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Brielle Borough Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

BRIELLE 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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  • Candidate picture

    Kurt W. Becker

  • Candidate picture

    David D'Ambrosio

  • Stephen LaValva

  • Fred J. Mihelic

  • Mark A. Stratton

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?

There are always several challenges facing the community/district at any given time. The most important is maintaining the highest level of education for the children of Brielle, while keeping the school community safe and keeping within fiscal constraints. We need to ensure all levels of student abilities are addressed and challenged, regardless of any individual child’s capabilities. We should be encouraging strong parental and community participation and buy-in. All done while making sure the board does not fall into a status-quo state or attitude.
I have had the pleasure of living in the Brielle Community for over 25 years. My four children have all attended or, currently attend BES, from kindergarten to eighth grades. I am passionate about the city and sharing the burden of responsibility that we all carry in ensuring it remains a great community to live and raise children. I have extensive and successful Board member experience sitting on the Board of my own company for almost 30 years. I have set up and established a functioning Board for a private HOA development, sitting as Board president for the first four years. My entire professional career has been spent working directly with the hundreds of BOE’s in NJ and thousands across the country, in matters of finance, grants as well as many other areas of need.
Communication is always a critical factor to the quality of any aspect of life, especially when regarding the education of our communities’ children. I would work hard to maintain the high level of communication the current Board has established, while encouraging a higher degree of parental/community involvement in the school and Board. Being mindful of the fiscal responsibilities of a Board to the tax payers of the community and being an honest and conscientious steward of their tax dollars is also critical. I would be beyond reproach when making decisions regarding the spend of any tax dollars.
We have an amazing school and community. The challenge is to continue the programs and efforts that are successful, while finding the areas that can be improved and focusing resources there. This needs to be done while being fiscally responsible in a municipality that already has high tax burdens.
As a practicing physician I have a strong background in education, from my own schooling, to teaching residents and medical students. I recognize the value in promoting the programs that will help our students be the leaders in their communities and country moving forward. As a private practice owner and business owner, i understand how to balance resources and expenditures to maximize efficiencies in a budget. I was also a religious education teacher so i have some perspective on the other side of the desk as well.
Recognizing that our kids need to be recognized as individuals to foster their talents and gear their educations to these talents. Giving our kids the tools to enable them to be successful not just now, but as they become adults and enter an increasingly competitive global workforce.
One of the challenges faced by the Brielle Board of Education is keeping the district in the forefront of academic excellence while also dealing with the distractions posed by outside influences.  Our role as members of the Board of Education is to serve as the voice of the community while guiding the school administration in developing policy and regulations for dealing with the same.

Of current interest, is the resurfacing of our state legislatures' desire to conduct more feasibility studies to investigate potential cost savings for communities like Brielle if we were to regionalize with Manasquan and the other K-8 districts who pay per-student tuition for high school programming at Manasquan. Under consideration for study at this time is the elimination of all K-6 and K-8 school districts for potentially more cost effective K-12 districts.

Should I be elected to serve a second term on the Board, I would propose serving on an ad-hoc committee that would work to stay ahead of any proposed legislation with regard to regionalization.  This committee would also be responsible for disseminating to the community at large.
I have devoted a significant part of my life to the mission of educating our youth. I have served as an elementary school teacher for nine years, as an Assistant Principal for three, a Principal for four more years, and I have just begun serving my seventh year as a Superintendent. I am a firm believer in guiding students to believe that they can achieve more than they knew they could, that they should take ownership of the choices they make, and of the impact on others for having made the same. I believe in family values, in tradition and in excellence and I am looking to help in holding to the true mission of our schools. Personally, I am the proud father of two young men who owe part of their success to the foundation that was built at Brielle Elementary School. It is for the children that I seek reelection onto the Board of Education.
17 years ago, my wife, Joanne, and I were expecting our second child and we found ourselves in search of a PK-8 community and public school district into which we would eventually enroll our sons. We had been looking for several months and until the day I remember her excitedly recounting that she had made a wrong turn on her way to he beach. This fate had led her past the Brielle Library and a "For Sale" sign in the lawn of a house across the street. This home so piqued her interest that we found ourselves making an offer within the next 48 hours. We moved in shortly thereafter and have been so proud to call ourselves residents of this fantastic community ever since. Paramount to our thought at the time was that we valued the emphasis on family that is so evident in Brielle. We are consistently blown away by the outpouring of volunteerism in this small town, by the number of parents who are truly present in the lives of their children, and by the success of the school that serves as the heart of the community. I seek reelection onto the Board of Education to guide and assist the school administration in preserving the same.
First we must recognize that education today is extremely complex. Over the past 15 years there has been an enormous increase in governing statutes and regulations, and in technological advancements (Chrome-books, iPads, STEM materials, etc.). A critical challenge confronting any Board of Education is to maintain and insure accountability and excellence within its school system in support of students, teachers, and administrators. Our students are entitled to educational opportunities that will prepare them for a lifetime of success and fulfillment. A key component of that is for the school board to provide teachers and administrators with the resources they need to create a comprehensive, challenging and lively educational experience for all students.
My family and I have lived in Brielle for over 25 years. The community’s safe and welcoming environment and the many opportunities it offers for personal growth and fulfillment have made it a wonderful place to raise a family. My wife and I plan to remain here. Having recently retired from a career in public relations/public affairs, I would now like to give something back to the community that has been so good to me. I believe an ideal way to achieve that would be to maintain and enhance Brielle’s excellent school system, so that other families and their children might enjoy the same benefits that flowed to my family and child. Through my experience as a military veteran and working in the public arena and with various coalitions, I know how essential teamwork is to producing results. If elected, I would like to put that experience to work for other families in Brielle.
Critical factors in preserving the quality of life and education in Brielle would be to adequately inform members of the community about educational developments and trends, encourage parents to be actively involved in their child’s studies and school activities, and continually demonstrate that tax dollars are being well utilized. A positive connection between home, school and community is essential to the success of our students and their school. We must recognize the rights of parents to raise their children in a safe and secure community. We must listen to their suggestions and, when possible, respond to their concerns. It may be true that 50 cents of every tax dollar in New Jersey is used to fund schools, but education does not need to be overly expensive. We can be careful stewards of the public treasury without breaking the bank, all the while remembering that good schools will increase property values.
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