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VOTE411 Voter Guide

South Brunswick Township School Board 2-year Term

Five candidates are vying for three-year terms on the South Brunswick Township Board of Education. Three seats are open.Two candidates are vying for a two-year term. They are Anil Patel ad Joyce Mehta.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Candidate picture

    J. Joyce Mehta (N) Lawyer/Homemaker

  • Candidate picture

    Anilkumar C. Patel (N) Solution Architect (Telecommunication)

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Biographical Information

What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for serving on the Board?

What do you consider the most important challenges facing the South Brunswick school district? How will you address them?

How will you communicate with parents and others concerned with education? How do you plan to respond to concerns?

Do you think that the current civics education in our schools is adequate? If not, what do you think can be done to improve it?

Current Elected Position N/A
Website N/A
Facebook http://MEHTA4BOE
Occupation: Lawyer. Experienced in negotiations/advocacy skills & contracts. Specialized in ethics rules and procedures. Represented families at education disciplinary proceedings. Paraprofessional. Worked as an aide at Lordship Lane Junior School helping bilingual children- knowledge of the education system and experience working with children Entrepreneur. Owner of a local business in South Brunswick-built community ties Served on YMCA of South Brunswick Steering Committee-community ties Privileged to serve on the School District Homework Committee. Campaigned persistently for two years to raise awareness about stress on children. Interviewed parents, children, and teachers. Conducted surveys, compiled high school report, coordinated district wide petition (over 600 signatures). Facilitated district's Homework Policy, Homework free nights & broadcast of "Race to Nowhere". Active parent-classroom mom & PTO member at Indian Fields, Crossroads South & High School for past 11 years. Regular attendee and speaker at South Brunswick Board of Education meetings & Parent Academy & workshops for four years.
1. Promote & enhance community engagement Engage the community through surveys, stakeholder citizens committees, and public forums. Allow community to examine key issues. Establish specific Parent Advisory Groups (eg for Special Education) who can offer invaluable insight & offer suggestions for improvement. Empower Site representatives at PTO meetings to discuss school/parent concerns & encourage better engagement with teachers. Increase communication between board liaison officers and parents.

2.Foster culture of inclusion & diversity Empower parents, teachers, and children to create a “safe to say” environment where voices are heard and contributions recognized. By opening our doors of communication and allowing inclusion, respecting honest feedback, encouraging transparency, and valuing every opinion. Through thought leadership our community can enable South Brunswick become eminent, a role model to others, by becoming exceptional through innovative solution that foster productive change. To work in unity towards the same goal: making our district the best.

3.Strengthen parent-teacher collaboration To rebuild connections by allowing open dialogue outside the classroom to build a partnership of common vision and goals. We must foster ideas which build consensus & mitigate conflict. To appreciate and capitalize our passionate experienced stakeholders with their tremendous talent in our community, which can serve to help our schools & our inclusive community
The issue of how to communicate is secondary. The priority must be to induce transparency, to encourage engagement & to rebuild trust. Once parents and teachers feel confident of the "safe to say" culture, are reassured there will be never be repercussion, communication will be open, unencumbered and unimpeded. We must engage the community through surveys, stakeholder citizens committees, and public forums. To allow our community to examine key issues. By establishing specific Parent Advisory Groups (eg for Special Education) who can offer invaluable insight & offer suggestions for improvement, we will rebuild trust and minimize the possibility of claims. We can appoint Site representatives at PTO meetings to discuss school/parent concerns & encourage better engagement with teachers. Teachers must also have the opportunity to give their honest feedback about school issues & their personal opinions. We must increase communication between board liaison officers and parents.
It is absolutely critical to teach effective civics classes at all levels of education. Children must be informed of current issues, current government matters, public policy and to become active, engaged citizens. They are the future of our change. The course content and way it is taught will differ with grade level, but this topic becomes compelling at high school, where children are mature enough to make their own decisions. At present, these classes are being taught but the decision of how it is taught rests primarily with each teacher. Much of the civics education does not teach how to become active, engaged citizens; but rather how to comply with the current system without question. Once the district accepts the necessity of teaching the course to empower children, we will see real change. The children will become engaged once we incorporate more current events into the curriculum, encourage them to read newspapers, watch the news, to discuss national & international events.
Current Elected Position none
Website https://www.facebook.com/Elect-Anil-Patel-SB-Board-of-Education-497176280384949/?ref=bookmarks
I will bring to table more than 25 years of my community leadership experience, role as a social servant, my organizing skill, and common sense approach and out of box thinking. Recently I was honored for my community service by New jersey state legislature as part of Asian Month celebration I have spent lifelong serving many social organizations, and served various leadership positions for many organizations such as President, Chairman and Executive Committee Members. I am a member and founder of many faith based organizations, Patron of South Asian Community Outreach, Township Community Development and Recreation committee (Union Township), Human relation committee (South Brunswick Township). On a Professional level currently working for Ericsson for more than 27 year as a Senior Telecommunications Engineer. I started working out of college for BellLabs, Bellcore, and Telcordia, which was acquired by Ericsson 2 years ago.
Communication and Cordial relationship with community at large are two of most important challenges board face today I strongly believe, as a newcomer I can bring new and fresh innovative ideas to the board. I am very pleased to see that our district’s students have done well academically. However, there are still lots of ways it can be improved. I am confident that with my qualifications and technical experience I can provide many more innovative ideas to achieve the district goals.

It is necessary to have Communications and Partnering with Government official and Parents. As education policy is going through tremendous changes with Common Core Curriculum, PARCC Testing and change in Graduations requirements, we will work with Government officials and policy makers to make them understand the ground reality and suggest appropriate changes that needed to make it a win-win situation for both children and the quality of education.
School board members are representation of community. Board needs to provide guidance and policy mandate implementation from state board keeping best interest of our Children and tax payer in mind. We need to provide both pro and cons to public at large of such a policy and keep very interactive and open communication with community.

I will keep open door policy; they can contact me via email, social media, and telephone at any time. I will also encourage them use a board setup system/tool and process for any one concern.
I believe Civic education is our school system needs Improvement. We need to introduce more Civic lesson, including fundamentals of democracy, Freedom of Speech, Tolerance of others opinion, How to deal with difference and thinking about grater goods of community at large.

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