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Atlantic Highlands Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS BOARD OF EDUCATION - Full Term - Vote for ThreeMicrosoft 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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  • Deborah Appello

  • Michael Bottiglieri

  • Candidate picture

    Elisabeth Eittreim

  • Ryan Palamara

  • Daniel Sutton, Jr.

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?

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The primary role of the Board of Education (BOE) is to advance student achievement: helping students to excel socially, emotionally, and academically. Although AHES encourages growth in these areas, I fully support the BOE in prioritizing this balance between academic and social/emotional learning. Securing professional development for staff, funding innovative programming, and approving curriculum updates are just a few of the ways the BOE can help best meet the needs of all children.

Second, AHES is part of a tri-district effort and works with Highlands Elementary School to best prepare all students for Henry Hudson Regional School. We need to ensure that the district can meet all students’ needs in an equitable and balanced way—ensuring that they get the instruction and encouragement that they need to succeed—while effectively sharing resources within the greater district.

Third, equity needs to be a mandate for students, faculty, staff, administration, the BOE, and the community. Equity does not mean equality but rather should lay the groundwork by providing fair and inclusive opportunities for learning and growth.

Fourth, communication must continue to be improved. Listening to and welcoming a diversity of opinions and recommendations is critical to communicating effectively with the public. At its core, the BOE advocates for the students’ and entire community’s best interests, and this needs to be clearly and consistently conveyed to all.
I am a lifelong educator, and as a current board member I have served on the Curriculum and Instruction/Education Committee, the Tri-District Committee, the Public Relations Committee, and since January 2019 have served as the board’s Vice President. I have learned so much as a board member about how the school works and where improvements need to be made, and I look forward to having the opportunity to continue to learn on this front.

My professional work has included teaching fifth through eighth grade where I experienced the rigor, grit, and compassion needed to succeed as a classroom teacher, and I witnessed the diverse strengths and needs of students. I currently teach history and women’s studies at the college level where I challenge students to think critically about past and present issues in order to better understand themselves and the world. As in the middle school classroom, I continue to learn from my students and grow as an educator as they challenge me to think about and see the world in new ways. I have also recently published a book, Teaching Empire: Native Americans, Filipinos, and U.S. Empire, 1879-1918, a project that took nearly a decade to complete as I navigated the academic research and writing process.

Personally, my family—particularly my three children, all students at AHES—inspire me to do better, to reach higher. They continue to teach me what it means to love, forgive, and how to have fun.
Atlantic Highlands is such a unique community with a small-town feel where neighbors often support one another and regularly plan and engage in community-wide events. We need to continue these events and forge further positive relationships with neighboring communities, particularly Highlands, to ensure that we work together effectively and bridge the two communities on multiple levels.

In the rapidly changing world that we live in, it is critical to address security challenges that face our school and town community in a responsible and fair manner. Cyber-security, facility updates, community awareness, accessible support services, and cooperation between law enforcement and school administration are some of the factors that can help build stronger, safer communities. At the same time, it is critical to enhance wellness opportunities and reduce anxiety levels. As a walkable town with easy access to the water and nature, simply enjoying our location and the great outdoors can be rejuvenating.

Finally, it is also important to welcome and effectively communicate with new residents and neighbors while also reaching out to seniors or long-time residents to ensure that we pool our collective wisdom, questions, and experiences to best inspire our children and one another. Such networking can only enrich the lives of our children and the entire Atlantic Highlands community.
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