Patrick Justin Fahey is running for a three-year term in the Nov. 5 election for Westfield Board of Education. A candidates' forum will be held at Westfield High School, Wednesday, Oct. 23. Questions for the forum may be submitted to ptc@westfieldnjk12.org by Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Name: Patrick Justin Fahey
Age: 49
How long have you lived in Westfield? 7 years

What are your qualifications for office? I am a parent who has a child in the Westfield school system.  I served as vice president of the Jefferson School PTO, chaired school fundraisers as well the school’s first community service day. I coached T-Ball and softball, and hold a BS in Economics and an MA in Public Administration.

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What would your top priorities be if elected to the Board of Education? Securing the safety of our children. We should use the incident at the Tamaques school last year as a learning experience and work on preventing that it never happens again. That along with educating our children about the opioid epidemic and working on keeping them drug free are on the top of my list. 

Do you support the proposed school bond referendums for full day kindergarten? Currently, Westfield is one of only a handful of New Jersey School Districts that doesn’t have full-day kindergarten and the state is likely to soon mandate it. So, yes, I support it.

MORE: Submit Questions for Westfield Board of Education Candidates Night

How would you work to promote student well-being and safety? I think it should start with education. “See something say something” is a good rule of thumb. Students should not feel threatened if they inform on other students. I also feel all schools should have SROs and children should be allowed time to acclimate to them. Teachers should be trained in spotting the signs of children who may harm themselves and others so they can get the help they need and keep them and their fellow students safe.

What else would you like the readers to know? My reason for running is because of my concern not only for my children, but all the children in the school system. There is a need for some change and I feel that given a chance, I will do everything in my power to ensure that.