My name is Salvatore Balsamo and I am seeking re-election to the Nutley Board of Education.

I have served as a Trustee for the past three years. This service has been an honor and, for me, it represents a long history. My children, Matthew and PJ, are in third and fifth grade at Yantacaw School. I am also a product of the Nutley Schools, having attended Radcliffe School (Our friendships true, were made by you! Our memories here shall stand!), John Walker Middle School, and Nutley High School.

I went on to earn a BA in History from Rutgers College with a minor in Political Science and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Montclair State University. This fall I will start my fifteenth school year as a History Teacher at Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ. I believe that a strong public education system is the cornerstone of a great community and I enjoy being a part of the progress that our schools are making. Education is my life’s work.

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Through the hard work of our teachers and administrators our district continues to develop and grow. Five years ago the school district created a community-supported strategic plan. Since that time mechanisms have been in place to continuously review curriculum, programming, and facilities on a regular basis. This has led to improved outcomes on many levels. Our NJDOE assessments and QSAC scores are supporting evidence of our continued operational and educational progress. Additionally, our extracurricular activities have shown great success, particularly in the Arts. You know what I mean if you have ever seen a high school play, band performance, choir or jazz ensemble—to name a few!

The responsibility of any Board of Education isn’t to run the district, but rather to see that it is being run well. An effective Board of Education collaborates well internally, with each other, and supports the administration and staff to plan for continued success and sustainability. To that end, the Board of Education has worked with staff and administration to set district goals that support the recently adopted new five-year strategic plan.

I have enjoyed working alongside my colleagues on every level, especially in focused committees. Since 2016 I have been a member of the Academic Committee, having served as Chair for the past two years. This year I also joined the Policy Committee and together we have worked to ensure that our district regulations reflect current community needs and state legislative parameters.

I am very proud of the good working relationships we have developed as a Board, whether we have agreed or not. To that end I encourage you to learn more about my colleagues also up for re-election and support them. Ryan Kline and Debbie Russo are truly great, hardworking people: I have witnessed firsthand that they have our children and community’s best interests in mind.

We are Nutley parents for Nutley students. To my family and friends, I am always grateful for and humbled by your continuous support and confidence. To all in the larger community, please reach out if you have any questions for me: salvatorebalsamo@hotmail.com. The same goes for anyone looking to volunteer or help out. I look forward to your support on November 6, 2018 and to another great school year to come.