I work in the financial industry and it wasn't until after my office relocated from Jersey City to Warren that I started having opportunities to attend Town Hall meetings and volunteer with committees. My shorter commute made it possible for me to actually plug into our town and spend more time with the great people here. I met Michael D'Aquila early on and his example inspired me to get more involved. Michael is now running for a seat on the Board of Education and I’m writing to tell residents why I think he’s the right choice to help improve our schools.

In all my dealings with Michael, I find him to be a highly intelligent, community-focused individual with very strong family values. As a former member of Town Council, Michael consistently demonstrated his expertise in budget, engineering, and overall program management. His commitment to excellence and his ability to stand up and fight during contract negotiations are exactly what we need on our school board—especially now.

We need closure on the teacher’s contract and to do this, we need to enhance the level of professional insight within the Berkeley Heights Board of Education.  Michael is the right person for this task. I am confident he will add significant value as a Board member.

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Michael's strengths include nailing down the facts and holding people accountable. He has years of work experience in higher education and a thorough command of budgets and negotiations gained as a managing engineer of educational facilities. He understands how to manage complex, nuanced situations like the one facing Berkeley Heights Schools. In addition, Michael has empathy and a connection to everyone involved—students, parents, teachers, and staff.  He and his wife are raising three children in Berkeley Heights, all of whom attend the public schools here.

I realize that some Berkeley Heights residents reading this letter may work long hours and have a long commute, like I used to. If you are one of those residents and you are not familiar with Michael's past contributions and qualifications, or of his intense history of giving back to our community, please read his candidate statement. I know your time is scarce and precious—but our kids’ education is, too—so it’s important that we make good choices.