Candidate Statement: Pamela Lisa Chirls and Ronnie Ferber Konner for Livingston BOE

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LIVINGSTON, NJ - Empowering the 21st century student presents exciting opportunities and requires two women who are experienced, informed, and engaged leadership team members. As long-time township natives, PAMELA LISA CHIRLS and RONNIE FERBER KONNER bring a deep understanding of the community and the educational programs offered in Livingston Public Schools and thoughtfully engage with all stakeholders to make decisions based on what is best for nearly 6,000 students with diverse academic, social, and emotional needs. Pamela and Ronnie are graduates of Livingston High School (LHS), and, with a deep understanding of where we have come from, we can work in collaboration with Board of Education (BOE) members to provide oversight that will enable children to become lifelong learners and contributors. We have been proactive BOE members in town, county, and state forums:

  • Developing curriculum programs, with smaller class size guidelines; an early intervention reading program to help our youngest readers; and a math program for students in 3rd through 5th grades, with important school-to-parent connections.
  • Expanding the counseling programs, with counselors in all schools, improved counselor to student ratio at LHS, and two Student Assistance Counselors to support the social and emotional needs of each one of our students.
  • Improving administrative structure for better vertical and horizontal articulation of curriculum programs, with 12-month principals who can be educational leaders of their buildings and work with 10-month supervisors who oversee curriculum programs, K-6 and 7-12.
  • Building infrastructure for integrated educational experiences for all of our students in state-of-the-art media centers and classrooms, with internet connections and accommodations for collaborative teaching and learning and potential growth.
  • Designing resolutions to address issues of concern to community members, including the superintendent salary cap and the PARCC test.
  • Working with administrators to build a fiscally responsible budget within the state-mandated 2% cap, inviting public input at BOE meetings, community forums, and public hearings. Note: The 2015-2016 budget was within the state-mandated 2% cap and included a portion of banked-cap reserve and state-allowed health insurance waiver. If the 2015-2016 budget had exceeded the 2% cap, law would have required Livingston citizens to vote on the budget. Pamela Lisa Chirls and Ronnie Ferber Konner participated in every meeting.

PAMELA LISA CHIRLS has been a 15-year school and community volunteer. She served Livingston Public Schools in a number of ways: Strategic Planning Committee, Grade Weighting Committee, Middle School Sports and Gifted and Talented Art and Music Committee, and Parent Advocate Group for Excellence. She was involved at Temple Emanu-El, as Youth Chair and Social Action Chair. Pam and her family have been raising puppies for The Seeing Eye Institute for 10 years. She was a Vice President of the Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee, coordinating community programs to support the social and emotional needs of all of our children. Most recently, she has been the President of the Board of Education and a member of the Negotiating Committee and the Technology Committee. She was recently appointed to the New Jersey School Board Association’s Standards and Assessment Committee. Her two older children are 2013 graduates of LHS, and her younger child is a freshman at LHS.

RONNIE FERBER KONNER recently retired as a K-5 teacher of Spanish in LPS, teaching at Burnet Hill School, Riker Hill School, and previously at Hillside, Collins, and Harrison. She served on many District Committees, including Strategic Planning, Technology, and Professional Development. Currently, as a Board of Education Member, she serves as Board liaison to HCHY, the Livingston Committee on Diversity, Technology Committee, and PT Council. A 50-year Livingston resident, she was inducted into the 2013 LHS Hall of Fame as an outstanding educator, and was a founding member of the Livingston Education Foundation. She served on the Board of Education from 1983-1992, serving twice as president and once as vice president. She earned her master's degree in education from Johns Hopkins University and dedicated 30 years to teaching Spanish in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as graduate level college courses in technology. Her grandchildren are currently students in Livingston Public Schools.

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