Education

Letters to the Editor

Slater Thanks Westfield for Two Terms on Board of Education

b942b1387f092b6e89f6_editor.jpg
b942b1387f092b6e89f6_editor.jpg

Last week I concluded my second term as an elected board of education member thanks to the support of Westfield voters over the last six years. I wanted to take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to all the hard working taxpayers of Westfield that support the nearly $100 Million Budget annually through their property tax revenues.

When I ran for the board in 2010 I promised I would do my best as one out of nine members to be the voice of the taxpayer. I know that with every decision made at our table, regardless of topic, when money was involved tremendous due diligence was done by the board and specifically the Finance Committee which I was honored to serve on. I can assure you during my tenure every budget was meticulously analyzed, scrutinized and our Board Secretary Dana Sullivan, worked tirelessly to make sure all budgets were balanced, fair and that is why our audits were so successful year after year.

It is interesting how little one knows when first sitting on the board. Though I had a strong background in financial management and my day job involves that as well the world of New Jersey (specifically Education Funding) is in a universe by itself. The rules, regulations and codes alone take time to comprehend and then changes (for good and bad) are constantly being made by the DOE. But at the end of the day I am so proud of what is the most critical part of our board of education, and that is educating our 6000 kids to the best of our abilities. I couldn’t be prouder of our teachers, administrators and leaders at all of our schools. What really matters is that have made our kids feel welcome, wanted and worthy every single day.

Sign Up for E-News

There are those that question why didn’t we rank better or why did this magazine or that magazine include us in their best of issues. To me that's not the important question a parent should be asking. Perhaps asking your kids, especially those who have recently graduated like my children and you will hear how well prepared they feel day one in college. Guided by the great leadership of Dr. Dolan, the administration and the BOE Westfield Schools are challenging our students to reach their highest potential and encouraging them to become creative thinkers and responsible, productive citizens in our global society. The current board of ed led by President Gretchen Ohlig will continue to do that for years to come.

Being on the board of education is all about checking your ego at the door and although you are elected as an individual, you have no real legal authority on your own to fix problems or decide issues. The ultimate judgment is not what one board member accomplishes but what we do as a team. I can proudly say that the 15 board members I have served alongside, including the current board, have always acted together and with great respect on every critical issue we face. We may not always agree, which is democracy in action, but at the end of the day whatever decisions are made we all support them 100 percent. Sure, I would have preferred to win a few of the votes I lost and although I fought hard (and lost) a few contractual issues it is not about what's best for me, but what is best for the greater good of the entire district.  As Nelson Mandela wrote, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

I couldn’t be prouder of all we have accomplished and once again I thank each and every taxpayer and voter and parent in Westfield for honoring me to serve you the last six years. I know I did my best, put in thousands of hours and although many call this the most "thankless" job in the world, I disagree. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to help make a difference, especially by leading our Technology Committee along with the incredible administration to get us where we needed to be- improving the infrastructure and integrating 21st Century Teaching and Learning Skills. Westfield is now not only "state of the art" but truly leading the way in Technology and STEM going forward.

Thank you again fellow Westfielders for giving me the opportunity to give back to a home my family has called home now for 25 years. I would buy you all a drink if that was possible!

By the way if you would like to view my actual farewell speech where I spoke more in detail please feel free to use the attached link in your browser.

Mitch Slater Farewell Speech -Board of Education on Vimeo

Mitch Slater

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Former Chair of Union County Democratic Committee Jerry Green Dies at 79

April 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) has died at age 79, according to an email to TAPinto Plainfield from Councilwoman-at-Large Rebecca Williams. (Williams also shared the information on her Facebook page.)

On Jan. 24, Green  resigned as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Committee "to focus his energy on recovering from an illness." At the time, ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_256ae6910e9127d6507f_picture

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Westfield High School Auditorium, Westfield

Panel on Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy

Education Green

Carousel_image_dd2853d55f77b53a02e6_13244600_824512737683830_2011645362359518113_n

Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Molly Maguires Irish Pub and Restaurant, Clark

Open Mic Night @ Molly Maguires in Clark

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Union County Torah Center, Westfield

“The Jewish View on Reincarnation”

Religions And Spirituality

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Imagine Holds Annual Board Retreat

April 18, 2018

Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss held its annual board retreat on Saturday April 14th at its center in Mountainside.  "It was a valuable, thought-provoking, and educational day for all of us," said John Toriello, Chair of Governance.  "The board and staff worked together to establish the goals of the retreat and facilitate the agenda.  It was a great team ...

McKinley School Kicks Off its Annual Fundraising Effort for Pediatric Cancer Research

It was an enthusiastic start as students and staff kicked off the 7th Annual McKinley School Mini-THON, a schoolwide, energetic effort to raise money for leukemia and pediatric cancer research.

“As you know, McKinley School does a lot to give back [to the community],” said McKinley principal Marc Biunno as he addressed students and staff gathered in the gymnasium on April 11.

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Edison Cop Arrested, Charged With Computer Theft and Stalking

April 18, 2018

EDISON, NJ - An Edison police officer has been arrested and charged with computer theft and stalking.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department on Tuesday announced the arrest of Paul Pappas. The 43-year-old officer, an Edison resident, has been charged with computer theft/criminal activity in the second degree and stalking in the fourth ...