Election Day is Tuesday November 4, Cranford’s Board of Education has six candidates running for three open seats. The three incumbents seeking reelection are JoAnn Boyle, Michael Caulfield and Trevor Shaw. The other three new candidates throwing their hats into the ring are Lisa Carbone, Jacqueline Carr and Daniel DeMarco. Get to know them through an informal interview that reveals who they are, what is important to them and how they will make an impact on the Board of Education and the community.
Get to know Jo Ann Boyle…
Current Occupation: Manager at Access Benefit Consulting
Education: AAS degree Middlesex County College, Licensed Life and Health Broker
Family: Doug and I have two sons, Matthew who just graduated from University of New Haven and Michael who is a senior at CHS
Years Lived in Cranford: 19
Why are you running for the Board of Education again?
I am running for re-election on the Cranford Board of Education because our children’s education is important to me. I am a mom, a businesswoman and a person with a core belief that giving back to your community is a responsibility. Volunteering and giving my time needs to be for a cause that I care about and I am passionate about, for me it is the education of our children.
What issues are important to you?
I have served three terms on the Board of Education and each year we meet one Saturday to set our Board Goals, that is “In what direction do we want to see our district’s education go?” It’s not our job on the Board to micromanage the day to day operations, but to set the direction of education and give oversight that the goal is being carried out and done so in a fiscally responsible manner. Over the past few years the Boards’ Goal has been Personalized Learning. Once we set the direction, the educators come up with a plan of action to implement. This is a big reason why I want to continue, to see that personalized learning continues. Education is not a vertical line of top achievers down to struggling students, it is a horizontal line that includes all children and their right to receive an education that allows them to reach their fullest potential, wherever that lies, to prepare them for their future in our ever-changing, global society. In fact, Cranford has started the League of Global Scholars serving educators all over New Jersey who are working to advance global teaching and learning, and it is important for this effort to continue. We have had several global opportunities including a middle school English class communicating and exchanging info with students in Brazil, and we are currently putting together partnerships with Turkey in first grade and high school classes.
What else is happening in education? I am on the Task Force to look at Full Day Kindergarten. It is a very important, relevant issue. The Task Force will be meeting in a few weeks and another reason why I would like to stay the Board, to make sure this implemented in a well-thought out manner.
On a broader level, Common Core Curriculum Standards have changed and PAARC assessments have to be implemented, which is the standardized testing coordinating with the Standards change. On a district level we set our curriculum to align with the standards. We need to continue ensure our teachers have the support to implement the Standards and curriculum. We’ve invested in technology to implement the PAARC testing, which will also be used in the classroom
Besides running for office, what other ways are you involved in the town?
I have been actively involved in the community. I was the first BAS PTA President when it first re-opened, eventually leading to running for the Board of Ed. On the Board I currently serve on the Personnel Committee; Full Day Kindergarten Task Force, and as Liaison for PASE (Parent Advocates for Special Education); JAC and Municipal Alliance. Previous Board committees were Buildings and Grounds, Finance and an alternate for Negotiations. I am also active member of the Cranford United Methodist
What else would you like to say?
Why do I want to run for re-election? The most rewarding time as a Board member is when you see a talented, passionate, caring teacher deliver education to their students. When students receive this gift, you see the light go on in their eyes, their passion ignited. I have seen this with both of my sons; I have seen it in the showcases and performances I have attended; I have seen it each year when students attend our meetings and share what’s happening in their class; I’ve seen it when friend tells me her daughter at CHS is currently taking a college level course. I’ve seen that light in the eyes of a struggling student that succeeded. That’s why I am seeking re-election.