October 7, 2012 at 9:15 AM
I am a candidate for the Millburn Township Board of Education this November. I would like to share my credentials and views with the citizens of Millburn so that you can make an informed decision on Election Day, November 6th.
Please learn as much as you can about the candidates in this election. You will elect Board members who represent your priorities for our schools. For the first time in memory, Millburn citizens will not be able to cast a vote on the school budget. You will be placing your trust in the future of our schools in the hands of your elected BoE members.
Please learn more about each one of the candidates by reading our statements, talking directly to us (you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org ) and attending one of three forums being hosted by various community and parent groups during October.
I am an educator and have taught for 21 years in schools, currently as a 5th grade teacher in South Orange at the South Mountain School. I have lived in Millburn nearly 14 years and my roots -- as well as those of my family -- are strongly planted in the community. In addition to fulfilling my responsibilities as an educator, I served as manager of the Millburn Township Pool for more than a decade. My wife, Kristy, also works full time in the area. Our two young children, ages 5 and 7, attend the South Mountain School in Millburn.
I received a BA in Psychology from SUNY New Paltz. In addition, I have a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Hunter College and I have accumulated 200+ hours of professional development. I have been selected to serve on the Principal's Advisory Committee, which meets with parents and principal to discuss roles, problems, solutions in my school; and the Intervention Committee, which meets with the assistant principal, special education teachers and school psychologist to determine learning disabilities for specific students who were referred to the committee by teachers for evaluation and support strategies for students.
What would I bring to the Millburn Board of Education if I am elected to represent you?
1. I care deeply about my community and I have a strong desire to give back. My family and I are part of Millburn's future. Giving back for me means being engaged in our schools in a way I can best contribute. I have already been extensively involved in the community through my job as Pool manager. I know many families well and have worked with children in this community for years. I have hired and trained many Millburn teens and overseen our families' safety at the pool over many summers. I understand the pride this community takes in its youth and its schools, and I want to be a part of keeping our schools the best they can be for these kids.
2. The Board of Education is a natural fit for an educator. My expertise, skills and knowledge as an educator will add a missing voice to the current Board-- the voice of a dedicated and deeply knowledgeable educator. I understand the priorities that our Board must focus on in the 21st Century so that every student will receive an exceptional education in Millburn into the future. Teachers, students, administrators, staff and community members must all collaborate with the Board of Education to bring innovation and excellence into every single classroom. There has to be trust and respect, and a strong working relationship to make this happen consistently. I will build partnerships with the leadership team of Millburn schools and fellow Board members to share my views as an educator to influence policies and oversight practices that focus on student achievement.
3. I will ask the Board to keep our doors open to all citizens all the time to hear your views and consider them in all our deliberations.
4. A teacher knows best what teachers need. Research proves that excellent teachers are the best way to ensure strong student achievement. I know firsthand what it takes to perform with excellence in the classroom each day for every student. I will work with fellow Board members to make professional development and training a priority by setting goals and allocating resources to making every Millburn teacher the best he or she can be.
5. I know the realities of NJ's fiscal crisis and live with them as an educator employed in a NJ public school. Fiscal management in the coming years is key to the continuing success of public schools. Boards must be clear on their priorities and balance increasingly limited resources with demands for innovation and technology for students. I must live within those means each and every day in my classroom. We have to make sure every dollar given to our schools by taxpayers is spent wisely. I respect the investment taxpayers make in our public schools and I will work hard to demonstrate ways that our schools can be more efficient and even do more with our precious resources.
Our community is very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers to serve it. I would be honored and humbled to join those ranks in serving the Millburn Township Public Schools as a member of the Board of Education. I appreciate your consideration of my credentials to serve you in this capacity. I hope you will decide to cast your vote for me on November 6th. I wish my fellow candidates the best of luck in this election.