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Somerville Borough School District {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Somerville Public Schools provide the highest quality education through an environment that promotes individual excellence.The election is for three Board of Education members. Each serving a three year term.

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  • William Kimmick

  • Linda Olson

  • Lucien “Luc” Sergile Jr.

Biographical Information

What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for serving on the Board?

What do you consider the three most important challenges facing our local public schools at this time? How would you address these challenges?

Do you think that the current civics education in our schools is adequate? If not, what do you think can be done to improve it?

What changes would you support or oppose to keep out students safe in our schools?

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Campaign Address 198 W Summit St
Campaign Email
Website None
I was a teacher for two years after graduating from Moravian College in Bethlehem Pa. I recognized that teaching children was not my forte and therefore accepted a position with the Social Security Administration. Beginning as a Claims Representative, the job was to take and process claims for benefits and to resolve problems that might occur once payment of benefits began. I retired as manager of a small office in Somerville NJ. I was responsible for training staff regarding changes in the law and procedures pertaining to Social Security, Medicare and Supplemental Security Income. Due to my belief that education is the best way to solve most societal problems, I felt the best way for me to work for children would be to serve on the Board of Education. I have done so for more than ten years, having served as President of the Board for several terms.
1. Addressing the learning needs of each child we serve - Somerville has a diverse population in terms of culture, economics and social responsibilities. There are multiple learning styles. It is incumbent of us to recognize the differences in each child and teach in a manner that is most effective for enhancing their ability to learn the skills needed to function successfully as they prepare to enter a career or college. To do that, we must provide professional development opportunities for staff and administration in the areas of diversity and how to present lessons in the variety of learning styles needed by the children in .our schools.

2. Funding - Because government funding is insufficient for most schools, there is constant pressure to find alternative income sources such as grants and gifts. Grant writing can be a lengthy process that requires the time of the grant writer, thereby reducing his/her time available to perform their classroom or administrative duties. The two actions that come to mind for improving the situation are to lobby our representatives to design an equitable funding formula and then to fund it properly or to hire a grant writer. The latter could negatively impact our budget by diverting funds that would be better used to support programs or purchase supplies and equipment. The worth of having a grant writer position would need to be assessed annually in terms of salary vs value of successful grant requests.

3. School security - Schools need a written plan that is practiced throughout the school year. We should continue to monitor the use and results of the various drills currently required by law in NJ.
Civics education is not adequate. There should be classes that every child must take in every school that address governance from the local to national levels. Time should be devoted to what each level and part of government does and the limits on their authority. There should also be discussion of personal civic responsibility such as attending meetings, serving on committees and voting. International governance could be an elective course in high school level.
I have insufficient training in this area to propose changes; however, I do recognize situations that are potentially unsafe. When that happens, the Superintendent is informed. One of my referrals resulted in building a second wall in the main entrance of the high school. The wall has locked doors. That results in visitors having to enter the main office where they must sign a visitor log and enter the reason for the visit. Visitors can no longer wander around the school without making their presence known.
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