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South Brunswick Township School Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Board of Education consists of nine members, elected to three-year terms. The Board makes, amends, and repeals rules not inconsistent with statutes or with the rules of the State Board of Education for its own government and the transaction of its business and for the government and management of the public schools and the public property of the school district and for the employment, regulation of, conduct, and discharge of its employees.Four candidates are vying for three seats.

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  • Candidate picture

    Azra Baig
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Ray Kuehner
    (NP)

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    Joyce Mehta
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Joseph Scaletti
    (NP)

Biographical Information

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

What do you consider the most important challenges facing the school district? How will you address them?

What are the most important factors for student success, and how will you, as a school board member, ensure that those factors are addressed?

How will you communicate with parents and others concerned with education? How do you plan to respond to concerns?

Website https://www.facebook.com/AzraBaig4BOE/
It is a great honor to serve on the South Brunswick Board of Education (BOE) for two terms or 6 years. During my terms, I served as a member of the BOE Policy Committee, where I am the Chairwoman; the Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, the NJ Delegate Assembly, the Community Ed Advisory Council, the BOE Liaison to the South Brunswick Commission on Women, the BOE Liaison to the Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse Commission, the BOE Liaison to the South Brunswick High School (SBHS) Mental Health Committee, the BOE Liaison to Brunswick Acres, Crossroads Middle School and SBHS. I also serve as the Chairwoman of the South Brunswick Human Relations Commission and as a Board Advisor to various organizations. My two daughters graduated from the South Brunswick School District, and was an actively engaged parent serving as a Class Mom, a PTO member and as the Vice President of SBHS Viking Athletic Club. Professionally I am a Registered Nurse, and have been employed as School Nurse in the SB School District. I have worked as an ER Nurse and am employed at the NJ Department of Health. I am able to offer valuable insight and continue to be an advocate for educational excellence.
The most important challenge facing the school district is that the district has been informed by the NJ Department of Education that there will be a reduction in our State Aid by 8 million dollars. This will have a significant impact on the school district. We need to be knowledgeable on the financial impact that the State’s decision will have in cutting funding and how the district can manage the reduction. To address this, the district budget is being managed with a long term outlook. Meetings between the Board facilities committee and the Township will be conducted. When considering reductions, budgeting to focus on areas not affecting the classroom as much as possible. Looking at all aspects of potential revenue generation. Maintaining educational excellence across all fronts will remain the focus as we manage this decrease. Continued look at the tax impact will be of a main focus in managing the decrease in aid. Another area of concern relates to the potential growth of the community. The district was informed there could be an increase of up to 5,000 new homes in the next 5-7 years. This news was shared during the Strategic Planning Process and input was requested in preparation. Currently we are preparing for this possibility and included in our planning are the following topics: Technology Infrastructure, Building Capacity, Updating the District Demographic Study, Meetings between the Board facilities committee and the Township. A Strategic Plan focus area is Growth.
Student success was recently a topic for our Strategic Planning work. In fact, it was one of the more fascinating topics of conversation. “Success” probably means something different for everyone, but for the South Brunswick School District it is a combination of a few things. Academic success is very important and it is something the district spends a great deal of time measuring and supporting. Besides academic success, success can also be measured in the character of a student. Is the student kind to others, are they empathetic, are they charitable and giving? Do they care about others, do they love life, are they confident and caring. Another area of success is something called “soft skills”. These relate to how well someone works with others, how they communicate, how they interact in challenging situations and persevere. There are many ways to measure success, and these are some of the areas the district will spend time developing.
To have effective communication we need to build trust with all stakeholders by being transparent, honest, accessible and responsive. Effective communication leads to more engagement, bridge building and trust. It is important for the district to continue to offer variety of methods of communication with parents, teachers and other stakeholders to foster engagement. Some communication methods include: district-wide emails, school websites, town halls, surveys, social media, parent academies, BOE meetings, BOE Liaisons to PTOs, back to school nights, letters from administrators, parent-teacher conferences, phone calls and personal home visits. Being a member of the School Board for six years and a member of several Township Commissions, I have gained people’s trust. Parents, teachers, and others feel comfortable to share with me their concerns. They know they can trust me to make sure their concerns are communicated, addressed and that proper actions to a resolution are made.
My understanding of a school district budget and the budget process.
I believe that maintaining the extremely high levels of education we currently provide to our students while at the same time keeping cost under control as to not overburden the tax payers. I also plan to focus on obtaining alternative revenue sources through grants and energy conversions.

The most important thing to me is that South Brunswick schools are a safe and caring environment. I plan to work with school administration and the local police department to assure we do whatever is required to keep our building safe.
I would encourage parents to become active in their schools PTO which board members are in contact with all year long. I also encourage any parents to contact me if they have questions regarding school board initiatives or to bring an issue to my attention.
Lawyer (UK)- experienced in negotiations/advocacy skills & contracts. Specialized in ethics rules and procedures. Represented families at education disciplinary proceedings. Paraprofessional/aide at Lordship Lane Junior School helping bilingual children- knowledge of the education system and experience working with children. Worked as Legal Advocate for Domestic Violence survivors. Presently sit on the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence- Women Of Color Task Force, & the LGBT Task Force. Sit as Recording Secretary for the South Brunswick Commission On Women & as a Commissioner for The Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse, South Brunswick Lion & Zone Chair for the Lions Club. Privileged to serve on the School District Homework Committee, SBSD Equity Committee, BOE Budget committee, BOE Curriculum Committee, South Brunswick High School Mental Health Committee, BOE PTO Liaison to Indian Fields & Crossroads South Middle School. Regular attendee at the South Brunswick Parent Academy. These appointments provide considerable training and understanding of critical issues in our community.
Mental Health/Stress

This is a key focus to identify the causes of stress and mental health issues, to address ways to combat drugs, vaping, anxiety, depression, and stress related illnesses. We can continue to develop key prevention and early intervention strategies ensuring more children receive appropriate care. We can improve collaboration and coordination between mental health team specialists and the parent community to remove the stigma surrounding mental health, encourage open conversations, and to find solutions together.

Foster culture of inclusion, diversity & equity Empower parents, teachers, and children so as to create a “safe to say” environment where voices are heard and contributions recognized.Equity in education means placing systems so every child has an equal opportunity for success. To ensure that all students have access to a high quality education to meet their educational needs. By opening our doors of communication and allowing inclusion, respecting honest feedback, encouraging transparency, and valuing every opinion.

Establishment of safe schools:

To foster a safe, secure and productive school climate to improve student achievement and academic success. We can invest in cost vestibules situated outside our schools, empower teachers to take action by devices used to lock down each classroom, safely report concerns, to promote the physical, mental and emotional safety of each student, teacher and staff member.
1. Commitment on Equity- core belief that every school and every student can excel, a shared responsibility of ownership towards promoting equal opportunity, focus on the whole child and provide the essential resources needed to progress. As a result of this campaign commitment I have joined the SBSD Equity Committee to identify and closing key achievement gaps, to develop realistic and sustainable goals and data proven methods of achieving these desired goals. Also as a part of the New Jersey School Boards Association to deliver state wide solutions for these goals. One such measure was the eradication & lowering of pre-requisite grades to allow many more students equal access to higher level courses and the eradication of Advanced Placement fees, to enable more students to take these courses. This approach has been extremely successful with a record number of students enrolling and exceeding in their academic studies. We should consider offering International Baccalaureate (IB) courses also. 2. Schools must be efficient to ensure student success with participation in high quality early education programs, quality conditions for teaching and life long learning, a caring, inclusive and diverse staff; and parental/family/community involvement. A positive school climate is conducive to positive learning and I would promote all such avenues. 3. To develop a collaborative specialist partnership providing resources to help identify causes and solutions for mental health and stress
The issue of how to communicate is secondary. The priority must be to induce transparency, to encourage engagement & to build trust as one community. Once parents and teachers feel confident of the "safe to say" culture, are reassured there will be never be repercussion, communication will be open, unencumbered and unimpeded. We must engage the community through surveys, stakeholder citizens committees, and public forums. To allow our community to examine key issues. By establishing specific Parent Advisory Groups ( for Special Education) who can offer invaluable insight & offer suggestions for improvement, we will build trust and encourage effective collaboration. We can appoint Site representatives at PTO meetings to discuss school/parent concerns & encourage better engagement with teachers. Teachers must also have the opportunity to give their honest feedback about school issues & their personal opinions.
My name is Joseph Scaletti and I am a 20-year resident of South Brunswick Township. I live with my wife and two daughters, both of whom have gone through South Brunswick schools. I am running for South Brunswick Board of Education to put the focus back on our children, and to give kids a hand up, not a hand out. My experience working as a union carpenter and attending Rutgers Union Leadership Academy have taught me to always get the job done. Additionally, I have been an active member of the community, serving as a softball and football coach, a Freemason at Mount Zion Lodge 135, and as a member of the South Brunswick Athletic Association (SBAA).
I believe the safety of our students is paramount. Whether that means physical or mental safety, it should be the goal of the South Brunswick Board of Education to protect our students and ensure they have access to the resources they need. As expressed in my platform, I want South Brunswick to be a leader in helping and protecting our children through establishing an inclusive community environment.

My other area of greatest concern is that every student, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status at home, receives the same opportunity to succeed in our schools. As someone who could have been left behind when I first moved to South Brunswick, my priority will be to extend the incredible experience and support I received to all of our children. I firmly believe that all of our children should have the maximum tools they need to reach their potential and become well-rounded students.
When I was 15 years old, I moved to South Brunswick with my father. When I first arrived at the high school, my guidance counselor, the football coach, the athletic director, and 2 of my classmates were there to greet me. As someone who could have been left behind, but instead was welcomed with open arms, I want to extend my experience and ensure every child in the township gets a hand up, not a hand out. My goal as a member of the South Brunswick Board of Education will be to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed and reach their potential regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Not only does giving kids a hand up mean providing the opportunity for higher education, but the opportunity to attend vocational and technical schools, or learning a trade.
The central theme of my campaign is honesty. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a man of my word. As the father of two daughters who have advanced through the South Brunswick School District, I will never lose sight of my goal for running for the Board of Education: to work for every child and family in South Brunswick and to fight for the improvement of our children’s well being. To me, my priority will be to honestly communicate with township residents regarding school issues and board votes. If I am not aware of an issue or problem affecting your children or the school district, I encourage you to explain it to me and share your opinion. And if I tell you I can do something, I will do it.