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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Bellmawr School District {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

An elected school board member serves a three-year term. The school board represents the concerns of citizens, taxpayers and parents to the school administrators, and represents the needs of the students and school district to citizens, taxpayers and parents. The school board does not operate the district on a day-to-day basis; that is the job of the superintendent (the district’s chief executive). Rather, the school board sets policies, goals and objectives for the district, and holds the superintendent responsible for implementing those policies and goals. (Abridged from NJ School Boards Association website)

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  • Geoffrey Clark

  • William "Bill" Evans

  • Eric Hoban

  • Bill Murray

Biographical Information

Why are you running for the board of education (Why are you seeking reelection)? What expertise do you bring?

What is your top budget priority and why?

What is your view on test scores? What steps will you take to improve these scores (if improvements are needed)?

What are your views on the latest formula for apportioning state aid for schools?

What measures, if any, do you feel are needed to improve the safety and security of our schools?

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As a life time resident of our town & a graduate from the Bellmawr schools I understand what a quality education can mean in a student's future. A strong school district is a linchpin in the community and its success is often the key in a family's choice of calling a place a home. By returning to the school board (I served previously for 12 years) I hope to bring a new perspective along with my past experience. My business background (currently as Senior Operations Manager) lends itself to this trustees position . I understand the commitment volunteer positions require & have the time devote it. I will bring the same approach to this new term that I did my past years or as I had as coach in Bellmawr Baseball,Tigers & Purple Eagles.
Changes to school funding & caps in growth make budgeting a challenge. In truth the board controls a limited field of soft expenses beyond those being mandated by the state or fixed by salaries, benefits & tuition. Finding ways of maintaining costs without impacting our students should be a focus. Discovering new ways of funding (grants or shared services) should be a priority. I am not suggesting that we lose Bellmawr's autonomy but joining a buying consortium is a practical place to start. Professional development, updating technologies, keeping our physical plants sound are all important pieces to our student's success. Insuring the SAFETY of every child & our staff must be a priority. Revenues should be spent from the bottom up.
Nobody really likes test scores... they cause stress, they do not accurately measure growth, creativity, motivation or cooperation which are all important pieces of a whole student. Testing forces our educators into teaching to the test rather than helping round out a child. Some students test well and some students do not and a lot depends on external factors which are not taken into consideration. Still, I understand that tests are mandated, that scoring does help identify problems and that knowledge can help improve curriculum. This may be the best we can do at least until Core areas go beyond Math and English. For now we will need to find ways of improving the environment under which test are administered which could improve scores.
Our state funding formula is flawed. In my opinion it does not accurately take into consideration districts that are growing and those that are slowing down. Newly mandated programs are not included in state budget thinking often resulting in cuts in staffing or extracurricular activities. The regular redistribution of aid pits districts and communities against one another while they each battle for a bigger piece of a smaller pie. Districts enter budget planning without a complete idea of how state aid may change from one year to the next making it difficult to have long term plans.
School safety and security must be a priority. Every school should be prepared for a worse case situation by practicing for emergency scenarios. I believe every child and staff member should have id badges which are always on display and those badges equipped with a chip on them which could help locate someone in an emergency. Our substitute teachers should be as familiar with our safety protocols as regular staff before being assigned a class. Classroom doors should automatically be locked when closed and their windows covered.
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