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

FREEHOLD BOROUGH BOARD OF EDUCATION - Full Term - Vote for ThreeMicrosoft Word - BOE-JobDescriptionForVOTE411.docxSchool 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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    Caridad Argote-Freyre

  • Paul Ceppi

  • Candidate picture

    Brent F. Costleigh

  • Tyler Jordan

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 Freehold Borough school district is vibrant and diverse but it also faces issues having to do with appropriate funding. There is a great need for creativity, community involvement as well as collaboration with existing programs and educational resources in the borough, county and state such as the Freehold Borough Educational Foundation. It is important to enhance community/school partnerships and encourage these types of collaborations. There needs to be continued efforts to involve and engage in dialogue with parents in order to understand their viewpoint regarding the challenges they face with their school age children. Regular dialogue is crucial. Initiatives that seek to enhance parental involvement need to be encouraged and continually improved. Successful schools need to take into account the myriad of outside issues that impact the children’s education including those which may have an even greater impact on families with less economic resources or those in which English is not the primary language at home. Additionally, as our world becomes more technological with the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence, we need to continue to provide the resources necessary so that the children are exposed to and familiar with new technologies, while at the same time not ignoring the social sciences and humanities or the importance of stoking a love of lifetime learning.

I have worked as an attorney since 1986 and specifically in the child welfare area, for over 25 years. I have regularly witnessed the challenges faced by both children and parents in trying to secure an efficient and appropriate education. While rules are clearly necessary for any well run organization, I am extremely sensitive to how bureaucracy can also serve to discourage and dissuade parents from actively and positively participating in their children’s education. We must strive to achieve the right balance. As a lawyer, I am trained to identify issues and work to resolve them through respectful dialogue and discussions with the involved stakeholders. I hope to be able to do this as a member of the school board. As a working parent of two children, I am also personally aware that educating children involves a partnership between school and parent which ideally begins at preschool and continues through high school. I saw firsthand how my involvement in my children’s school and school activities had a positive effect on them. We need to continue to encourage parents’ participation and help them see how the children will benefit. Similarly, I strongly value extracurricular activities for children whether in sports, music, arts or other types of activities and clubs. I also have a genuine and deep love for our country’s legal institutions and believe children need to be taught civics in order for them to understand their rights and responsibilities as good neighbors
Clearly a sense of safety and well–being in the community and at school is the most critical and basic factor for any child and community. The Borough Police does a wonderful job working with all members of the community to reach out and be seen as the “community helpers” they are supposed to be so that kids can feel comfortable going to them in times of trouble. There already exists a foundation from which to continue moving forward to then assist the children in establishing other worthwhile attributes such as tolerance for others, self-confidence and a sense of individuality. Aside from this, as I stated in a previous answer, the school and community need to offer appropriate, fun, exciting and safe events for children especially those in the intermediate school that face among other negative influences, those associated with drugs and alcohol. The best way to deal with the dangers of substance abuse is to offer alternative activities that challenge the mind and body in current and trendy ways. For example, it is “cool” nowadays among older teenagers and college students to be aware of nutrition and enjoy healthy and interesting food. Yoga has been used with younger students as a way to reduce their stress. Better to encourage and show children how to be strong and healthy in body and mind than to simply tell them what they should not do. Strong community connections are critical.
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If elected, I will work to assure that every child within the district receives the very best education possible so that they may fully realize their innate potential. For that to happen, the district must secure proper funding - the State must fulfill their funding obligations. New Jersey has the #1 public schools in the nation and yet there remain gross inequalities from district to district within the State. The children of Freehold Borough deserve the same opportunities as every other child within the State. Proper funding will also help the district recruit new and retain the existing high-quality Teachers and provide them with the necessary technological and administrative support needed to build meaningful learning relationships with our children. An effective education also requires a unified educational vision with a commitment to establishing curricular consistency. I look forward to working with the board and administration to build that vision and establish long term curricular consistency.
My wife, Lindsay Costleigh, and I moved to Freehold Borough nearly ten years ago to be closer to Brookdale Community College, where I am an Associate Professor of Psychology and serve as Chair of the Psychology Department. I also teach for Rutgers University as a Part-Time Lecturer of Psychology. I have over twenty years of experience working and teaching in higher education. These years of service enable me to fully appreciate and understand the institutional and administrative dynamics at play within the district and navigate the relationships between administration, faculty, and staff in a union environment. I have extensive experience teaching courses relevant to education, including but not limited to cognition, learning, development, and educational psychology. I have served on numerous program accreditation and curriculum advisory board committees. I have chaired every curriculum and academic committee at Brookdale Community College and served as Chair of Brookdale’s Governance system, which is the equivalent to, yet a broader form of a Faculty Senate that brings faculty, administrators, staff, students, and police together for collective decision making at the college.
My wife and I have three wonderful daughters, ages seven, four, and two; our two older daughters attend school within the district. I want to assure that my daughters and every other child within the district receives the very best education possible. Great progress has been made within the district under the leadership of Dr. Rocco Tomazic and the Board; if elected, my personal and professional experience will allow me to bring a unique set of knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to help the administration and faculty continue that progress. As an educator, I am committed to the social contract for education and have witnessed firsthand how a quality education can serve as the great equalizer within our society.
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