(Editor’s Note: Elections for the South Plainfield Board of Education will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 3. This year, seven candidates are vying for three open seats. TAPinto will be running profiles on each candidate. Candidate profiles are being published in alphabetical order.)
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A resident of South Plainfield for 15 years, Mindy Gerber has been involved with the borough’s Cultural Arts Commission for the past three years and currently serves as its secretary. Additionally, she is a former recording secretary and past president of the Grant School PTO. Her name will appear on the ballot in Row 7.
Gerber worked for several years as a special education and gifted/general education teacher in Maryland and Delaware before obtaining a master’s in speech pathology. For the past 26 years, she has worked for JFK Hartwyck and is presently a rehabilitation supervisor and specialist therapist at both the medical center’s Edison campus and Oak Tree Road facilities.
Gerber and her husband, Michael Goyette – a lifelong resident of the borough – are parents to Wyatt, 14, a freshman at South Plainfield High School, and 7-year-old twins Beckett and Delaney, second graders at Riley Elementary. Over the years, she has been actively involved with the schools, volunteering her time to help run various events. “I like to be involved and hands on. I like to help,” said Gerber.
With her now children older and more self-sufficient, Gerber said this year seemed like the right time to run for the board. “I think being involved is important and as a working mother who is not into politics I can be a role model for kids. I feel I can help and make a difference and make a positive impact on the students,” she said, adding that, in her opinion, it is important to be involved. “If you are involved, your kids see the importance of being involved and how important school is.”
According to Gerber, hiring permanent administrators is one of the biggest challenges and most pressing needs facing the South Plainfield School District right now. “The whole town sees that and it's a really big challenge we are facing,” she said. “This is a great family town and we have really great teachers. The town, students and parents deserve consistent administrators.”
While Gerber feels the district has, in the past few years, been moving in the right direction with the implementation of additional AP classes at the high school, she thinks more needs to be done to ensure all options and resources possible are made available to South Plainfield students. “We need to be competitive of other schools in the area so are kids are more prepared and will be accepted a larger variety of schools for whatever their path may be,” she said.
Gerber also believes the board should serve as a ‘listening ground’ and said as a member she will remain open-minded and objective. “You have to listen to every side and I feel I am somebody who is a good listener and good at reflective listening,” she said. “I am very good at listening to every side and evaluating a situation to come up to a conclusion that I feel is good for everyone involved.”
Residents, said Gerber, should elect her to the South Plainfield Board of Education because she does not have any political intentions and isn’t conflicted in anyway. “I am an everyday working mom who wants to be involved with the school and who doesn't have any intentions other than making sure of school district continues to rise,” she said, adding, “I just want to help facilitate things for the kids and help make decisions that are right for the parents, administrators, teachers and, most importantly, the students.”
When it comes to electing someone to the board of education this year, Gerber hopes people ‘seven is a lucky number.’ “I hope people will look and scroll down to Row 7,” said Gerber.