As an educator and parent of a child currently in the school district and one who is a recent graduate, I understand the importance of a strong school district and the people who support it.

I believe that constructive and clear communication, academic support for all of our children, providing a sense of connection to the community at large and inclusion for all served by our school district is important for all residents in Berkeley Heights. These are the goals of Joy Young (#1) and Ramya Kasthuri (#5) and that is why I believe you should vote for them.

For many years I worked side by side with Joy Young as we shared the responsibility of being troop leaders. She was a mentor to young girls; providing support to children and parents alike. She was always interested in providing meaningful experiences for the kids and was willing to roll up her sleeves to plan and execute programs on behalf of the troop and the service unit. She would empower the girls to have a voice and encouraged them to dream big.

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Joy and her running mate, Ramya,  know the importance of communication and academics when it comes to the community and education of the students of Berkeley Heights. Thay have engaged the entire community with their vision, which has been evident with the hosting of their listening sessions. They organized these sessions to hear the community voice with an empathetic ear and answer important questions. They even showed flexibility in their approach by adjusting the format when specific areas of concern were highlighted. During the sessions, they adjusted the format and brought professionals to the table to discuss topics that were important to participants. They recognized the needs of the audience and responded to them. This openness and responsiveness is critical to bolster communication channels.

As parents, they have been advocates for their own children but as board members they will broaden their advocacy for all children. These are positive women who look to build bridges and support our community. Please use your vote to elect Joy Young and Ramya Kasthuri to the Berkeley Heights Board of Education.