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South Brunswick Township School Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Board of Education consists of nine members, elected to three-year terms. The Board makes, amends, and repeals rules not inconsistent with statutes or with the rules of the State Board of Education for its own government and the transaction of its business and for the government and management of the public schools and the public property of the school district and for the employment, regulation of, conduct, and discharge of its employees.Six candidates are vying for three seats.

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  • Candidate picture

    Patrick G. Del Piano
    (NP)

  • Raja Krishna
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Mike Mitchell
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Deven M. Patel
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Smitha Raj
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Arthur L. Robinson
    (NP)

Biographical Information

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

How do you rate our school district's plan for reopening our schools under COVID-19 pandemic conditions? What are your concerns, if any, about the plan and what solutions can you offer?

What do you consider other important challenges facing the school district? How will you address them?

What are the most important factors for student success, and how will you, as a school board member, ensure that those factors are addressed?

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

Campaign Email Pdelpiano@hccc.edu
My personal experience was a Fireman and had to deal with situations quickly and work with a diverse group of people. I have been an Union Rep. and Board Member so I worked on both sides of negotiations and understand them well.
The reopening is a constant moving target. I think District Leadership has done a good job in soliciting information from Health Professionals and Community stake holders in making decisions. My concerns mirror that of the general public with transmission of the disease that we do not fully understand or have enough data. My concern is for everyone working in the schools, students and the extended community. My sincerest hope is that we are beyond the apex of the curve.
My sincerest concern is the impact remote learning has had on all students but in particular those economically disadvantage and at risk students. To address these I will inquire from the District leadership assessments of these students of where their at academically and socially and will ask them to apply their expertise in devising a plan of action where needed.
The most important factor for student success is to have students on track at the appropriate reading and math levels by 3rd grade. All statistics point toward a correlation between this achievement and the need for remedial resources later in their academic career.
As an individual Board member I an not permitted to speak on behalf of the Board. However, when a parent raises a concern I bring it forward to District leadership and other Board members for discussion. I have faith in this board and leadership as a whole.
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Campaign Email mikemitchell6@icloud.com
Facebook Page @Raja, Smitha & Mike Raja Krishna, Smitha Raj & Mike Mitchell for School Board
Twitter @Mitchell4E Mitchell for Education
I have worked in public schools for almost 25 years and so I have been in touch with the issues faced by our school district and public schools in general. There seems to be an attack on public education altogether, especially coming from the political arena.

In addition, I have been active in the New Brunswick Education Association (NBEA); Middlesex County Education Association (MCEA); the New Jersey Education Association and National Education Association (NEA) for 20 years, so I am well aware of the needs of our staff. We need them to bring out the best in our students; to service meals to them daily; to transport them to and from school and other venues; secure our buildings and to keep our schools clean regularly, especially now with the pandemic we are in.

The needs of our children are being placed on the shelf when it should always be a priority for any Board. Children First has become rhetorical and it's time to get back to the 'reason for our existence and purpose' - our kids!!!!
Well, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest rate, I give South Brunswick School District an 8.5! If we are able to safely transition a portion of our student population in to the buildings in the coming weeks or months, I'd have to say a 9 or 9.5!! I believe our superintendent Scott Feder and his team did a superb job in preparing our schools for reopening in September. Of course, we didn't want to use the remote option to begin our school year, but uncertain conditions and the threat of the spread of this virus was too great to take chances of the health and lives of our students and staff!!! Students and staff returning to buildings in November may be too soon. I don't know. It's impossible to have all of the answers right away and unfair to ask. If we continue to rely of the advice of those in the medical profession doing what's best for our community then we stand less of a chance to error (and even if we do error, we learn and continue moving forward).
Well I definitely feel this budget crisis we were facing prior to COVID-19 and has now escalated since. Every effort must be made to salvage jobs and programs significant to the continued growth of our students, particularly our students with special needs. We have an excellent fine arts department - one of the best in the nation. Our athletics program is one of the best in the state of New Jersey. So, I'm confident as Board member, I can work along side the others to keep these programs functioning at a high rate! Together South Brunswick stands......divided we fall!!
The most important factors for student success is a Board of Education who is in touch with the community, its educators including the administration, faculty and staff and the students we serve!!! Attending events and showing support to them is one of the ways you foster that relationship. When Board members are active and involved in school events around the community as ex officios that in itself contributes to our students' success. Board members visibility is a sign that you care about what our students care about!!!
My philosophy is that it is of the upmost important to be open and transparent with parents and member of the education community as well as the community at large. There is no issue that is NOT important enough to be addressed in a timely and professional manner. Regardless of the issue or concern, any brought to a board member should be addressed with the utmost urgency and care. We are elected by the community to oversee the interests of our students and staff, therefore, we are accountable!!! There is not enough of that anymore!
Campaign Email deven_patel@verizon.net
Website www.devenpatel.info
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SBDEVEN
Twitter @DevenMP
I am resident of the South Brunswick township for 17 years. I have triplets who are Seniors at the South Brunswick High School.

I am South Brunswick School District (SBSD) Board member since April 2011. Last 9 plus years of experience as a school board member gave me insight of how the school district works and what challenges district is facing. I represent Middlesex County School Board at the New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA) as Board of Director. I achieved Master School Board certification in May 2020, which is highest certification under NJSBA.

I am Civil Engineer by profession and I work for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). My professional experience at the NJDOT gave me understanding of how Tax payers money funded for the taxpayers and I used this experience to give my opinion for better spending for the SBSD.

I serve on the South Brunswick Transportation Advisory Committee (SBTAC) for over 12 years. I was chair for the SBTAC for over 5 years. I also represent the South Brunswick Township at the Middlesex County Transportation Committee. At both committee, I represents the South Brunswick community and work on any transportation related issues the SB community have.

I coached for the South Brunswick Soccer Club for 5 years.

All this personal and professional experience prepared me for serving as the board member.
I would rate South Brunswick School District's reopening plan very high. South Brunswick superintendent, admin team at the central office, board members, teachers, the community worked together to come out with plan that works for children, teachers, parents.

As a curriculum committee chair, I participated in many meeting regarding reopening and listed to teachers, admin, community concerns.

Since, the whole plan was created with help of all the stakeholder, I don't have any concerns at this point. However, we have to be very careful for reopening schools to our children and there are many unknown hidden factors. Next few months are going to be critical as flu season is around the corner and that might create confusion among everyone.

I am certain that the plan SBSD came is going to work for everyone.
Most important challenge that South Brunswick is facing is same as other school district in the New Jersey. It's school funding. School district need more funding from the state in order to accommodate all children's need in school system and it creates less tax burden on local residents. In addition to that the Governor also proposed cutting of School Based Youth Service Program (SBYSPs) from 2020-21 budget. These programs provide critical services to youth in need right at their school. Counseling, substance abuse education and prevention, employment counseling, health awareness, and linkage to other supports are available to students at no cost. Taking away this funding from the budget will hurt our children.

I am planning to resolve this issue by talking to legislators via NJSBA forum and working with the administration in Trenton, who will understand taxpayers pain.
Each and every student growth is every school board members responsibility. Equity in education and education opportunity and access for all is most important factor for student success. I am currently chair of the Curriculum committee at the South Brunswick School District as a board member. As a committee we all member work on giving equal opportunities to SB children and make sure that no child left behind in education and or extra curricular activities. Committee is constantly working on improving, adjusting curriculum that keep our children on top of the education. We make sure that children are taught regarding all aspect of current political/ non-political affairs.
I am a board member for nine plus years and seeking for fourth term. In past when any parent approached me, I worked on to find out what is the problem and guide them through proper chain of command which is set up by the Board of Education. As a board member, my responsibility is to make sure Superintendent is doing his job right and to make sure that school district policy are up to date. So, using this guideline I work with the Superintendent and help parents and SB community members to resolve issues.
Campaign Email smitha_raj@ymail.com
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Raja.Smitha.Mike/
High quality public education has the potential to make a big difference and I view myself as a living example of the difference high quality public education can make in one’s life. I have been a South Brunswick resident for almost seven years now. My son started as a kindergartner in the South Brunswick school district and is now in middle school.

My education is in Economics and I hold a PhD in Economics. My professional experience includes a stint in academia and I briefly taught graduate courses in Economics. Currently I work as a statistical programmer. Neither my education nor my professional experience challenged me in ways that multitasking motherhood did and it has prepared me to take on more responsibilities.
Our school district has an all remote learning plan in place through thanksgiving. We do have an option of sending our students to Remote Learning Centers. Biggest challenge is still ensuring our students, educators are safe and that our students do not fall behind but continue to learn effectively be it in person or remote.
The current situation has been very challenging for all of us given that in-person learning as we knew is no longer a safe option. Parents are struggling to balance work (either on-site or from home) while our students are into remote learning. Effective learning is hampered given the distractions at home and availability of uninterrupted internet, especially among the younger students. The students are also missing crucial personal interaction with their peers. Educators are also challenged in every step of the way, from technical glitches to holding the attention of their students who are physically far away. We should encourage all stakeholders to initiate and continue the dialogue on how to enable our students to learn effectively given the constraints imposed by both the pandemic and looming budget cuts.
While there are many factors determining student success, including family support, personal issues, and personality types is the least we can do as a community to ensure that every student has equitable access to: -High quality education -Top class inclusive diverse curriculum -Enrichment programs -High quality extra curricular activities -Stress management tools and mental health support
I believe the dialogues are what binds us a community and improves our collective well-being. I plan to engage parents and everyone concerned with education via open multi modal communication channels. I will be accessible via social media along with traditional channels.

I believe all concerns, be it big or small, should be addressed promptly and honestly. It is really about working with all stakeholders to ensure the best quality education for our kids, support for our parents and educators to do their jobs to the best of their abilities while being cognizant of our responsibility towards our taxpayers.
Campaign Email alrobinson_25508@msn.com
I have served on the South Brunswick Board of Education since 2008. During my time on the Board, I’ve served as Policy Committee Chair and Budget Committee Chair. In addition, I’ve served on the Negotiations Committee and Curriculum/Academic Policy Committee. As of January 2020, I’m serving as vice-president of the Board. I’m a 30 year resident of South Brunswick Township and my son graduated from South Brunswick High School. In terms of education, I have a master’s degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Environmental Policy Studies and a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University in Chemical Engineering. In addition, I'm a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Management Program. In terms of my military service, I’m a retired U.S. Navy Commander having served in Operation Enduring Freedom in the Kingdom Of Kuwait in 2002. My unit received the Presidential Unit Citation. I’m a graduate of the U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School and the U.S. Naval War College. Presently, I’m a manager at the state of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection. As a board member, I believe that the struggle continues for equal justice and economic prosperity for all people, we must instill in each and every heart that caring for another human being is not by just speech but by deeds of good will. This concept must be instilled in every member of our society by their actions: spoken, written or gestures towards one another.
As a member of the South Brunswick Board of Education, the district leadership is extremely active in trying to find the best solution for our kids to return safely to the classroom and participate in extracurricular activities within the COVID-19 guidelines specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Moreover, the district submitted a reopening plan that was accepted by the state Department of Education, the first time by having kids return to the class room remotely and by establishing learning centers throughout the district for our special needs kids and for those parents that want their kids to have some in-person training for studies. The district has a plan that stresses upon safety and healthy aspects of our kids to ensure a return to normal or near-normal learning environment. As a member of the Board, I want to assure district personnel, parents and students that I will do my very best to keep everyone safe and healthy during this modified learning environment. We are all in this together and play a key part in combating this virus.
The challenges facing the school district to me are: (1) a quality education with adequate funding from the state to ensure that each and every kid succeed in any career path they have chosen in life, and 2) adequate resources for special education services and for those economically disadvantaged kids. For issue (1), I would continue to work with my colleagues on the Board and our community to ensure that each and every child has the necessary skills to succeed academically for college or develop skills for trade school. For issue (2), I would continue working with the Board to ensure adequate resources are available to assist our kids requiring special services. In addition, I would continue my advocacy for kids that deserve caring attention to succeed in life.
The important factor for a student’s success, as a board member, is to realize early in the planning process that each kid learns differently from the other, no matter the subject matter. I believe that school lessons for the day don’t end when the last class for the day concludes. There must be adequate tools given to kids to ensure minimization of the digital divide. Annual tests scores give only a snap shot of how a kid performs on a test at a given date and time. Emphasis must be placed upon personalized academic improvement measures for each and every child through parent and teacher involvement K-12. I would continue working with the Board to track the academic performance of each cohort of kids K-12 to ensure that testing measures are meaningful in determining the academic progress of each kid.
I am very approachable even during this COVID-19 Pandemic environment while maintaining social distancing requirements in person. . In the beginning of this year, the district gave each board member business cards to hand out to residents of South Brunswick on any concern he or she might have on an issue. This business card focused on customer service and contact protocols on who to contact in specific order on issues such as educational needs, facilities, athletics, transportation and special education just to name a few. My plan, as always, is to respond to each and every concern and direct the individual to the appropriate person to answer their question through the superintendent.