This is the fourth in a series of profiles written by the candidates running for the Board of Education. TAPinto Elizabeth offered all 10 candidates an opportunity to present their qualifications and goals if elected. Nine responded, and they will be featured one each day.
Jose Rodriguez, a current Board of Education member up for re-election, is profiled here.
My name is Jose M. Rodriguez, and I was born and raised in Elizabeth. I attended school here and my family has been rooted here for over 44 years. I am currently a Special Education teacher in high school. I started my 13th year, and I am loving what I do more each day. I have a Master's Degree in Educational Management, another Master's Degree in Special Education, and I am currently enrolled in a Doctorate of Education program where I anticipate earning my Doctorate in Education Leadership in 2019. I also have coached soccer for over seven years and have mentored many teachers in my district. On the weekends I volunteer my time to coach children with disabilities in a sports program here in Elizabeth. I believe I am a highly qualified member for the Elizabeth Board of Education because I sleep, eat, and breathe education every day. I am a student, a teacher, an education manager, and I am constantly attempting to better myself and stay current with all educational movements. I work well with others and make myself accessible to the community at all times.
2. I believe the most important issue in the election is accountability. We have made great strides in being transparent and holding the line on spending outside the classroom. We have done things legally, which at times is very slow, and the public at times becomes frustrated with our efforts. I will continue to be accountable to the residents and continue to understand that as we make things more transparent and more public, the residents will interact more with us and demand more. This is what we want, we want to be partners WITH the community and will continue to do so.
3. Special Education, Security, insufficient monies, waste and overcrowding are also major topics. I would go into detail here about each but we are limited to what we can write. Please contact me for further details.
4. People should know that I work day in and day out to make this district great. I am in constant communication with the Chief School Administrator and in constant meetings to help steer this district to continued greatness. I work well with the City of Elizabeth to bring programs for our students to our schools at low or no cost. We have begun to share services and that becomes a benefit for all who live in Elizabeth.
5. We have put many checks and balances into play, we continue to make positive changes that most of the time the public will never know about because of the sensitivity of the issues at hand. What I want the public to know is that we work tireless hours for our children, and we do it out of love and for NO pay. We understand that not everyone agrees with what we do but we will make sure that we listen to everyone. We continue to fight for the education of each and every one of the 28,000 students under our care while also balancing the needs of our 4,000 employee work force along with the needs of our residents. We do not take this task lightly and I am honored to be able to serve. I ask that we are given the chance to continue the positive impact that we have made.