Board of Education




Joanne Calabria Barkauskas

Joanne has lived in Mountain Lakes since 2003. She and her husband, Rich, MLHS Class of 1987, have four children, Richard, MLHS Class of 2015, Matthew, MLHS Class of 2018, Thomas, MLHS Class of 2021 and Emma, MLHS Class of 2024. Joanne has been an educator for the past 20 years, working first as a high school teacher and now currently as a high school guidance counselor at Parsippany Hills High School. Joanne earned an MA in Administration and Educational Leadership from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and an MsC in Comparative Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

 Picture Joe Chang, President

Joe has lived in Mountain Lakes since 2009. He and his wife Julie have two children, Micah (11) and Hudson (7). Julie is a dentist, and Joe has extensive experience in developing retail and mixed-use development projects. He has also worked closely with the executive team of a Fortune 500 company on overall company strategies and internal project management policies. Prior to working in real estate development, he worked as an owner’s representative on large manufacturing and office construction projects. Joe’s most memorable project was the renovation of six Detroit public schools and its substantial completion ahead of 30 other teams. Joe and his wife are active participants and donors to: Ounce of Prevention, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Smile Train, and Compassion International. Joe graduated from Temple University with a BS in Architecture and was the recipient of the Henry Adams Certificate for the top ranked graduate. In addition, he has dual Masters Degrees in Architecture and Construction management from University of Michigan; and an M.S. in Real Estate Development from Columbia University.

 Picture  Aruni Arachchige Don

Aruni lives in Mountain Lakes with her husband, Nish Kolonne, and their three boys – Jayden (MLHS Class of 2025), Liam (MLHS Class of 2029) and Gavin (MLHS Class of 2031). Aruni currently works for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. She is responsible for delivering market access & commercialization strategy to ensure successful launch new therapies. Prior to that, Aruni consulted for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry for 5+ years.

Aruni received dual Bachelor’s degrees in the life sciences (biology/microbiology) and earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine. She then completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Rutgers University. Aruni has received several awards and grants over the course of her academic life, including the Alan Page Scholarship, National Cancer Institute grant and a postdoctoral fellowship from the New Jersey Department of Health’s Commission on Spinal Cord Research. She is an author of several peer-reviewed scientific publications and was a contributing writer for various other outlets.

Aruni is passionate about inspiring young minds and promoting STEM education. She has dedicated her time to volunteering and community outreach, including mentor K-5 students in math and science, organize leadership groups and activities for students with learning difficulties and differences (ADHD), moderate career panel discussions. Since moving to Mountain Lakes in 2016, Aruni joined the Wildwood Referendum Planning Committee, and she has served on the Advisory Council of the MLHS Academy for Biotechnology. She has also participated in the MLHS career day.

James Hirschfeld

James Hirschfeld

James has lived in Mountain Lakes since 2003. He and his wife, Laura, have three daughters who are members of MLHS classes of 2021, 2023, and 2028. James practices ophthalmology at Lakeland Ophthalmology in Parsippany, which he founded in 2004. He is a board member of the Morris County Medical Society, and has previously served on the boards of the Lake Drive Foundation and the Medical Needs Foundation. James earned an AB in Economics from Brown University and an MD from NYU School of Medicine, where he also completed his ophthalmology residency.


Rich Mancuso, Vice President 

The Mancuso family has lived in Mountain Lakes since 2002. Rich and his wife, Jane, have four boys - Tim (Class of 2017), Michael (Class of 2018), Joseph (Class of 2022), and Richard (Class of 2024).  Jane is a second grade teacher, and Rich has been in information technology sales for over twenty-five years. Rich has extensive experience as a negotiator and collaborator who is known for building relationships with strategic partners across multiple organizational levels. Rich has coached soccer, t-ball, baseball and wrestling.  Rich served on the Mountain Lakes Recreation Committee.  He was also the director of the Boonton Twp. /Mountain Lakes Youth Wrestling Program for seven years. Currently, he is the VP of Baseball Operations for the Briarcliff Sports Club and VP of Lakers Sports Club. Rich grew up in Bergen County in Washington Township, NJ.  His wife is a 1986 graduate of Mountain Lakes High School, Rich graduated from Kutztown University with a BS in Business Administration.

Patty McElduff

Patty has lived in Mountain Lakes since 1990 with her husband (MLHS, Class of 1978) and their three sons, Michael Patrick (Class of 2011); Matthew (Class of 2012) and James (Class of 2014).  She was an active volunteer in the H&SA, serving as Wildwood Chair and Vice President from 1998 to 2004.  In 2004 Patty joined the MLHS faculty as the LINC/Learning IN the Community Coordinator, matching students with community service, leadership and character education opportunities to help them explore academic and career interests,  Patty also developed cross curricular service learning programs to enhance student’s classroom learning, giving them the tools they needed to help solve real world problems.  Patty still spends much of her time volunteering in the community as Board member and Patient Outreach committee member of The Medical Needs Foundation, the Mountain Lakes Shade Tree Commission, the Mountain Lakes Garden Club; former board member and Community Service member of the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA; former Vice President of the Mountain Lakes Summer Swim Team and a tutor for Literacy Volunteers of Morris County.


Jennifer Scarpati

Jennifer has lived in Mountain Lakes since 2015 with her husband, Andrew Schinder, and their two sons, ages 7 and 4.  An intellectual property attorney specializing in patents and trademarks, Jennifer has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Cornell University, a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology from Boston University, and a Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  Jennifer owns her own intellectual property practice, Scarpati Intellectual Property, LLC, and serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cardozo, where she teaches three courses.  Jennifer also serves as a member of the Morristown Community Soup Kitchen Executive Board of Directors, and is the co-founder and co-president of Project Readiness, a 501(c)(3) entity that enables academic success for all of New Jersey’s students, regardless of income level.  This past summer, Project Readiness supplied 560 students with new backpacks and and a year’s complement of age-appropriate school supplies.


Dawn Smith

Dawn and her husband Mike have lived in town since 2005 with their 4 children (Sarah ‘11, Lauren ‘12, Brad ‘15 and Garrett ’18).  The Smith’s are very involved in the Mountain Lakes community from athletics and the arts to extracurricular clubs and volunteer initiatives.  Dawn served as H&SA Chair & Co-chair for all 3 schools and was responsible for introducing the school directories for membership.  In addition, she served as an MLEF Trustee, Laker Sports Club Trustee, Town Club House Tour Coordinator, Cultural Arts Chair, CCD Teacher, Relay for Life Organizer, Laker Lightning Tournament Organizer and currently is involved in Project Graduation and the Garden Club.

She earned her BS from the University of Delaware and worked as a Mortgage Banker at Citicorp.  Currently, she is in her 23rd year as a real estate agent for Weichert Realtors in Chatham, NJ.

 Picture Robert L. Wagmiller, Jr.

Bob has lived in Mountain Lakes since 2008. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Will (MLHS Class of 2031) and Lucas (MLHS Class of 2033). Jennifer is an oncologist at Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. He is an independent writer writing about parenting, child development, and issues in education. He was an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Temple University and an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University at Buffalo for the past 15 years.  He earned his Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago, his M.A. degree from the University of Maryland, and his B.A. degree from Miami University. Bob has published more than 25 articles in the leading peer-reviewed social science and child development academic journals. He is an avid runner and chair of the Woods and Lakes 5k and 10k Run Committee. He is an assistant coach for the K-2 Clinic Track team.

 Picture John Sierchio
Boonton Township Representative
John has lived in Boonton Township since 2000. He and his wife Lisa have three children in MLHS, John a senior, Jordyn a junior and Teresa a freshman. John served 28 years in law enforcement and retired in 2014 as a Detective Sergeant with the Bloomfield Police Department. John has served as a member of the Boonton Township Board of Education since 2008. John also served 12 years (2002-2014) as an elected member of the State of New Jersey’s Police and Firemen’s Retirement System’s Board of Trustees. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2007-2012. The Board of Trustees oversaw the PFRS’s 23 billion dollar pension system. In 2009, John served as a member of Governor Chris Christie’s Transition Team, assigned to the NJ Division of State Police, Division of Highway Traffic Safety and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. John also served as State Delegate for Bloomfield PBA Local 32 from 1997 until 2012 and has extensive training in Labor Negotiations. Currently, John is the owner of Comprehensive Marketing & Consulting.


Michael Fetherman - District Superintendent


Heather Goguen - Business Administrator/Board Secretary



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