“People learn best and most deeply when they believe other people have faith in their ability to learn;” ― Ken Bain, What the best college professors do
My name is Diana Thomas and I am a running for a seat on the Randolph Township Board of Education. As an existing board member since February 2014, I have brought my vision of student centered education and STEM infused across the disciplines. I would be honored to continue serving Randolph township to continue supporting critical programs that engage our children to learn most deeply.
I have three children in the Randolph District School system; two at Shongum elementary one at the Randolph High School. As a full professor of mathematics at Montclair State University, I’ve spent the last 8 years in Randolph volunteering my time to help children advance in mathematics. In 2009, I worked with the Shongum Math Olympiad team to practice problems weekly at my home. I’ve also organized two math workshops in the Randolph Township library. Elementary education students from my classes at Montclair State University were invited to develop and run the workshop in lieu of taking the in class final exam. I’m a firm believer in service learning and take every opportunity to have my students train in a hands on environment.
I am also a higher education administrator and a published researcher engaged in student-centered STEM research across the disciplines. Our Center for Quantitative Obesity Research actively collaborates with numerous NJ industry partners and provides hands on training through our non-profit Weight Management Clinic for NJ students interested in a career in health. To enhance my current position on the Board of Education, I have opted to be involved on University committees involved with the PARCC, University admissions, and higher education assessment in NJ and PA in order to 1) lobby for the interests of our district and 2) to bring continually changing information back to our district.
I plan to continue to support programs that are 1) rigorous and 2) prepare our Randolph students for standardized assessments, college, and the future NJ state and national workforce. An example of a novel existing program I have supported on the board is Randolph’s innovative learner activity technology infused classrooms, My natural instinct to mentor, foster, and engage students at all levels will always influence my support of existing programs and creation of new programs that excite students to learn by doing. These programs extend well beyond the classroom into student activities, our nationally recognized music program, and stellar athletic programs.
If one phrase could summarize my views it is that “becoming is better than being” (Carol Dweck). I want to work with you to help our children BECOME by dreaming big, working hard, and achieving their goals at every level.