Meet Sheillah and Addys!

Hoboken School Board slates, Reach Higher (2 + 4 = 6) debated the Dark Side (ODD numbers) last Monday night. 

To tell the truth, GA had no idea who Sheillah Dallara and Addys Velez, the ladies of the Reach Higher BoE ticket, were.

I had the pleasure of meeting both recently. Their passion for making Hoboken district schools "the pride of the community" is palpable.  They are 'real' public education activists, not politically-partisan missiles launched by the Dark Side.   

Sheillah Dallara registering voters with Tom Kluepfel
Sheillah Dallara (4) was born in Lima, Peru but grew up in Queens, New York, where she attended New York City public schools from elementary through high school.

She and her husband Aaron have two children at Wallace School: her daughter is in the PreK-4 class and her son is in the self-contained Kindergarten class that serves as the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Program for children with special needs.

Prior to being a stay-at-home mom to her young children, Sheillah worked in the auditing field for five years. Now, she is actively engaged in many school-related and community organizations. Sheillah serves as the vice president of the Wallace School Parent-Teacher Organization. She is also a co-director of the Hoboken Special Needs Parent Group where she spends time connecting special needs families to valuable and local resources, programs, recreational activities, and support services. Sheillah also volunteers her time as the events director for Hoboken Family Alliance, and is a parent representative for the Hoboken Early Childhood Advisory Council.

Away from these activities, many will know Sheillah from the spin classes she teaches at Work It Out Studio in Hoboken.

"My special focus, my passion, is on the continued success of the district's excellent special education program," says Sheillah, and she has organized fundraising events in support of the ABA program. Sheillah is dedicated to the Hoboken Public School District, its families, and its students and she is enthusiastic in engaging all residents in neighborhood events and activities. “I truly believe that when we all work together, stay focused on the future and not get stuck in the past, our district public schools will be the pride of our community," she says. "I will work my hardest to make this happen.”

Addys Velez registering voters with some guy named Tom
Addys Velez (6) was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the U.S. in 1990 with aspirations of becoming part of the American dream—of owning her own home, raising a family, and making a difference in society through volunteering, education and mentoring. Addys is a high-achieving individual and strives to be a role model for others. "I want my children, my entire community, to see that education has been the key to opportunity in my own life, and through education and dedication they can achieve their dreams, too," she says.

Today, Addys is an accomplished professional with a background in Human Resources, Accounting and Finance, and Operations. She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business and her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. Addys works in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she provides leadership and oversight for the operations department of the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program and its efforts related to the Superstorm Sandy disaster.

Addys is a 13-year Hoboken resident. Her three children are enrolled in the district public schools—two daughters at Hoboken Junior Senior High School and son at Wallace Primary School. She is an active parent and treasurer of the high school PTO. Her experience with the district is what motivates her to seek election to the Board of Education. "I am so proud of our schools and the steady improvements. We are a shining example of what a public school system should be," says Addys. "We need to enhance and support the work already underway."

(GA Note: Alright.... it just wouldn't be fair... meet BoE Trustee Tom again!)

Tom Kluepfel loitering with his running mates, Sheillah and Addys
Tom Kluepfel(2) has devoted many years working to improve public education opportunities for Hoboken families. He was a co-founder and inaugural board chairperson of the Elysian Charter School in the late 1990s, volunteered his time to Elysian and in the district, and is now seeking re-election to the Hoboken Board of Education, a position to which he was first elected in 2012. Never shy to step forward or raise his hand, Tom has chaired the Finance and Communications Committees, and currently serves as the board's Vice President.

Tom is a graduate of The Cooper Union School of Art, which he attended on a four-year scholarship. "I was blessed with an education that I would never have had access to otherwise, thanks to a generous 19th-century philanthropist who I will never be able to thank," he says. "That instilled in me an obligation to do what I can to further public education opportunities to young people who come after me."

Tom is the co-creative director and partner at Doyle Partners, a design studio in Manhattan, with thirty-five years' experience working on communication and design projects for a broad roster of clients—from major corporations to grassroots non-profits.

Tom and his wife, Lynn (a special education instructor at a local charter school), raised their two children in Hoboken. Although they are no longer district parents (their youngest was a Class of 2014 graduate of Hoboken High; she is now a biology major at Ramapo College), Tom remains committed to working hard on behalf of the district. "Once a proud Redwing parent, always a proud Redwing parent," he says, proudly.

So what  do you think, people? Are they great, or what?   

GA note: All images lifted from the Reach Higher Facebook campaign site, check it out!

And please if you can, DONATE!


  1. This is a great ticket. I am so pleased to see Ms. Velez and Ms. Dallara on board, they are both active in the district, really really good people.

  2. A real group of candidates where their only interest is doing what is right and good for the district students.

    Real public school advocates. All 3 have my vote!

  3. Get out the vote people!

  4. Great to see such knowledgeable, active and informed candidates. Three real gems are running for BoE. Everyone, get out and vote for them. They'll be the perfect compliment to our new Superintendent. If we put these three candidates on the board, as good as it's been so far, I truly believe that the best is yet to come!

  5. i missed the debate, can you post it?

    1. I will, as soon as it becomes available.

  6. Great candidates who will bring a level of sensibilty to the board. Go team!

  7. These 3 need to win. I can't imagine a world in which Madigan or Waiters make decisions about education for the city's children

    1. It would be truly a sad day for all of Hoboken if these people are elected. They will add no value to the board. They are uneducated, disrespectful people who by no measure should be running in this race.

      Board members should be educated, intelligent members who offer insight and guidance. This group of thugs are solely running to create chaos and discord in the community.

      It is imperative that all in the playgrounds are getting out the vote as their children's future are at stake. This is a very real threat. The darker side of this town has declared war on the hard working people of the Hoboken community.

      Our very own #FreeholderAnthonyRamono is on video publicly declaring war. A man who was a Hoboken Police Captain who wanted to be promoted to Chief of Police. Hoboken Dodged that bullet. As our freeholder he has consistently sold Hoboken down the river leaving Hoboken holding the bag from a municipal tax standpoint. For a freeholder to make a public statement on tape about war is downright spine chilling.

      It is not enough that the parents just vote for school board 2+4+6 they must vote for their council people as well. Tiffany Fisher in the 2nd Ward - 1E, Jennifer Giattino 6th Ward - 1C, Peter Cunningham 5th Ward - 1 C, and Dana Wefer 4th Ward - 1D.

      Should the city council lose the seats to the Dark Siders, they will take over the school board and this is a very real threat.

      Get out the vote.

  8. What happened to Kids First? Did they lose?

    1. Hugh? Your question doesn't make any sense.

    2. What happened to Kids First. Did they disband? Are their candidates not running? Did all of their candidates lose past elections and they aren't around anymore?

      Earth to Anonymous, it makes sense.

    3. If you know Kids First then you know they didn't lose. This group doesn't want to run under that banner. Perhaps because some people would rather talk about that banner than the merits of individuals.

      Sound like anyone you know?

    4. Earth to Anon @4:58 from Anon 3:39, you are a complete idiot.

      Kids First has a phenomenal record of leadership, accountability and holding the line on taxes. 2+4+6 will continue the Kids First good work.

    5. I voted for Kids First people in the past and wasn't sure what happened to them. Thanks for your "help". This idiot won't bother asking about school board elections again. I'll just vote for council.

    6. If you voted for Kids First, reasons being many, the same reason hold true for 2+4+6.

      Madigan has no business as a Board Member and by not voting you are contributing to his election. A person who was FIRED from the boe and his sole reason for running is all about revenge.

      You are an idiot if you don't vote.

      Do the right thing, vote 2+4+6


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