Dear Chatham Township Friends:

My name is Mary Chambers, and I am writing today to ask for your support of my candidacy for the Chatham Board of Education.

My husband Dan and I have lived in Chatham Township for 22 years and have raised 4 children who have moved on to college and beyond. I have been an active community volunteer at the PTO House Tour, a two time Cub Scout Leader, a recreation sports coach and a member of numerous committees at all the schools my children have attended. In addition, I am a former Municipal Bond professional, have run a local family business in Summit, and for the last five years, I have been a substitute teacher. Now that I am an empty nester, I have the time, experience and dedication to work for the benefit of our community.

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As a member of the Board, I want to contribute to its ongoing success by prioritizing the following initiatives of my own: cybersecurity, a review of the success of past investments, and improvement in community dialogue and outreach.

The first item to review is cybersecurity and the safety of our children’s private information. In an article dated October 23, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that hackers infiltrated the private information of students in several state’s local school districts and are demanding ransom. I want to make sure our children’s personal information remains secure, and I will immediately call for a security review of all our stored information both past and present. By getting out in front of this issue, we can protect the identities of the students, their families, and the administration before they can be blind-sided by imposters in the future. This will protect them as they apply for college, FAFSA and even credit as they age into that season of life.

The second is to ensure we use our fiscal resources thoughtfully. Specifically, we need to keep up with the pace of changing technology by making realistic and prudent investments both inside and outside the classroom. We need to review these investments and not be afraid to push for change where needed. It is important to make sure curriculum choices and their implementation are successful across our district. Each child has unique learning abilities and skills, and I want to ensure every student in the Chatham’s is given the opportunity to excel. We owe it to our children to make sure what is taught in the lower grades successfully prepares them for high school and beyond whether it is in Math, Science or English.

Finally, I want to improve the communication of the Board with the entire community. I hope to extend the outreach by creating additional outlets for people to get information so we can all have an active voice when issues do come up. To further reach our community, I would like to increase the use of social media and extend email distribution outside the existing PTOs. During my campaign, I have been meeting with groups of concerned citizens to listen to their thoughts. Because I work part-time locally, I will continue these “Listen and Learn” meetings when elected. I promise to take your feedback with me to the Board when making important decisions.

I am excited for the opportunity to serve our Township, our school district and most importantly you in this next phase of my life and I humbly ask for your vote on Election Day, November 7, 2017.

Sincerely,

Mary Chambers