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Meghan Jent was elected to the Sparta Education Foundation (SEF) as a board member during the September Board meeting. She joins the SEF along with Matthew McQueeny and Kiera Wespestad, who both joined the board in June.

The new members are joining the SEF board as it says goodbye to several longtime volunteers, including trustees Catherine Jennings, Andy Garger, and Gwen Donovan. “Catherine, Andy and Gwen have been integral parts of the success of the SEF,” said Donna West, SEF President. “Together, they have put in countless hours, fresh ideas, and worked hard to bring unique educational experiences to our Sparta classrooms.”

Jent, McQueeny and Wespestad join the SEF as new volunteers, eager to help continue its success.

“Kiera volunteered her skills in the field of communication at just the right time,” said West. “Gwen (Donovan) has handled all of our press for years, and we were in need of a person to fill her shoes. Kiera has jumped right in and filled that role for us.” Wespestad and her husband moved to Sparta in 2014, and have three young children in the district’s schools. She is the owner and manager of the M. John Scanlan Funeral Home in Pompton Plains, and serves as the fourth generation in her family to run that business. She is a 2003 graduate of Susquehanna University, and holds a degree in Journalism.

Matt McQueeny brings thorough expertise in technology to the SEF, and was especially helpful in the foundation’s inaugural Cornament in June. “We threw a lot at Matt in the 11th hour for the Cornament,” said West. “We really couldn’t have pulled off the technology portion of that event without his help.” With more than 15 years of experience in digital marketing and web project management, McQueeny’s skill set will be a great asset to the SEF moving forward. He holds a degree in Psychology from New York University, and is nearing the conclusion of his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Rutgers Business School, with a dual concentration in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. McQueeny and his wife settled in Sparta in 2011, and have two young sons.  They are looking forward to raising their children in Sparta’s schools.

Jent has more than a decade of experience in Consumer Packaged Goods as a longtime employee of Mars Wrigley. She aims to bring her fundraising experience to the board, helping to bring in local businesses and groups into the mission of the SEF. Having grown up in Sparta, she and her husband Mark settled here to raise their two young children. She holds a degree in Visual Communications from Robert Morris University, where she was a member of the women’s basketball team. She is also a proud member of the Sparta High School girls’ basketball coaching staff, having served as a volunteer assistant coach for the past eight years.

McQueeny, Wespestad and Jent are all looking forward to working with the board on two upcoming events: the 8th annual Wine & Food Pairing will be held October 24 at the Brick House Farm in Sparta, and the 15th annual Krogh’s Turkey Trot will be held Thanksgiving morning, returning to an in-person event this year after being virtual in 2020. Information about both events can be found on the foundation’s website, www.spartaeducationfoundation.org.

Since 2006, the Sparta Education Foundation has funded over $1,135,229 in grants to all five of Sparta’s Public Schools. The Foundation is an all-volunteer, independent 501© (3) NJ Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving. Visit www.spartaeducationfoundation.org for more information about joining or volunteering.