Board of Trustees

Kurt Gewecke

Kurt Gewecke, Chair

Mr. Gewecke believes that education is an integral part of every sustainable community. The Community College plays a unique and vital role in the well-being and viability of Sussex County. Mr. Gewecke has volunteered his time for the Builders Association Remodeler Council (Chairman), New Jersey Builders Association Remodeler (Council Chairman), Sussex County EDP (Chair for one year), the SCCC Foundation Board, and the Lafayette Federated Church Council of Elders (10 years, chair for five years). His hobbies include boating, water sports, hiking, and skiing.

Mr. Gewecke has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, and owns KG Builders, LLC and KG Solar & Renewable Energy, LLC, in Sparta NJ. He has been a Culver Lake resident for 28 years, is married for over 25 years, and has four children.

Candice Smith

Candice Smith, Vice Chair

Candice Smith has been working in the field of education since 1993. Whether teaching high school history courses in Salem, VA, Dover, NJ or Sparta, NJ, she was a highly motivated teacher who had excellent professional relationships with her administration, co-workers, parents, and her students. Currently, Mrs. Smith works as a paraprofessional in a Sussex County school district.

Volunteerism has been a constant in Mrs. Smith’s life just as education has been. She has served as President of the local chapter of a Mom’s Club, a Cub Scout leader, and a Girl Scout leader. She was elected and served two full terms on the Hopatcong Board of Education. There, she was appointed for six years as the Chair of the Student Achievement Committee.

In addition to working in education and volunteer work, Mrs. Smith is a three-time published book author, a writer with thousands of articles to her credit, an internationally popular blogger, a former radio host and a creator of a Motorsports program called Drafting the Circuits, and a former media representative with her own rights to cover races from the Indianapolis 500 (IndyCar) to the U.S. Grand Prix (Formula 1), and NASCAR events across the country.

When not writing daily, working at her beloved school, and raising her family, Mrs. Smith can be found around Lake Hopatcong and Sussex County. She’s been married for 29 years to her high school sweetheart, and together they have three children.

Mrs. Smith is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve her community by working with Sussex County Community College as a member of the Board of Trustees.

John Santillo

John Santillo, Secretary

John Santillo is a retired Engineering Manager who worked in the defense industry for 45 years. He has degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Steven’s Institute in the RF/Microwave Field. John’s objective is simple: to spread the word about the benefits of SCCC and ensure the College's continued success. John has been married for 35 years and has two grown children. In his spare time, he enjoys Amateur Radio, camping with his college buddies, and riding his Harley.    

Gayle Carrick

Dr. Gayle Carrick, Member

Dr. Carrick has a long and distinguished career in education, including serving as superintendent in Mendham Borough, Tewksbury Township, and the Cranford Public Schools. Most recently, she held interim positions as Chief School Administrator in Fredon Township in Sussex County and Assistant Superintendent in South Orange-Maplewood. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Special Education, a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a doctorate from Seton Hall’s College of Education and Human Services.

Dr. Paul Crowley

Dr. Paul Crowley, Treasurer

Dr. Paul Crowley’s career includes a distinguished record of service to his country and the Borough of Franklin. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army with over 34 years of military service. Crowley’s service to his community includes many years of volunteer work and active community involvement. He has served on the Franklin Borough Planning Board, Franklin Borough Zoning Board of Adjustment, Franklin Board of Education, Sussex County Education Services Commission, Franklin Drug Alliance Program, Franklin Historical Society, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Dr. Crowley also served as Mayor of Franklin from 2008 to 2015.

Crowley received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from St. Peter’s College and his doctorate from the New Jersey Dental School – Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. He maintained a dental practice in Franklin, NJ for many years. 


Lena Frank

Lena Frank, Member

Lena Frank is an independent business consultant for small businesses. She provides strategic advice for creating, developing, and implementing optimal business strategies to deliver results to meet the company’s goals and objectives. Lena has held various roles in the pharmaceutical and animal health industries. Her most recent industry role was VP of Program Management, where she guided new cancer medications through development involving various alliance relationships, more than 100 clinical trials, and hundreds of outsourcing contracts, all while overseeing development budgets. Other roles in her career included new product development, product management, sales, marketing, alliance management, and business development.

Lena has spoken and published topics such as conflict, trust, and relationship management, all in the support of various professional associations. Her certifications and credentials include Project Management Professional (PMP), Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM), Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP) and Private Company Governance Certification. Lena earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Lena has been a Wantage, NJ resident since 2009, where she co-owns and operates White Possum Farm. She is an avid outdoors person and enjoys hiking, canoeing, gardening, and photography, where she can immerse herself in nature and think about both business and life. On the days she stays indoors, she enjoys curling up with one of her cats and a good book.

James Hofmann

James Hofmann, Member

James Hofmann is a longtime teacher at Newton’s Halsted Middle School and is renowned for his work with the school’s STEM program and as the coach of both the FLL and the FRC school’s robotics teams.

Hofmann is a very active community volunteer. He is a life member and past officer of the Newton Fire Department, Founder and Administrator of the Newton Hockey Program, and was an Assistant Boy Scout leader for Troop 184 in Green, NJ for many years.

Under Hofmann’s leadership, his first varsity tri-district robotics team earned the Team Underwriter Laboratory Industrial Safety Award in St. Louis and the Engineering Inspiration Award at Lehigh University.

A resident of Newton since 1986, he lives with his wife Amanda, a science teacher in Vernon schools. Hofmann has two grown children, both graduates of Newton High School.

Governor appointed November 14, 2017

Elizabeth Silverthorne

Dr. Elizabeth Silverthorne, Member

Dr. Silverthorne is a lifelong learner who received her Bachelor’s degree in Food & Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics from Montclair State University. From there, she completed a dietetic internship and is a Registered Dietitian. Following that, she earned both a Master of Science and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Silverthorne served as an adjunct professor for over ten years at Montclair State University, as well as currently serving as an adjunct professor at Saint Elizabeth’s University. She has held the position of Director of Food and Nutrition Service for Saint Clare’s Health for over ten years, overseeing both the clinical nutrition operations and the food services for three campuses.

Dr. Silverthorne’s passion for academics is demonstrated by her involvement and oversight in education from early learning to higher experiences. She has served on the Board of Directors for Rainbows of Learning Preschool since 2013. She also serves on MSU’s academic advisory board for their dietetic internship program and on Saint Elizabeth University’s Food and Nutrition Advisory Board.

Dr. Silverthorne has resided in Frankford Township since 2000 with her husband and three children. She is an active member in their church community, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Roman Catholic Church in Branchville, and is excited to be part of the Board of Trustees for Sussex County Community College.

Herbert Yardley

Herbert Yardley, Member

Former Commissioner Herb Yardley was elected to the Sussex County Commissioner Board in November, 2017 and served as a Stillwater Township Committeeman, Deputy Mayor and Mayor . He received his undergraduate degree from Newark State College (Kean University) and a Master’s degree in Environmental studies from Montclair State University. He has had a long and distinguished career having worked in Public Health for close to 40 years. He started his career in Edison Township, and went on to Warren County, and was Health Officer in Denville township and then Sussex County. He served as the Administrator/Health Officer of the Department of Environmental and Public Health Services for Sussex County in from 2005 to 2015 .As Health Officer, Yardley was responsible for all programs within the Department of Environmental and Public Health Services including the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, Environmental Health, Public Health Nursing, Special Child, Mosquito Control, HAZ-MAT, Weights and Measures, and Medical Examiner’s Office and Public Health Nursing.

He was an adjunct instructor at Warren County Community College and lectured at East Stroudsburg University and Rutgers University on a variety of public health topics. Mr. Yardley has lived in Stillwater Township for over 38 years with his wife Pat. They have two sons Daniel and David, and have 4 beautiful grandchildren, Zachary and Drake who live in Stillwater and Amelia and James who reside in Florida.


Michael Crispino

Michael Crispino, Alumni Trustee

Michael Crispino graduated from Sussex County Community College in May 2024. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society, and takes pride in his pursuit of academic excellence and personal development. He will be attending Rutgers University in the fall. He says, “I am grateful for this leadership opportunity, where I have the ability to give back to a community at SCCC that has given me so much. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, watching sports, and exploring nature. I am excited to get to work, and for what lies ahead!”