To the Editor:

These thoughts are mine and do not reflect the Board of Education or any of its other members.

My name is Charles Ryan.  Many of you may recognize me from serving our community for over 31 years on the Bayonne Police Department. What you may not know is that I also have a background in Education. I hold a NJ Standard Teaching Certificate in Social Studies and taught high school in Jersey City in the 1980's because I was determined to get a job on my own.  My decision to leave teaching was a bittersweet one, but I opted to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather, Charlie Ryan, BPD, and my dad, who just turned 90 last week, Jack Ryan, former Deputy Chief, BFD.  My years of service included Captain of the Cops in Schools and DARE Programs before I was promoted to Deputy Chief of Police.

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My bride, Alana, and I have been married for 32 years. We have three children, two who are college graduates, and one who is a special needs adult.  I understand what it’s like to face the challenges of parenting a child, regardless of their place on the educational continuum, and I have taken the lead to ensure that our students get the best we can provide.

My teammates and I are committed to continue the cultural change from an appointed board to an elected board. The phrase, "because it has always been that way" is slowly but surely going away. It is being replaced by accountability systems such as the districts new Genesis Program, which keeps closer track of payroll and extra duty jobs preventing wasteful expenditures. 

We have supported expanded vocational opportunities, as not every student wants or has the means to go to college. We’ve pushed for changing the passing grade from a 65 to 70 increasing academic rigor. We’ve adopted the BHS College Academy in partnership with Hudson Count Community College.  We approved a standards based report card for kindergarten, which helps parents hold their students and teachers accountable. We voted for multiple measures to heighten the safety and security  of our schools including Bleed Kits, Armed Security Guards and Class Three Police Officers, and an emphasis on social-emotional learning to prevent the unthinkable.

Our record of success is clear.  In short, together we’ve taken the district from a financial crisis to financial stability, increased academic rigor by offering a variety of courses of study and improved the safety of our schools. Together we will work toward a second consecutive set of union contracts settled fairly and quickly. We look forward to alleviating our quiet crisis in our special needs community. We plan to address the needs that a growing student population will soon place on the district.

I believe that the incumbent team, Commitment, Experience, Integrity, will prevail in this election as they did last year.  The community sees the things we are doing to realize student potential, improve programs and facilities, foster teacher and staff morale and prevent unnecessary spending.  Most importantly, this community knows that they can count on us to do what is right even when its not poopular.  We are grateful for your support.

I speak for Carol, Denis and myself when I say that we have all worked hard to achieve the personal and professional goals we’ve set for ourselves in our own lives.  Now our focus is on you, your families, and how best to serve the school community.  It is the same hard work and willingness to serve that insures our success as trustees.  On November 5, Re-elect:

Carol Cruden   7D

Charles Ryan    8D

Denis Wilbeck   9D

Let’s keep the Bayonne School Board strong, independent and non-partisan.

Charles Ryan 8D