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Robbinsville Township School District {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Robbinsville Township Board of Education - Full term - School board members in New Jersey are responsible for adopting policies under which the school district operates; overseeing the school district budget; approving the curriculum; hiring and evaluating the superintendent; representing the public during contract negotiations; and serving as a communication link between the community and the school system. Elected school board members receive no compensation and serve three-year terms, unless elected to fill an unexpired term when a vacancy occurs.There are 4 candidates for the three 3-year terms, Vote for up to 3.

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  • Candidate picture

    Chris Emigholz
    (PSF)

  • Candidate picture

    Craig Heilman
    (PSF)

  • Candidate picture

    Avery Hutchinson
    (N)

  • Jane Luciano
    (PSF)

This school board will be responsible for choosing a new superintendent. What qualities will your ideal candidate possess?

The school district seems to be squeezed between residents who want lower taxes and residents who want more funding for school programming. How do you think the district can budget more effectively?

Why should Robbinsville residents vote for you?

From my experience working in multiple school districts, educational leadership is an underrated factor in their success, and this may be the most important issue facing our board in the near future. Holding all district employees accountable for the high standards set for them will be key to a new superintendent's success. It is also critical to find a superintendent that can balance their role as an instructional leader with their fiscal and management responsibilities.
I don’t think the school district is squeezed at all, and the budget process this past year demonstrates that. Classroom spending increased while school taxes were lowered. Finding efficiencies, improving budget practices and expected state school aid increases should allow that win-win budgeting to continue. I think we already provide adequate funding for school programming, but I am sure we can more efficiently use our resources to create further opportunities for ALL our students.
From working in a Baltimore elementary school through Americorps to teaching high school in Atlanta through Teach For America to improving New Jersey schools through Trenton’s public policy arena, I made a difference in helping students get a better education in every single job I have had since graduating college 20 years ago. Serving you as a school board member will allow me to combine my life-long passion for improving schools, my commitment to serving our community and my experience and expertise in education policy to truly help Robbinsville's students, taxpayers and all residents.
Our new Superintendent will need to possess strong leadership and business skills, as well as be knowledgeable in curriculum and school policies. We have a great legacy to build on in Robbinsville and the new Superintendent will have to be able to work well with not only the school board, but the current administration as well. It will be exciting to see our schools through a fresh set of eyes and begin a new era.
Last year, we kept taxes flat, while adding over $2 million in spending, most of which went to the classroom. School budgets are not as simple as lower taxes versus a better education. There are a lot of factors that go into a budget. It is vital that we have experienced people on the board that know this and can make the best decisions for everyone. My finance background makes me the ideal candidate to accomplish this goal. I have worked hard to keep this balance through the four years I have been on the board. Our school tax rate, which was going up drastically most years before I was on the board has leveled off since I joined the board. And we have added teachers, security, curriculum, improved facilities and guidance counselors.
I have dedicated thousands of hours volunteering in this town. I have been on the Planning Board, Recreation Committee and Environmental Committees. I have also volunteered in local organizations such as Lifetree Church, the Soccer and Softball Associations and Ability Tree. As we head in to a new era in our schools with a new Superintendent, we need experienced people on the board that can lead us through this exciting new time. I have 4 years of school board and 26 years of professional experience to help guide us through these very important times.
Beyond the obvious of education, administrative leadership experience and a track record of success, I want to understand how they work under pressure while balancing financial constraints and conflicting priorities. We need a leader that can continue to unite the schools while pushing our schools to the next level through innovation supported by data-driven measures of success. I want to know that when we spend taxpayer money, that it is spent in a way that supports greater performance and strategic plans. If the Board asks "why", I want a Superintendent who will defend and justify their needs and position. I also want a leader who can effectively communicate and engage a wide variety of stakeholders with disparate demands.
I am thankful that at long last our district received more funding from the State and that State calculations supported a need to invest more into our schools and classrooms. During early budget negotiations, I watched as Dr. Foster, our Superintendent, proposed new spending for 2019-2020 in monthly meetings only to hear the Board say "can you reduce further" rather than say "let's talk about how to spend this right." Moving forward, I'd like more transparency in the spending including trends over time and clarity on how that spending drives various initiatives and improvements. I want to see "reduce taxes" as a side effect of wise spending and investment rather than as a directive.
I hope Robbinsville residents will join me bringing a new voice to the Board. I'm practical, pragmatic, analytical, and independent. I have learned to develop and implement policies supported by regulatory guidance and with full stakeholder engagement. We must increase our transparency and communication with the entire Robbinsville community. We have about 3000 students directly impacted by the decisions the schools make but we have more than 14,000 residents - each impacted one way or another by the decisions of the Board and School. I listen to concerns but also look for validated and objective data to gain understanding of the return on investment and measurements of success.
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