It with a great honor that I am running as a candidate for the Millburn Board of Education.  I wanted to share my background, credentials as well as my views with the Millburn community so that you will be able to make an informed decision when casting your vote.  

My wife and I are home grown NJ public school products.  We chose to plant roots in Millburn so that our children can grow up in the educational system in this town.  I have great memories of my own public school education.  Public school teachers shaped the foundations in my life for being able to get to this point in my career to give back. I wholeheartedly believe in a strong public education system, as my education has opened doors throughout my life. 

As a first generation American, my parents preached and instilled that education would be their legacy to me and my brothers.  It is the same legacy which I want to pass onto my children.  While our children are not in the Millburn public school system yet (they are 3 and 1), we moved to Millburn so that they could be part of the greatest education system in New Jersey.  We must ensure that the education our children receive now and in the future is the best it can be.

I received a BS in Economics and a minor in Systems Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  In addition, I have just completed my MS in Engineering Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology.  I was selected by the Academic Chair of Industrial Engineering at NJIT to work as an Adjunct Professor, and I taught Engineering Statistics to Undergraduates.  I developed my own lesson plans, curriculum, notes, tests, and projects.  I understand first hand what it takes to be an effective teacher, and how to do more with less.  In addition to the coursework, I really enjoy interacting with my students outside of the classroom.  Through my discussions with them, I understand what it takes to succeed at the collegiate and professional level.  I have helped students with their career progression and they still consult with me about career decisions outside of the classroom.  

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Professionally, I am an Engineer.  Every day, I work to help build and renovate K-12 school facilities.  I work with architects, engineers, school boards and general contractors to bring projects to communities on-time and on-budget.  The Board recently cited the neglect our Millburn schools have been in over the past 10 years.  At the last Board meeting I attended, I listened to a mother plea to the Board to fix the heating at the South Mountain School.  I believe my skills as an engineer will complement the Board’s professional diversity and will be an executive asset as we embark on capital projects to provide safe educational facilities for our children.  A study of Chicago and Washington, DC schools, for instance, found that better school facilities can add three to four percentage points to a school’s standardized test scores, even after allowing for demographic considerations.

The three new Board members that you will elect will be serving the 5,000 children who attend the Millburn School System.  It is important to have an executive team that has the community needs as the driving priority.  As the Board of Education votes and decides on the school’s $84MM budget, you will be placing a large amount of trust that the appointed individuals will do what is best for ALL of us.

If I am elected to represent you, I will listen to the community and will bring a new perspective to the Millburn Board of Education.  Having an open dialogue and strong communication with our various stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc.) will enable us to come to the right decisions.  Feel free to email me at raymondwongforboe@gmail.com at any time to share with me your thoughts or concerns. 

Furthermore, taxpayers need transparency on budget items for our town.  My experience of running a business as a leader requires doing more with less.  This is the new paradigm of working in America today.  I know what it takes to lead and unite a team of over 500 employees.  Executing on a budget that works requires analysis, making choices and discipline.  Return on Investment is the Business of Managing Today.  ROI should be a major factor in all the decisions that we are making.  In today’s economy, every dollar has to work that much harder.  We do this in our own homes with our own budgets.  We need the same common sense approach to our School Budget.  There are long-term ramifications for our present choices, and I will ensure that we keep the future bright for our children.

Finally, my family and the education I received at West Point have inspired me to a lifetime of service to the nation.  I have contributed to and volunteered for the communities I have been a part of.  I have worked with various stakeholders in achieving goals and understand what it takes to reach across the aisle, ensure that different voices are heard and work with others to execute on our decisions.

I urge you as the voter to learn more about each of the candidates and I urge you to register by October 16 and come out and vote on November 6.  Thank you and once again, please feel free to reach out to me at raymondwongforboe@gmail.com.