(Editor’s Note: Elections for the South Plainfield Board of Education will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5. This year, five candidates are vying for three open seats; incumbents Deborah “Debbie” Boyle, Tom Cassio and Jim Giannakis and are seeking re-election while Chere Glover and Bill Seesselberg are vying for a seat as well. TAPinto emailed all five candidates the same questions, the candidates answers will be published one per day this week unedited.)

Glover's Bio -

I have called South Plainfield my home for the last twenty years. My husband, Tracy and I are parents to four children, three sons who are alumni of South Plainfield Schools, and one daughter, currently a junior at the high school.  I earned both my bachelors and master’s degrees in Social Work from Rutgers University.  I am a licensed social worker in New Jersey and a NJDOE certified school social worker.  I have been working in education for the last 27 years and am currently employed by Jersey City Public Schools. Additionally, I hold a certification in family and divorce mediation. Previously I have worked early intervention and conducted home studies for an adoption agency in central jersey.  I have also been an adjunct professor at Essex County College.

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I have been active in the community for over a decade. I have served as a member of the South Plainfield school board from 2014 to 2017.  I’ve been a member of the Roosevelt, Grant, Middle and High School PTOs.  Other organizations I have participated with is Pop Warner, South Plainfield Soccer Club, the High School Athletic Booster Club, and founded the South Plainfield Parents Boys Basketball Group in 2012-13. Currently, I am a Girl Scout troop leader.   

TAPinto: Why are running for re-election to the South Plainfield Board of Education?

MY RESPONSE: I have decided to run for re-election, to continue the work that I have been such an integral part of during my first term.  I know my presence is paramount for the continued growth of our schools. I listen to the issues, and always work on the side of what is best for our children, staff and community.  My focus is continuously looking to collaborate with the administration to make our district fit the needs of this community. I believe our board could use some diversity and gender equity.  Our town has a plethora of citizens from all different backgrounds, and our district school board should represent what our community looks like.  I would like to rejoin our board to keep the movement of South Plainfield students into the 21st century.  I know the issues, and goals we need to set and accomplish.

TAPinto: In your opinion, what is the role of a board of education member?

MY RESPONSE:  The role of a board member is to work collaboratively  with the superintendent and the administrative team to establish district policy to ensure that our schools will run effectively and efficiently. As a BOE member I am open to listen to the community and staff, and gain an insight as to our needs.  Actually, a board member is able to be most effective when communicating with all stakeholders, consistently.

TAPinto: What do you feel are the top three (3) issues affecting South Plainfield schools?

MY RESPONSE: The top three issues affecting our district I feel are as follows: (1)  Ensuring our district is on solid fiscal ground. We will need long term goals that will provide sustainability, during these tumultuous times with the lack of state and federal funding to public school districts. (2) Consistently improving and reviewing the service delivery to our special needs students. (3) An intense review of our curriculum at all grade levels, to raise the standards of learning.

TAPinto: If elect/re-elected to the board, what is the first thing you would look into?

MY RESPONSE: If re-elected I would look into our fiscal status.  In addition to being brought up to speed on all departments in our district.

TAPinto: What do you like best about South Plainfield Schools?

MY RESPONSE:  What I love best about our schools are the students!  When I get to have a front row seat to witness our students evolving and making great accomplishments, is so satisfying and rewarding. It makes the countless volunteer hours I put into the South Plainfield school district as a board member totally worth it!

TAPinto: Why should residents elect/re-elect you to the South Plainfield Board of Education? What makes you the candidate of choice?

MY RESPONSE: I am the candidate of choice because my priority is simply our students, community, and staff. No personal agendas. Additionally, one has to be present and on time to make informed decisions. As a previous member, I had excellent attendance and was prompt to meetings.  I know my presence in the past has helped in redefining our board, by developing a climate of collaboration. I am a candidate that has integrity. I am always willing to explain my support or lack of support for an issue. In all actuality, I wish more community members would share their thoughts with me.

TAPinto: Is there anything else you would like voters to know?

MY RESPONSE:  As a parent I have seen education from every grade level with multiple children. I also view education through a professional perspective and previously as a board member. Seeing education through multiple dimensions, which makes my experience rich and useful. Furthermore, my agenda is STILL all about the students, staff, and community.  As a parent and a taxpayer, I believe the community wants a sound school district, [one] that is fiscally responsible and provides a solid education for our children.

 During my first term, I feel we accomplished a great deal. Creating stability by hiring a permanent Superintendent, then to promoting and passing the referendum.  These accomplishments have given South Plainfield a total makeover, from the inside out. While on the board I have served as Vice President, and received the New Board Member certification from the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), as well as completed training in leadership for board presidents and vice presidents also through NJSBA.  I have also chaired the Curriculum, Personnel, and Special Education Committees. I have also been a member of the finance and public relations committees.

Most recently I worked with the board president and the superintendent on the ad hoc committee to oversee the completion of the referendum projects. 

TAPinto: What line are you on the ballot?

I can be found at ballot position 1F!