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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Cherry Hill 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)A total of seven candidates are running for three open seats on the school board, while three people are running in a special election. Ineda "Corrien" Elmore-Stratton, Anju Pejavara and Ruth Schultz are all running to fill the remaining two years on an unexpired seat, according to the unofficial list posted on the Camden County Clerk's website. The remaining candidates are running for three open, three-year seats on the board of education.Source: https://patch.com/new-jersey/cherryhill/contested-school-board-elections-set-cherry-hill

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  • Aslihan Cakmak

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    Ineda "Corrien" Elmore-Stratton

  • Carol Matlack

  • John Papeika

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    Miriam Stern

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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Campaign Email inedaelmore4@yahoo.com
Facebook Page corrienandcarol.com
Cherry Hill is quickly growing and as it grows our Township becomes more diverse and it is important that our spaces and positions of leadership are reflective of the community. I believe representation is important and it is key that we have representation from as many facets of the diversity in our town, in all of our key spaces. In addition, I have an undying passion for serving youth and families and have done so for close to 20 years, working on the school board is just another layer where my passion and my skill set can meet a work for positive results.
As we are still in the midst of this pandemic my top budget concern in January where be where we are landing financially with salaries. I believe in people as our biggest assets and I am sure that this pandemic has put many District staff out of work or forced into retirement or with a significant reduction in hours. I would want to look at where we stand in terms of getting people as close as possible back to their working "norm" so that the financial hardships that many are facing can be somewhat alleviated.
The Achievement Gap and the disparities amongst the scores for our English Learners and our student's of color continues to seem to grow each year. We have made strides in closing the gap however we seem to continuously have the same subject areas with only small gains. I believe the District has made this a focus areas however I would like to see us take a deeper dive and even look at what we are doing comparatively from school to school. It is concerning that the disparity between the East side of town's scores and the West side of town's scores seems to be growing. We need to figure out if this is a time to shake up the teachers from side to side or the administrators or even the students.
I believe that formula was a good initial response to the appropriating of school funds however as landscapes shift and communities change I think it is fitting for the state to also look at these changes and see if adjustments to the formula should be made. However, I believe this is something that needs attention on the State level and advocacy on the State level as well.
Beyond the physical measures like vestibules and additional cameras, I believe there are other safety measures that neighboring districts have implemented that we could look into that would increase safety for the physical buildings and increase the emotional safety of our students. Ten years ago as a Youth Development Director with the Y, I sat on the Emergency Services team for the Burlington Township School District. Led by their BA, she would regularly gather us to run safety drills, discuss safety concerns, and update us on new safety measures. It was then that I first learned about vestibules, special door locks, personalized student and staff key fobs, and many other measures that I would love to see our district look into.
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Campaign Email John.papeika@yahoo.com
I am running because I feel that I can be of value to the overall effectiveness of the school system. I have two children and will be directly involved with the district for the next two decades.

I have worked in several positions in the retail world and have been responsible for managing all aspects of the business including budgeting. These skills can be applied to the school board.
My top budget priority is smart spending. We have a limited amount of funds to address a multitude of issues. Spending a million dollars on a vestibule is not smart spending. The board needs to question every dollar and push to get the best bids for jobs.
I am very mixed on standardized testing. While they do have some value, I feel their worth is overstated. The best way to address any deficiencies is through the curriculum. While the board may have input on curriculum, I feel that the board needs to look to the teachers for advice on curriculum. What looks good on paper may not be good when in action in the classroom. The teachers live it and can provide valuable insight.
I feel that Cherry Hill is still being short changed. Our schools are crumbling and need cash to get where they need to be.
There are a lot of issues around school safety and security. To my knowledge, none of the board have a strong security background. We need to look at a school security adviser / expert and at what other districts have done and use their experiences and recommendations to make schools more secure. I feel that my safety and regulatory background can also assist in this process.
Facebook Page sternforboe.com
As a parent of 3 kids in the district, the spouse of a teacher from a neighboring district, and 10 years of being involved as a volunteer and an advocate in our District, I’m running for the Board of Education because of my passion for Progress, Leadership and Integrity. Public education plays a critical role in shaping kids’ academic and social-emotional development. Board members must ask the right questions to ensure that the school district is well-run and provides all students with an equitable high-quality education. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Executive Director of a group counseling practice in Cherry Hill, I know what it takes to be a responsible leader while balancing the needs of those we serve.
Our schools are the cornerstone of our town, our residents deserve schools that are well-run and fiscally responsible. Cherry Hill Public Schools face many financial challenges that require a two-pronged approach: making short-term financial investments for critical needs while actively developing a long-range, big picture approach to our financial future. After 12 years of severe state aid underfunding our neglected school facilities need major maintenance overhauls and critical upgrades. Our District needs to incorporate ongoing maintenance and facilities upgrades into the operating budget, rather than only relying on capital reserves for big projects. Grants and alternative funding must be considered for bigger long-range projects.
Test scores are one of many measures of success. State standardized tests let us know where our students stand compared to their peers throughout the state. It is also recognized that there is implicit bias in test scores. The School Board's mission is for students to have the skills to thrive in an ever-changing world. While test scores don’t tell the whole picture of our students’ abilities, 75% of our middle school and high school students on the West side do not meet the standard on their NJSLA math test scores, compared to 25% of the middle school and high school students on the East side. We must provide the necessary resources and opportunities for all students to ensure they receive an equitable education.
When NJ froze state funding to schools in 2008, Cherry Hill began receiving half of our $29 million aid, only 49% of the aid that we were supposed to receive. That severe underfunding has harmed us for 12 years. I fought to change that by starting a public awareness campaign for parents and by attending and testifying at the 2007 and 2008 Legislative Budget Hearings. After the 2008 law S-2 was passed, Cherry Hill was supposed to be on a 7-year path to receive full funding. This past May we took a devastating hit when the Governor announced a $2.4 million reduction in our funding. The law must be followed. Districts' funding categorization should be re-evaluated periodically to account for population and socioeconomic changes.
Health and safety are top priorities for schools. Cherry Hill Public Schools need to make best-practice investments that are within our budget to ensure basic health and safety measures are in place. While the District has focused on building security vestibules, there are many other lower-cost best practice safety and security improvements that can be made, such as improved door-locking mechanisms and shatter-proof classroom window glass. We also must ensure the air quality in our school buildings is safe for students and all those who enter our buildings. As our schools navigate the coronavirus pandemic this must become a top priority. After years of neglect many of our buildings are in need of HVAC system improvements.