Tomorrow, residents of South Orange and Maplewood (SO/MA) will go to the polls to select 3 new members of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education. A total of six candidates are running.
The candidates are running on two tickets: Wayne Eastman (incumbent), Jeffrey Bennett (new comer) and Madhu Pai (new comer) are running together. Jennifer Payne Parrish (incumbent), Karen (Tia) Swanson (new comer) and Amy Higer (new comer) are running together.
Each year, three seats on the nine-person board are up for election. Terms are for
three years. The board steers a district of more than 6,600 students and an annual budget of more than $114 million.
As Rene Clawson, President of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce and owner of the local architectural firm Clawson Architects stated yesterday “ People move to this area for three basic reasons: (1) the school system, (2) the hometown feel (3) the proximity to NYC w/ the Mid-Town Direct train line. She goes on to say “We are also very fortunate to have six very enthusiastic, thoughtful and intelligent people volunteering to build on our history of excellence and momentum… Take the time to VOTE! It does matter....Your children's future and your home values depend on it! Let everyone you know in the area know that Tuesday, April 17th is the day!”
Taking her lead, I’d like to take this platform to encourage local residents get informed on these candidates, who have all been campaigning hard over the past couple of months. Patch has done a great job of covering the campaigns and giving candidates a forum to tell the community what their positions and goals are for our school system. So take a look and please do VOTE tomorrow! Polls will be open from 2 pm to 9 pm. You can find your voting place by clicking here.
In this article "Six Candidates Run for Three Seats on Board of Ed" on Patch, you can access 500-word profiles submitted by each candidate. You can also read the candidates' blogs by searching the candidates' names or scrolling through the Local Voices section on Patch.
As for me, I thoroughly identify with the 3 pillars of Madhu Pai, Wayne Eastman, and Jeff Bennett ‘s forward looking platform: Excellence, Innovation, and Fairness for our schools in a rapidly changing world.
Their platform can be read in full here at www.votesoma2012.com. I offer a snippet here: “We are in the midst of revolutionary change. New technologies, media and social trends are upending the way children learn. Economies around the world are integrating, and American workers increasingly find that they must compete against and connect with workers internationally. Our schools must respond to this change.”
As a local parent and community advocate, I truly believe that our current
district vision of being a leading edge and diverse suburban school district in
the nation is attainable and we will be in good hands with Madhu Pai, Wayne
Eastman, and Jeffrey Bennett helping to lead the way with seats on our local Board of Education.