CRANFORD, NJ - Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 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...Jackie Carr
Current Occupation: Manager, Technology and Leased Assets, NJ Turnpike Authority
Education: MBA, Business Administration, B.S., Marketing, from Wagner College,
Staten Island, NY
Family: 15 year old son attends CHS
Years Lived in Cranford: 20 year resident
Why are you running for the board of Education?
As a mother of a son in the Cranford school district, I care deeply about the interests and outcome of our students during these critical years of their educational journey. I wish to serve our community and apply my energy, vision and management skills to help ensure Cranford Schools and the people working therein are the best they can be. I promise to be an asset to the Board, and the work it does, to fuel student success and deliver parent satisfaction throughout our school district. Through the various boards and committees on which I've served, I have demonstrated a proven commitment to the Cranford community and would like to continue that level of service on our school board. We must continue to put students and the community first to ensure that Cranford continues to advance as one of New Jersey’s top school districts. I will work hard to make that goal a reality.
Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?
The contributions of my educational experiences and professional skills, the privilege of raising a child in our great township and my long standing involvement within the community will all serve to complement the activities of the board and professional staff, and assist in achieving continued excellence for Cranford schools and a positive educational experience for our children. I am a 20 year employee of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, as a manager of Technology and Leased Assets. My experience of managing non-toll revenue generating can be utilized on the Board of Education to help develop non taxpayer revenue.
Both my professional and community experience can assist the board with access to cutting edge tools and resources critical to delivering the highest quality educational experience possible. As well as seek the engagement of our entire community to further enhance the quality of education being delivered to every child throughout our school district.
What do you believe is the most important issue in this election? How would you change it?
Amid a broad input based approach to identifying and supporting budget priorities, it is critical we identify non-traditional resources to support greater investment into cutting edge technology and research proven curriculum throughout the district. This will ensure Cranford teachers are equipped with the tools essential to helping students develop critical thinking skills necessary to fulfill their potential by accessing these tools. Using my professional experiences, I would want to ensure all potential avenues of non-tax generated financial support, public and private grants among them, are researched and identified where Cranford may compete and win additional dollars necessary to manage budget priorities and support greater classroom technology spending.
What other issues are important?
There are many issues that face public education today, but at the local level, it remains critical that as the school district plans and executes on delivering a quality education to our children, active outreach and encouraged participation from students, parents, staff and faculty, as well as our community of taxpayers is critical. One idea may be the development of a social media page that informs the community of what initiatives the board is proposing, currently managing along with future goals. It is very important that whatever the medium, there is an easy, active platform for public feedback, questions, and ideas.
Since a large portion of the township budget is based upon the board of education funding, I would recommend a Board of Education budget that is fair and equitable to taxpayers, students and faculty. One that provides a clear explanation of costs, but also one that maximizes the opportunity to identify and compete for non-tax-based revenues, such as both public and private funded grants.
What would you bring to the board if you are elected?
If elected, I would bring to the board of education the same energy, creative thinking and outcome-based approach I've applied to the number of other Cranford organizations on which I've been privileged to serve. Supporting my efforts are proven management and fiscal skills, a consensus building approach to problem solving developed between my professional responsibilities and my two decades of demonstrated commitment to our town through many diverse volunteer activities. I promise to offer a new perspective and willingness to dig-in, work hard and increase the Board's success through my unbridled enthusiasm and ability to listen to and work with the board members, our parents, students, faculty, and residents.
As a 20 year resident of Cranford, I have always felt a sense of commitment and importance to give back to one’s community. My history of personal participation in our community includes active leadership roles serving on the Cranford Fund for Educational Excellence, Citizen Budget and Advisory Board, Cranford Public Library Board, Chamber of Commerce Liaison, Centennial Village Group, Booster Club, Cranford Community Connection, Mayor’s Wellness Campaign and the Touchdown Club.
As a member of the Citizen Budget Advisory the committee we reviewed all Township Departments for cost saving measures. A final report was developed and presented to the Township committee.
Centennial Village Group created a funding source with the Annual Music Fest and 5K Road Race. Both events generate thousands of dollars and is a non-taxpayer source of revenue that helps support the Centennial Village business community with funding for curbing, light posts, banners and beautification efforts.