Why do you want to be on the Board of Education?
I’m running because I believe that every child in our district deserves an excellent education from a system that believes in their abilities and challenges them to go beyond what they ever thought possible. We have excellent teachers and leadership in our schools and I want to see that essential asset nourished through focused professional development, encouraged collaborations and endless support --ensuring excellent teaching in every classroom, in every school.
What school-related issues are important to you as a resident?
Education is the ultimate equalizer, the primary ingredient for successful outcomes. It is the key to developing intellect and the most basic answer to so many of today’s troubling concerns. Yet getting education right for all children remains one of our nation’s unsolved riddles. I’m interested in the key elements our district is doing to “get it right”, specifically curriculum development, increasing access, installing visionary instructional leaders and providing strong professional development for our teachers.
What makes you qualified for this position?
I’ve spent the last nine of my 18 years in the wireless industry in leadership roles. I understand what it takes to effect change in large organizations – training and motivating the people, measuring the results and holding managers accountable.
In addition to my professional experience, I’ve been committed to volunteer efforts supporting the education of underserved youth. I tutored students in Atlanta, was primary coordinator for an enrichment program at Henderson Elementary in Chicago and was co-lead for a STEM focused college prepatory program here in Essex County. I have poured my energy into helping open the door to new possibility for children in broken schools.
Finally, I have three children (13, 11 and 7) in district schools so I have a front row seat in how major district plans impact students on a daily basis.
What issues do you plan to tackle if elected?
The implementation of the International Baccalaureate in our middle schools and New Jersey’s adoption of the Common Core curriculum standards are two major changes currently underway in our district. In order to ensure these initiatives deliver on a promise of positive change it is essential that the Board of Education holds the Superintendent accountable for an effective and balanced implementation, that it leverages better measurements as indicators of success and that it insists on more effective and timely district response mechanisms when things go wrong for a particular child.
Why should residents vote for you?
We are fortunate to live in a community with vibrant schools. We must nourish what is best while improving what’s not working well enough. I envision a Board and a community committed to that process. I’m proud to be running with incumbents Beth Daugherty and David Giles, who have shown during their Board service a commitment to ensuring our district is a place where all children are able to thrive. That’s the community I want to live in and that’s why I’m running for school board.