Hello Warren voters,
I am writing in support of Kathy Helewa for Warren Township Board of Education. I have known Kathy since my youngest started in Woodland School. Kathy is someone you meet and you just know that she is exactly what you see. She doesn’t play games, doesn’t gossip and really cares about people. She is honest and fair and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt- she is truly a good, genuine person. I have known Kathy Helewa as a Girl Scout leader, a class mom, chairperson of many committees at school, volunteer at many charity events, and most recently as a Board of Ed member. While all of these things are worthy of praise, I feel she has made a tremendous impact on our Board of Education!
Anyone that knows me well, knows two things. I love the schools in Warren and I hate politics. This election has been difficult for me to understand, because politics don’t belong in our school board elections. Being on the school board is a huge commitment and a very important job. I have spent a lot of time at board meetings since my children have started school, much to the dismay of board members, since I am very vocal when I feel that something isn’t working or I feel something the board is or isn’t doing is hurting our schools. I haven’t found the need to go to meetings lately, because quite honestly, I think this Board is doing a great job.We need to make sure that we are voting for experience and voting for someone who has always put the schools first. We need to make sure we are voting for Kathy Helewa & only Kathy Helewa.
I was very happy when I found out that four people were interested in running for seats on the board. I looked forward to getting to know the new candidates and seeing what they had in mind for our schools. I was hopeful that I would be able to choose three people that I knew would take their role seriously and work hard to improve our already great schools. That all changed when I heard that three of the candidates decided to run as a slate- to team up in order to gain more votes from friends of friends and try to edge out the most qualified person for the job, Kathy Helewa. How this is allowed is beyond me- it is such a political move that it made me sick to think that people not only would agree to this, but that they actually thought it was a good idea. I think it’s great that four people are running, but if you can’t run on your own merits, you have lost my vote. If you think trying to squeeze out the most qualified candidate is a good idea, you have lost my vote. The fact is when they decided to make this decision to band together to try to pool votes and remove a valued member of the board, they made a decision to hurt our board and our schools. I could never support anyone that would freely make that choice, saying they have the best interests of our school at heart and then trying to damage them. Regardless of what kind of people they may be in reality, their actions say much more to me about them as possible board members and their motives to run for the board than any endorsements or kind words from their friends or political allies ever could. They have lost my vote by their actions and complete disregard for a board member that had proven herself time and time again.
Kathy Helewa is the current vice president of the board, elected to that position by her peers on the board. She is excited about continuing the challenge of serving our town and is looking forward to tackling the upcoming issues this year: hiring a new superintendent and most effectively managing our declining numbers in the schools with the children and the financials both in mind. Contrary to rumors out there, Kathy has no interest in shutting down a school and has said publicly that the board would never want to do that and will look at every possibility to keep it from happening- that would be a last resort for the board. She has served on many committees on the board including the policy committee, communications, negotiations, personnel, and curriculum. In fact, she chairs the policy committee. Kathy has dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to the BOE. As I am writing this, she is away from her family at a workshop for the board to further educate herself on things that will impact our schools.
As for the slate, I personally think we need more independent thinkers on the board, not groups of friends who run together. We need representation from all five schools. If Kathy is not re-elected, it will chip away at this representation, as five people will be from the ALT district. Although all board members are working with the whole town in mind, in a town with four sending grammar schools and a middle school, diversity is ideal. In a time when there is declining enrollment, and the possibility of closing a school, I wouldn’t want five people from any of the elementary schools on the board. Will they vote what is in the best interests of all the children of Warren if it would mean their children and their friends may get rezoned to different schools? I don’t like the idea of a majority vote from any school, especially at a time when decisions will impact all the students of Warren.
I ask you to consider re-electing Kathy Helewa for Warren Board of Ed and when you go to vote, only voting for Kathy! This is the only way to be sure Kathy is voted in and not swallowed up by the slate. Don't just take my word for it, call Kathy, read her statements and endorsements from people who have had the pleasure of working with her on the board. Many past board members have endorsed Kathy- they actually know her and have seen how vital she is to the board. Below I included links to several articles that have run in The Alternative Press and in the Echoes Sentinel. Please take the time to read about Kathy in her own words, as well as letters of endorsement.
Kathy is very open to speaking with anyone regarding her contributions to the board and her desire to continue to serve. Please feel free to contact her at home, 908 822-2091, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out her Facebook page which can be accessed even if you are not on Facebook.
Thank you for considering Kathy for re-election to the Warren Township Board of Ed. We are lucky we have such an excellent person serving our town. Please think about coming to the Candidates Forum on Sunday. The event is sponsored by the Warren Township Schools' PTOs and will be held at Coddington Hall located at 42 Liberty Corner Rd. at 7:30 p.m.
Hope to see you all on Election Day- next Tuesday, November 3rd,