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Merchantville 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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  • Candidate picture

    Melanie Gaskins

  • Candidate picture

    Lynn Geddes

  • Candidate picture

    Kristina Kroot

  • Antisha Meisner

  • Craig Nussbaum

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?

Campaign Email melaniegaskins@gmail.com
It is the responsibility of every citizen to contribute positively to their community through acts of service. To serve on the school board is a beautiful example of an act of service. As an elementary school educator, I have a strong desire to enrich the lives of our children by providing stimulating opportunities for them to engage with their world. My desire and dedication was rewarded last academic school year as I was awarded the distinction of Teacher of the Year at Larchmont Elementary School. As a board member, I would be committed to supporting Merchantvile's educators in the meaningful and impactful endeavor of teaching, guiding, facilitating, supporting, enriching and encouraging our community's youth.
Curriculum and staff development are vital in this ever changing fast paced environment. I believe an established curriculum that all adhere to should be implemented school wide. In this way, all expectations are clear to students, educators, and families. When educators and related staff feel confident as they work to provide stimulating and equitable opportunities for children, they in fact maximize on their own potential as teachers. Students benefit exponentially when we support educators. Educators, students, and administrators need opportunities to become or remain life long learners.
Test scores are a means to understand one aspect of a student's academic journey. They are not the sum total of a child's learning, ability to learn, or understanding of curriculum and the content areas. Test scores should be used as a formative guide to develop instruction and to design curriculum that supports equitable access to engaging content.
It appears that the newest formula will provide funding to districts that have previously been underfunded or not provided the funding due because the numbers reflecting enrollment, special education, etc.were not being considered or updated from year to year. The new formula appears to allow an accurate and updated sharing of information to our state which supports an increase for some districts and a decrease for others. As in all things, specifically changes, this is something to continue to pay strict attention to in order to maintain a beneficial educational experience for our students.
Currently, our school is not ADA compliant. I believe this should be at the forefront of our efforts as we move forward. Without these modifications, we have the potential to isolate and excude students from participating in a rich and rigorous educational community.
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My 40 years plus experience gives me a wealth of knowledge that addresses the multi faceted needs of quality education. Our most valuable resource is the day to day process of teachers working in classrooms interacting with children. The continuing professional development that teachers participate in give them the ability to provide quality instruction. The administration provides the platform to make instruction possible by running the business end of each school day. As board members we need to support the needs of the system by providing quality salaries, safe, clean, and functioning environments, and the necessary tools to allow our children to thrive.
The most important pieces of quality instruction are hiring a diverse staff that is well versed in their specific field and a safe, clean, and functioning environment that allows children and staff to excel.
Test scores are only one piece of the educational puzzle. If needed professional development for teachers may be useful. Other items needed would be materials and scheduling to improve the overall instructional day.
The guidelines change frequently so it is difficult to predict what funds will be available each year. Consistent allocations would greatly benefit yearly planning.
The building is old so maintenance is is essential. Quality of air and a functioning heating and air conditioning system are imperative.
Campaign Email kristina.kroot@gmail.com
As a community member and a parent, I want our school to be successful for all of our children and my goal is for our families to feel confident and trust our school and board to do what is right by providing quality education and opportunities for our children. As a former marketing communications executive, a current small business owner and child development psychology PhD student, I have a range of experience in leadership, strategic planning and complex budgeting, as well as have a deep understanding of children’s cognitive, emotional, intellectual and social capabilities and functioning. These experiences and knowledge will help me to ensure the vision for our school supports all aspects of our children’s growth and development.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a top budget priority is the $454,000 the Merchantville school district has lost in state aid. It will become imperative for the board to not cut funds for educational instruction, supplies and equipment, student services and food. A loss in these expenditures will be a major loss on our children’s education.
Test scores are only a small part in understanding a child’s performance; they do not provide a whole picture of a child. Test scores can be used as an aid to design a supportive, engaging and equitable curriculum and learning environment, but it will also be necessary to use a whole child approach to promote academic achievement and long-term development and success for all of our children.
New Jersey’s S-2 formula for public school districts was initiated to help rebalance funding based on changes in all the school districts, such as enrollment increases or decreases. This formula has helped support districts that have been underfunded by supplying them with the funds necessary to provide quality and equitable education and opportunities for their students.
Merchantville school is not ADA compliant. It is paramount the school must be ADA compliant as soon as possible to be accommodating, safe and accessible for its students, teachers and parents with disabilities.
I am running for Merchantville’s Board of Education because as a parent of three students of Merchantville Elementary School, a community member, and a person of color in an interracial marriage with three biracial children, I want to be a voice for similar families and students of Merchantville Elementary School and the Merchantville community. I want to renew the communities’ faith, trust in the Merchantville School Board, as well as rebuild the integrity of the School Board. My goal is to ensure that all students of Merchantville Elementary School are acknowledged, thus bolstering their confidence and enhancing their desire to succeed. I am a former high school English teacher and a retired veteran Marine.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a top budget priority is the $454,000 Merchantville school district has lost in state aid. It will become imperative for the board to not cut funds for educational instruction, supplies and equipment, student services and food. A loss in these expenditures will be a major loss on our children’s education.
Test scores are only a part in understanding a child’s performance, they do not provide a whole picture of a child, or an accurate assessment of a child’s intelligent level and/or amount of knowledge gained. Test scores can be used as an aid to design a supportive, engaging, equatable curriculum, and learning environment, however test scores can be used in creating a whole child approach to promote academic achievement, long-term development and success of all our children.
New Jersey’s S-2 Formula for public school districts was initiated to help rebalancing funding based on changes in all the school districts, such as enrollment increases and decreases. This formula has helped support districts that have been underfunded by supplying them with the funds necessary to provide quality and equitable education and opportunities for their students.
Merchantville School is not ADA complaint and it is paramount the school is accommodated, safe, and accessible for its students, parents with disabilities, and teachers.
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