Mercer Community College for over seven years, where she has passionately nurtured the mathematical talents of countless students. Paula's commitment to education underscores her belief in the transformative power of knowledge and the importance of nurturing the next generation of leaders.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Paula enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and three pups, reflecting her belief in the importance of work-life balance and holistic well-being.
As a member of the EWRSD Board of Education, Paula is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and equitable learning environment where every student can thrive. She is committed to working collaboratively with fellow board members and administrators to ensure the success of EWRSD.



Jenna Drake
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Ms. Drake has been a board member for four years. 

She became a board member to increase service to the community and be more a part of her son's education.

She is proud of the attention that is given to student wellness including SEL, mental health counseling, spaces that are provided in the schools for self-care, as well as programs and activities that focus on education and skill-building. 

She is especially excited about plans to enhance and expand on our students’ natural curiosity to build a love of learning through increased STEM education in elementary and middle schools.

Colleen Murphy
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This is Ms. Murphy's second year serving on the Board. Ms. Murphy was a student in the East Windsor Regional School District from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating in 2012. She loved her experience in the district and wanted to become a Board member to have a part in helping current students have as great or an even better experience than she did.


Attending school events and seeing the level of talent the students have is an aspect of being a board member that Ms. Murphy enjoys. The hard work that parents and teachers put into helping students reach their potential is truly incredible, and she loves witnessing that hard work pays off.


Ms. Murphy believes that the diversity the district has—in race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc.—is one of its biggest assets. The Board looks forward to continuing to embrace this diversity and making decisions with equity in mind. We also look forward to figuring out more ways we can support students in becoming civically engaged and in touch with what is happening on local, national, and international levels. We will continue to put students first, develop goals that will enhance the educational experience, and be transparent with the community.



Jagruti Patel

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This is Ms. Patel's first term as a Board Member,  as she was elected in November 2022. She has lived in East Windsor since 2001 and has two children, who are enrolled in the district.

Ms. Patel hopes to collaborate with fellow school stakeholders to improve the educational experience for our students. She would like to work with the district and community to organize a science symposium.

Ms. Patel's goal this year is to have an all-inclusive core curriculum in STEM and promote the skill set utilized in the real world. 


Karen Salter

Ms. Salter has been a resident of East Windsor since 1999. She had a son who graduated and two daughters currently at HHS
Ms. Salter has ten years of teaching experience in elementary education and a degree in educational administration. Ms. Salter has always been actively involved in the district’s schools serving as a parent volunteer in the classroom, as PTO President, and on numerous committees. 
Ms. Salter is passionate about education and decided to run for the BOE because she recognized the need for change within the district. In addition, she feels she now has the appropriate time needed to devote to the great responsibility.
Ms. Salter recognizes that the diversity of the students is at the core of our district’s assets. She stresses the importance of attending to both the academic and emotional needs of all the students. She is concerned about the low standardized test scores and the immediate need to find an effective way to increase the students' proficiency in math and reading. She wants to retain the current and see new curriculum courses offered at the high school that allow for both college and career readiness.  Ms. Salter will strive to improve both communication and transparency between the district and the community and increase accountability. She also wants to focus on the retention of our highly qualified staff members by improving the morale and work environment. 




Michael Weeks
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As a parent of two elementary school students and a resident of Hightstown for just over 10 years, Mr. Weeks has been incredibly proud of his town and the schools. When a seat opened up, he was excited for the opportunity to serve. He has always loved education and has always enjoyed advocacy for it.

He believes that the role of a board member is to listen to members of the community and to the teachers to understand the needs of the district, and to facilitate change to make the educational environment the best, safest, and most inclusive space it can be based on the specific needs of the people in that environment every day. 

Mr. Weeks says the environment we’re in today couldn’t have been predicted in 2019 - we are in uncharted territory and our students and teachers are facing challenges none of us could have foreseen. In normal times, the Board strives to provide the school system with resources for STEM, technology education, emotional health support, and access to best-in-class tools and spaces to support those. With the new environment, we find ourselves in, Mr. Weeks believes it’s even more critical to find unique solutions and support for those things.