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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Lake Como Board of Education

Microsoft Word - BOE-JobDescriptionForVOTE411.docx 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.

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  • Candidate picture

    Michele Cartaya

  • Mary Louise Underhill

Biographical Information

What are the major challenges facing the community/district and how would you propose to address them if elected?

What qualifies you for this position, both personally and professionally?

What factors are critical to the quality of life/education in your community and what would you do to improve or preserve them?

The largest challenges facing our community is aiming to keep per pupil spending down while offering a challenging supportive educational experience for all our students. To best prepare our students, our community needs to make connections with the school system by supporting academic and workplace skills. This starts with an open relationship between the community and the school through a strong line of communication.

Within the school system, I would like to give our students resources to spearhead projects that would benefit the community, such as a capstone graduation project or a service learning program. This would build a stronger bond within our community, plus it sets up our students to be leaders in the larger context.

These are just some ideas that I would like to look into for the Borough of Lake Como and our students, but ultimately I am willing to hear the concerns of our residents and looking forward making concrete improvements.
Personally, I have characteristics to hold an elected position such as being a thorough, hard-working representative who will ensure that voters’ concerns will be addressed. It is my commitment and follow through that allows me to stand out from the other candidates.

Professionally, through my experience in the educational field, I have honed leadership skills when working with a School Improvement Panel, the District Technology Committee, and the Instructional Council among others. I am looking to capitalize on these experiences within the Lake Como community.
The quality of education in our community is dependent on the open and clear communication among students, families, the school system and the Board of Education. The connection between the school and the community starts with the family. In order to best support our students, our schools need to have a close relationship to each family to understand how to best serve them. This bond is reflected in community outreach programs to help families achieve their goals. Examples include quarterly presentations on the various educational activities strategies occurring at their children’s schools, or a Showcase of students’ best work to not only make a more unified community, but also to offer real direction and support.

After a strong rapport is established among families and the larger community, there are several critical factors to the quality of the education that we provide our students including but not limited to the access to quality resources such as teachers, technology and facilities. These resources must not only be accessible but students. teachers. administration, and families need to be supported to capitalize on their effectiveness and advantages that the resources offer.
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