EB Board of Education: Meet Candidate John Gonzalez

John Gonzalez, Candidate for the East Brunswick BOE Credits: TAPintoEast Brunswick

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - One would think that John Gonzalez has had enough of education, kids, coaching and outreach since he is in the middle of a career as an educator who spends his days doing the tough work of a vice-principal in a school for students with special needs.  Well, one would be wrong.

John Gonzalez grew up in Jersey City and moved to East Brunswick in 2011, mostly because of the township's reputation for superior schools.  Since then, he has coached football for the St. Bart's Buffalos and baseball for the East Brunswick Baseball League.  

He has also become involved as a parent of a student in Chittick School Elementary School, with a focus on the needs of Special Education students.  through his professional life and personal experience, Gonzalez has seen both successes and struggles in the programs available to bring all children forward and to capitalize on students' skills.

Sign Up for E-News

"Last year, " Gonzalez said in an interview with TAPinto East Brunswick, "I reached the breaking point for becoming involved politically in the schools. I wanted to become part of the conversation about the correct placement and intervention for students." 

Gonzalez described his son's difficulty in some educational placements - "push-ins," "pull outs," "self-contained classrooms" - and the lack of recognition for what "triggers" lead to success or failure for individual students.  He became even more interested in the strategies that are "best for students to become successful." 

Additionally, as a Vice-Principal and HIB Coordinator at Barringer High School in Newark, Gonzalez said he saw "an improvement of climate and culture" when pro-active anti-bullying strategies were implemented at New Jersey's oldest high school.  

"It's a matter of raising up everyone, " said Gonzalez, "and creating a positive environment."  Gonzalez cited efforts like "Caught Being Good," "Blue Bucks" (a school reward program) and Nuture Heart, a program of strategic interventions for students who challenge authority.

"However, " asserted Gonzalez, " what really works in preventing bullying is educating all the parties concerned - parents, staff, students, the PTA - everyone who comes into contact with the kids."  Gonzalez supports speakers and assemblies about social and cultural differences. 

He also stated that "Some parents give students too much freedom without adult supervision, especially on the internet, which sometimes leads to cyberbullying and targeting."

As member of the Board of Education, Gonzalez says, "I am ready to have the tough conversations with the parents at the bus stops.  I come from a customer service background."

With regard to standardized testing, Gonzalez calls the PARCC and other formats a "necessary evil" to get the information required to adapt instruction.  "We want some measure.  We want to be informed, " said Gonzalez.  Yet Gonzalez called the adminstration of the tests a "nightmare" and would prefer some flexibility in testing approaches.  "I am up for that discussion, "he said.

"The best thing about East Brunswick, " said the candidate, "Is the community feeling and pride in the family.  We are all doing this for the kids.  I want to make a connection and get to know the children and the families."

*EDITOR'S NOTE:  5 candidates are on the ballot for 3 places on the East Brunswick Board of Education in the election that will be held on Tuesday, November 7.  The incumbents running for re-election include current BOE President Todd SimmensSusanna W. Chiu, and Laurie Lachs. The 2 first-time candidates are Jean Reger and John Gonzalez.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

East Brunswick's Ethan Reiss Saves the History of Who We Are

July 15, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - To some people, lists of names and pictures of locations just create a jumble of information and a confusing mass of facts.  To Ethan Reiss, a historian from East Brunswick who is working to keep facts alive, these bits and pieces come together to form a picture of who we are based on who we were in the past.

Reiss, the administrator of the popular "You Know ...

East Brunswick Council Candidates Respond to Mayor Cohen’s Comments in Recent TapInto Article

July 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ- Councilwoman Camille Clark and Council Candidates Curt Philipczak and Dhar Khona released the following statement in response to Mayor Cohen:

“While the TAP article and the Mayor focus on the semantics in differentiating between the phrases and terms “Redevelopment Zone” and “other” new construction, the end product is the same.  Simply ...

Learn How to “Ace The Interview” at the East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK—Looking for a new job? East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is here to help. The library offers a special program called “Acing the Interview” on Saturday, July 21 at 10:30 am, which is designed to help jobseekers.

“Acing the Interview” focuses on what many feel is the most stressful part of the job search process: the ...

Learn About Food Preservation at the East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library and the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission are presenting the special program “Food Preservation 101” at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) on Wednesday, August 1 at 7:00 pm.

“Food Preservation 101” covers the basics of food preservation. The program is led by Shailja Mathur and ...

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts "An Olde-Time Summer Band Concert"

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is more than just books. On Sunday, July 15 at 2:00 pm, the library hosts a special concert featuring the Central Jersey Wind Ensemble.

Titled “An Old Time Summer Band Concert,” the concert is a sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The Central Jersey Wind Ensemble will perform a variety of ...

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts Special Health Day

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and East Brunswick Public Library are teaming up to host a special evening of health programs at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) on Wednesday, July 11.

Horizon will be providing blood pressure and blood sugar screenings in the library from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

The program “Brain Games – Keep ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)


If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)


Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...