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Pennsauken 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

    Lisa Eckel

  • Candidate picture

    Maria James

  • Candidate picture

    Nhuan Van

  • Orlando Viera, Jr.

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?

I am running for school board because I think it's important to be involved and give back to the community I have called home for 35 years. I am encouraged with the direction the Superintendent has taken and I want to be able to support the plan and see it through implementation. It's the duty of a Board Member to make sure the district is well run and this doesn't require expertise in education, rather it takes common sense, and open mind, and dedication to supporting a plan that is having awesome results.
I would love to see our district become a state approved trade school so that we could attract students from other towns and provide a great option in this much needed area of education. This would be a great revenue boost for the district as well, which in turn would have a positive impact on keeping our taxes low.
Test scores give students a measure that allows them to strive for more. I believe test scores have improved in our district since the implementation of benchmark testing and I would encourage continuing this practice.
While I am not familiar with the details of the state aid formula, I do know that the district assesses and regularly applies aid in various areas throughout the schools, as evidence in the school budget breakdown.
Safety and security are so very important in the world we live in today. Parents want to know their kids are safe and that the district is doing everything possible to ensure their security. The district has implemented many safety features recently, most notably are the new security vestibules that were added in every school using funds that were included in the recent referendum. I would work with the other Board Members to continually assess security needs of our students and staff.
Campaign Email newdirectionboe@gmail.com
I am seeking reelection to the Pennsauken Board of Education because I believe in the current and future goals of our district. I have two children that attend Pennsauken school district, my daughter is in 5th grade and my son is in 8th grade. I'm very proud of our district and it's been an honor to serve as a board member for the past three years. I have three years of NJ School Board Association education and am looking to further my education as a board member. I am a licensed cosmetologist, therefore I support the Career and Technical Education courses offered at the high school. Our district is headed in the right direction as we grow and continue to offer our students great educational opportunities in our state of the art facilities.
My top budget priority is to continue to see our budget aligned with a strategic plan that supports the district's vision. I will also continue to support building programs that benefit the vocational and academic career paths for the students. The success of our students relies on the money spent in the district.
Testing is important but it is more important to educate the whole child, therefore, Pennsauken public schools benchmark tests all students to help them individually learn each standard throughout the pacing guides of all curriculum. This endeavor educates the whole child and passively increases test scores through student comfort. Through this initiative test scores have improved and I will continue to support these steps taken to ensure the best education for Pennsauken students.
My views on the latest formula for apportioning state aid for schools is the formula works for our students. It allows students from lower or more struggling socioeconomic backgrounds to relieve adequate funding.
During my past three years serving on the Pennsauken Board of Education we passed a bond referendum that put security vestibules in each one of our schools. I can assure you that safety and security is a top priority for the Pennsauken board of education. I will continue to support and promise to stay up to date and educated on this topic to bring the latest safety measures to our district.
“I have always felt indebted to the Pennsauken School System as a result of the excellent education I have received during my transition from childhood to adulthood. It became the core of my principles, beliefs and allowed me to become an integrity citizen with moral standards. So now I want to give back to my Pennsauken Community with all my knowledge, and within my ability to uphold that same principles that were placed upon me.”
1. I believe that school subjects & programs budgets are required to look over with careful consideration and make sure these areas of subjects and the type of programs will provide the students every tool and resources at their disposal and prepare them for their college year and beyond.

2. I have many wonderful teachers that taught me about loving Music, Science & Art programs as a student. For that I am more supportive of the Music, Science & Art Programs and I will do all in my power to restore the Renaissance Program back to the students.

3. All school subject & programs will receive the equal budget and if they require additional funds for their program they will be invited to speak to the members of the Pennsauken School Board.
My view on Test Scores is neutral. The Test Scores is to measure the students performance and their intelligence on how much they learned throughout the year. However, the test scores will demoralize the students' spirit after they receive their result knowing they don’t do well with standardized Testing and it will add more pressure to the students to score higher on the next test. I recalled when I took the standardized test on Math and I ended up scoring poorly on it. The test results show I am not an expert on Algebra however I did motivate myself to score higher on the next exam. I recommend a teacher go over the questions from the test with the student one on one to practice the questions that are correct and wrongs.
The latest formula of state aid for schools in Camden County is unjust when it comes to funding from the state and our Camden County state aid for Pennsauken schools is like receiving little crumbs from the leftover of a pie that has already been carved up by other counties in New Jersey. The Camden County state aids for K-12 Schools which Pennsauken School District received are just a small portion around $1,733,472 in state funds. Pennsauken School District doesn't even make it to the top 100 or 200 on the Best Schools in New Jersey to be mentioned or praised for top test scores. Pennsauken School District is in a serious need of more fundings, more resources and more tools support from the states just like Camden City School District.
All Schools in New Jersey are lacking emergency training for Faculty Staff & students in case of emergency or a crisis appear. For example, a gunman carries a gun inside of the school, how would they respond to such a threat to the schools and to protect the students from getting harmed by these gunmen or other threats? A regular drill or training in case of such an emergency arises for both faculty staff and students while adding more security guards patrolling the school ground with the latest updated school camera, door security, and an emergency call police system that can call the police to come right away to the school in case of an emergency.
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