This past year, 8 of 9 elected members of the Board of Education who have the same philosophy proposed a radical education and fiscal plan, which would have fundamentally changed the fabric of our town. No longer would our children have been able to attend the school that’s the closest proximity to their home.
Thankfully the town I love, united together to advocate for our special town and rejected the Board’s plan “Reimagine Cranford Public Schools” which referenced 7 different busing plans. Yes, I do agree 100%, with members of our community, the board of education and members of the community must not look back but rather look and move forward. If we stay in the past, rather than embracing forward thinking, our children and Cranford taxpayers won’t continue the path of academic excellence and fiscal responsibility.
Unfortunately, when a board continues to be dominated by 8 of its 9 members having one philosophy and not being a diverse coalition of vested residents, how can we move forward to ensure all voices are represented and have influence in the most important decisions impacting our children and Cranford residents?
Unlike some of my incumbent opponents who have primarily been unchallenged since taking office, I didn’t enter the race because Reimagine ignited a desire to do so; or to seek to continue to serve on a board whose philosophy was rejected by the town.
As a candidate for the Board of Education, I entered this campaign, as I see an opportunity as a former teacher to re-enter the world of education and address the educational shortcomings that I have experienced firsthand as a parent of children in Brookside Place and Orange Avenue schools.
Additionally, shortcomings were exposed during the Reimagine meetings from friends and former neighbors at Walnut Avenue and Hillside Avenue Schools. Whether you agree or disagree with Reimagine, I hope you do agree that every child in Cranford deserves the same access to resources and opportunities to reach his or her fullest academic potential.
When you go to the ballot, if you are seeking a balanced philosophy of your board, then I offer you the following:
- Advocate for every child to ensure each individually thrives and achieves academic excellence
- Not accepting status-quo that our school district is too wealthy to secure both corporate and government grants to enhance our schools while balancing our existing tax revenue
- Evaluation of the academic standard of our walkable neighborhood schools
- Transformation of our special education and early childhood programs to exceed standards
Keep this in mind, in our schools there is a buddy bench. When a child is the only one sitting on the bench, it represents hope that a buddy will join them. When you go to the voting booth today with early voting or on November 5th close your eyes, envision that one board member who had a different philosophy sitting on that bench.
Allow me to join the Board of Education as another philosophy needs a buddy.
Now is the time we put “Our Children First”.
VOTE COLUMN 2
Editor's Note: Two revisions were made to this Candidate Statement due to backend difficulties experienced with the website Tuesday afternoon.