This article has been published as part of a series of profiles on Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education Candidates. All candidates will be featured individually during the week leading up to the November 2019 election.
WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Meet Marie Lanfrank, a Caldwell resident running as an incumbent in the upcoming Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education election.
Marie Lanfrank, a retired school administrator, has lived in Caldwell for more than 30 years. Her children graduated from James Caldwell High School.
Q: Why are you running for board of education?
A: As mentioned three years ago when I was a candidate for re-election as a board of education member, I have resided in Caldwell for many years and am a former educator. Therefore, I place a high value on education and as such continue to have a vested interest in working with Dan Cipoletti and the current board of education members with a focus on continuing to preserve and improve the quality of education in our school system.
It is vitally important for residents to remember that the quality of the public schools is the most critical factor in protecting their investment in their homes. When schools meet their goals of enhancing educational offerings, as the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District does, the equity in homes grows, businesses prosper and students receive an education that prepares them for higher education, the military, and/or the workforce rather than the unemployment lines.
It goes without saying that we have a great school system and I want to do my part to ensure that it remains so.
Q: Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?
A: For the past six years I have served as a Caldwell-West Caldwell board of education member and as such have a working knowledge and understanding of the myriad of issues that the district is currently facing and what is coming down the pike. During this time as a board member, I have participated in the NJ School Board Association’s training which included the role of the board member, board governance, school law, school ethics, harassment, intimidation and bullying, open public meetings, rice notices, collective bargaining, negotiations, litigation, hiring issues, labor relations, finance and student achievement. Over the years I was able to use what I learned from this training.
So, I am certainly well ahead of the game.
Q: What should people know about you that they might not know already?
A: In addition to the above, I have a BA in Education with a concentration in mathematics from The College of New Jersey and an MA in Education with a concentration in counseling and special services from Seton Hall University. Post graduate courses at various New Jersey institutions of higher learning led to my being certified by the State of New Jersey as a Chief School Administrator (i.e. superintendent of schools) and Principal. I also hold a provisional certificate as a Business Administrator.
I was employed for 30+ years in the educational arena as a teacher, supplemental instructor, learning consultant, assistant principal and director of special services in urban and suburban K-12, regional and vocational school districts and continue to be well versed in all aspects of public education. I therefore have the benefit of knowing what it takes to build and enhance an excellent school system. Needless to say, my educational training, my experience in the field of education and my having been a board of education member for six years are additional assets that compliment the expertise of the other board of education members.
Q: Tell us about your other career and/or other ways you are involved in the community.
A: I am one of the founding members of the Caldwell West Caldwell Education Foundation, the past president and current trustee. While serving as president, I implemented the Taste of the Caldwell’s and Dancing with our Community Stars. I was also a member of the Caldwell Merchants Association and helped with the Art on the Avenue.
Q: What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it?
A: COURTESY BUSING
Providing courtesy busing would cost approximately $400,000 plus drivers salaries. Since this is a costly endeavor that could affect program offerings or taxes, the community should way in via a referendum vote similar to what was done for all day kindergarten.