As we approach election day, I wanted to first take the time to thank those of you who have come out in support of me. This has sadly been a difficult time for our community. I believe many of us have lost sight of what is truly important during this election season. It is imperative to refocus at this stage and truly understand what each candidate brings to the table.

I believe that the board of education should consist of members who can contribute their individual talents while displaying a strong ability to work collaboratively as a team. The Cranford Board of Education members should be held to a higher standard as we are setting policies that affect our children and our schools. There is no place for divisiveness.

During my short term on the board of education, I have had the unique privilege to watch the inner workings of this board. What I have witnessed, is a group of individuals striving toward set goals with the best interest of our children in mind. I am proud of the work being accomplished within our district. Many of the surrounding schools reach out to ours to understand how we get things done. We serve as an example to other communities. Cranford is not only a leader in education but in areas such as safety & security and health and well-being. As one avenue to address the mental health crisis in schools, our Cranford teachers are currently being trained to recognize certain mental health challenges that our students may be facing. These teachers will have the training and resources to potentially impact a student’s entire life. The recognition we have received within the state is a true testament to the team we currently have in place. I have chosen to run again because I am passionate about our community, our schools and our children. I believe in our current board and I know that we can continue to work together to find common ground for our entire community.

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You may have heard my opponent’s claim that I am in favor of Reimagine Plan 1 and that I am “pro-bussing’. Never have I stated either. It is not only irresponsible but also disturbing, to have fellow candidates putting words in my mouth.  I would like to make it abundantly clear that I have never been “pro-bussing”. I have been in favor of finding any avenue that would allow our children to thrive and grow. I am fully aware that this is an elected position. I understand the responsibility I have to the members of our community. I was not elected to push my own single-issue agenda but instead to focus on how to ensure the success of all students within the district.  Prior to being elected to the board, I had spent countless hours of my time volunteering within our community. I volunteer because I believe that my time is best spent positively impacting our children. Whether I am re-elected or not I will continue to do so.

As an incumbent candidate, I urge you to do your research. This election has the potential to make or break this board. I realize not every voter will be informed enough to vote with a purpose. My fear is that voters will choose the easy way out by hitting slot 1, 2 and 3. This board of education election is an important one and there is no room for voter apathy. We need educated voters to come out in droves. It is not too late to ask questions. Read all the statements that have been issued, message each candidate privately and ask hard questions. Do they take the time to respond and are they truly engaged? Most importantly please come out and vote.

If I am re-elected I will continue to dedicate my time and energy to building a stronger community through education. I see the faces of my children in yours. My years of coaching have taught me that each player has their own unique skill set. The best teams have been led by individuals willing to nurture those individual skills. Each student deserves a chance to showcase their unique abilities. I will spend my time being the voice of the individual. The voice of your child.

The coach in me understands that a win is not truly a win if it comes at the expense of a teammate.  So please, come out and vote for columns 3-6-5 for Cranford Board of Education. We will work for your kids and every taxpayer, 365 days a year.

Sincerely,

Brian McCarthy

Column 5 for Cranford Board of Education

“Building a Stronger Community Through Education”

(The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Cranford Board of Education or its members)