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Watchung Hills Regional High School District - Warren {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Watchung Hills Regional High School serves both Somerset and Morris counties in New Jersey. Students come from Warren Township, Watchung, and Green Brook in Somerset county; and Long Hill Township in Morris county.Watchung Hills Regional High School Is a comprehensive secondary school that strives for educational excellence. The focal point of the educational program is the student. Students are taught to think logically and critically and to achieve their fullest academic potential. The school encourages individual self-realization along with social and civic responsibility. The educational program strives to create an awareness of and a tolerance for other cultures and an understanding of moral and aesthetic values.There are two seats in this election for a three year term.

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  • Charles J. Behm

  • Naresh Chand

  • Candidate picture

    Robert B. Morrison

Biographical Information

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

What do you consider the three most important challenges facing our local public schools at this time? How would you address these challenges?

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?

What changes would you support or oppose to keep out students safe in our schools?

Mailing Address 9 Helen St
Warren, NJ 07059
Campaign Address 9 Helen St Warren, NJ 07059
Campaign Email
NJ Public School Employee for 28 years (1986-2014) Elizabeth, NJ Executive Committee Member, Elizabeth Education Association (1994-2014) I played high school and college football and other sports so sports are important to me. Raising 3 grown successful children and 2 grandchildren.
To be honest, I am not exactly sure. I am wanting to get involved to understand what is happenening and see how I can assist. I have been a Social Worker my entire life and know how to solve problems and work with people in a cooperative manner. Some areas that I believe are important is safety of course, as is striving for continued excellence in academics. Having a culture of caring about our students and families is also important to me.
Again, i would need to come up to speed on what is being taught and if any improvements are needed. I am a quick learner and would want to be open to listening to different viewpoints.
This is a big issue in all of our schools. Reviewing what is in place and determining what can be done to improve would be important to me. I recently saw an article in the Star Ledger about bullet proof doors in schools. Not sure how expensive they are but that made sense to me. I served on the School Committee for safety in schools when I was working and it is imperative that regular drills take place and the Committee meets regularly to review what is happening.
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Campaign Address 16 Mount Bethel Road, Suite 202 Warren, NJ 07059
Campaign Email
I have spent my entire 30+ year career being involved with public education in various roles including as an executive, advocate, researcher and now as a board member. I have served two complete terms on the WHRHS Board of Education. I have been active as chair of the education committee, operations committee, personal committee, policy committee and helped to lead the development of the districts first strategic plan. I also serve on the board of directors for the New Jersey School Boards Association and have been recognized with my service and professional growth by earning the Master Board Member and Certified Board Leader designation from the state association. I have a long history of leadership on behalf of arts education at the national and state level including working with Governors, commissioners of education, national associations and have provided support to several US Secretaries of Education.
Funding, Shared Services/Consolidation and Wellness

Funding remains a challenge for most districts. This is true with Watchung Hills. There are a series of unfunded state mandates the put a strain on our resources. Planning for additional capital projects on a building that is more than 50 years old also takes creative planning. This includes how to use debt service to gain additional state funding. We have been successful with this on previous projects saving taxpayers millions of dollars. I would continue to look for ways we can further take advantage of this opportunity. One of the areas I have been stressing is the need to work with our sending districts to discuss ways to either share or consolidate services. I would also like to see a study completed to determine the feasibility of some level of consolidation of schools either in Warren and Watchung Hills or the entire sending community and Watchung Hills. This way the taxpayers would be able to see for themselves what, if any, benefits may accrue through consolidation. Special education spending also creates challenges for the district and I would continue to push hard for the state to take on this burden for all districts.

In the area of social and emotional learning (SEL), there needs to be more attention paid to how we address the social and emotional needs of our students and how instructional practice may incorporate strategies to address the SEL competencies established by the state. By empowering our teachers to be intentional in their teaching strategies to include SEL we can create a better learning environment for our students. This will also support the mental well being of our students. I am proud of some of the initiatives we have deployed at WHRHS to address both SEL and the mental health of our students.
No. Civics education has largely disappeared from our schools or is only touched on peripherally. This is not just my opinion but a sentiment shared by social studies professional across the state and the nation. I am hopeful the upcoming New Jersey Student Learning Standards for social studies standards will include more targeted learning of civics and would like to see more courses available to our students so they may be the most effective citizens they can be once they leave our schools.
We are very fortunate at Watchung Hills to have a very strong security team and security plan. I support efforts to "harden" aspects of our schools (external entries, windows, etc.) However, I strongly oppose efforts to turn our schools into fortresses. We do not need bulletproof doors in every classroom. Having an armed resource officer (as we do) to complement our security staff and the hardening of external entries and fully deployed cameras should be all we need. With funding being an issue with all schools diverting funds from education to over-the-top security measures makes no sense. I also believe addressing the SEL and mental health and wellness of our students is an effective preventive measure.