Hunterdon Central Regional High School District-East Amwell
The Hunterdon Central Regional Board of Education is comprised of nine members, elected by constituents from the five municipalities whose students attend Hunterdon Central Regional High School: one each from Delaware Township, East Amwell Township, and the Borough of Flemington and three each from Raritan Township and Readington Township.
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Why are you running for the board of education (Why are you seeking reelection)? What personal and professional skills do you possess that will make you an effective Board member?
What are the challenges and opportunities you see for our school district and how do you propose to address them?
How would 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?
Looking ahead to a post-pandemic future, what are we learning from our school district’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic that will or should affect how our schools operate in the future?
49 Dutch Lane
Ringoes, NJ 08551
My son is a sophomore at Hunterdon Central. He experienced going from a class of 40 at East Amwell to a class of almost 700 at HCRHS. I am running because the smaller sending districts need a strong advocate for our students and a voice to articulate how our experiences and needs may differ from other sending districts. The HCRHS budget is also approximately 25% of our local taxes and I will advocate for fiscal responsibility and strategic planning to get the most value out of our investment.
As a scientist, I solve problems based on data and facts, but much of my work requires collaborating with teams of professionals, clearly communicating complicated information and advocating for my clients. My training and experience have taught me to respect the opinions and expertise of others and to work collaboratively to reach the most effective solutions.
The district is facing on-going and long-term challenges of security, maintaining infrastructure, adapting to evolving technology, maintaining academic excellence, and meeting the social and emotional needs of a diverse population. COVID-19 has added significant limitations and costs to system running near capacity. Each member of the HCRHS School Board brings a unique perspective and skill set. My goal is to work with the other board members and the school administration to evaluate each challenge and develop the best solutions using the available resources.
HCRHS has been put in an untenable position of attempting to meet their mission given the current limitations of COVID-19. I believe that HCRHS administration and the School Board is doing their best to meet as many of their goals as possible while maintaining a COVID-19 protective environment. There are an infinite number of individual scenarios and COVID-19 risk factors that need to be considered.
Professionally, I work characterizing and remediating hazardous materials and health and safety protocols are critical to keeping me and my teams safe. The hierarchy of preferred exposure mitigation is 1) remove the hazard; 2) engineer the environment to mitigate the hazard and 3) personal protective equipment (PPE). We don’t have the ability to remove COVID-19 until after a vaccine has been developed. Engineering options include operating in open-air environments, optimizing air flow and exchange with the facilities and social distancing. PPE should be the last line of defense.
I think COVID-19 has taught us the importance of proactively seeking stakeholder buy-in and working collaboratively and transparently to adjust to changing circumstances. Schools are tasked with mitigating the effects of an ever-evolving list of things which are beyond their control. COVID-19 has highlighted how critical trust and collaboration are between the community, administration, teachers and students.
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