Danielle Prieto, a former member of the Millburn Board of Education in Essex County, died Jan. 8 in an out-of-state car crash. Her husband, Alfred, and her teenage son, Antonio, also died in the accident, according to the Millburn School District.

Prieto won her board seat in 2018 and served out her term. She did not run for reelection. She has two other surviving sons.

In a candidate statement she wrote before winning a board seat, she shared some information about herself and why she wanted to serve on the board:

“After 27 years working on a derivatives trading floor, I retired last March and started going to BOE meetings and looked for ways, given my skill set, on how I can best serve our community,” she wrote. “I love teaching and tutoring and if I didn’t go into finance, I would have been a high school math teacher. During the spring the township was urging residents to get their substitute teaching certification as there was a big shortage.  I am the only candidate who has gotten their substitute teaching certification and am donating any proceeds to the Ed Foundation.” She added, “I also was encouraged to run for the board as my finance skills would be of good use to get the expense side of the balance sheet reduced so there would be more money to invest in our schools.” She noted that she had three sons who had all flourished in the school system.

In a statement, the Millburn School District said, “It is with great sadness that the Millburn School District shares the news of the loss of former board of education member, Danielle Prieto, her husband Alfred and son, Antonio, in a highway accident yesterday.”

Dr. Christine Burton, superintendent of schools, shared, “Danielle cared so much for students, teachers and the district in her service on the board and the many projects for which she advocated. She had a generous heart that was reflected through her volunteerism and her donations to the district. She and her family will be sincerely missed by all who knew them. We send our deepest condolences to her grieving sons, Alec and Roberto, and to all of her family and friends.”

Grief counselors were made available at the Millburn schools in the aftermath of the crash to support students and staff as they process this tragic loss.

The family would like donations in memory of the Prieto Family to be given to Autism Awareness charities, the district said.