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Cranbury Township Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Cranbury Township Board of Education has nine members, each elected for a three year term. Vote for three candidates.
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    Amy Dixon (N) Library Media Specialist, South Brunswick School District

  • Candidate picture

    Francis McGovern (N) Lawyer

  • Lisa Rue (N)

  • Evelyn Spann (N)

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What are the challenges and opportunities you see for the Cranbury Township School District and how do you propose to work on addressing them?

Please list the primary responsibilities of school board members as you see them.

Tell us about your experience with this school district. Why do you want to become a member of the Cranbury School Board?

What are the most important factors for student success and how will you ensure those factors are being addressed in a timely manner as a school board member?

How do you propose to balance the following factors: recruitment and retention of excellent teachers, quality of education provided to the students, and the desire of most taxpayers for lower taxes?

What personal and professional skills do you possess that will make you an effective member of the Cranbury School Board?

1. As we plan and prepare for the renewal of the send/receive agreement, the board will be responsible for supporting the Chief School Administrator as she upholds the positive relationship between our schools.

2. Maintaining energy efficient practices that reflect the strategic plan goals, as well as looking into new opportunities for eco-friendly practices that have a positive fiscal benefit.

3. Continuing the valuable work that is being done on curriculum planning in an effort to prepare our students to be college and career ready, reflecting best practices and incorporating new technology and science standards. Included in this should be the thoughtful review and implementation of a homework policy.
As I see it, a school board member serves as a valuable connection between the school and the community. The responsibilities of the school board include reviewing and establishing policies, approving budgets and financial affairs of the school, considering and approving personnel matters, reviewing and approving curriculum, and making decisions on educational as well as building/property issues within the school. The school board provides leadership that enables these items to be carried out. Additionally, the school board supports the Chief School Administrator in her duties of managing the operations of the school, staff, and students.
In addition to being a parent and a member of this community, I am also an educator. With my education background and experience, I am sympathetic to the needs of everyone involved in the Cranbury Township School District: I understand what it is like to be a parent, a teacher, and a resident of this amazing town. I made the decision to run for the Cranbury Township School Board based on my commitment to and experience in the educational system. I was inspired to run for the board because it combines a few of my greatest passions: my children, the town of Cranbury, and the education of our youth. I hope that my involvement with the school board will have a positive impact on the future of our school district.
- Making connections with the right people (good educators): Ensuring that we retain the highest quality of educators requires making sound fiscal decisions that support our teachers and show them they are valued assets. Additionally, supporting those educators with meaningful professional development experiences so that they can turnkey their learning directly to our students.

- Having a supportive school environment and feeling part of a school community: We can help our students feel safe and respected by supporting a solid foundation of peer outreach, maintaining low teacher to student ratios, and providing diverse enrichment opportunities.

- Access to high quality, engaging school curriculum with appropriate rigor.
Prudent fiscal planning has been the norm for the board, and I expect that this will continue. By continuing to put cost-containment strategies such as procurement cooperatives and shared services in place, while continuing to appeal for state, local, and federal funding, Cranbury School will be able to maintain its’ tradition of excellence in education and its’ commitment to teachers and staff, while keeping the interest of the taxpayers at the forefront of budget planning.
Having two children in the school, as well as my own experience in education, give me an accurate picture of what goes on inside of a classroom, and what things students need and want in order to be successful and engaged. I understand the demands on our students, and in turn how those demands affect the family. Living every day in an educational environment, I know the day to day workings of a school from an insider’s perspective. I am familiar with the struggles faced by our students as well as how we can help them to be successful. Additionally, I can relate to what it takes to retain good teachers, and the things that they need in order to do their jobs.
1) Increased number of students because of new housing and existing housing turnover. I would work with the board members and administration to assure that the school has staffing, financing and physical plant necessary to serve the increased number of students. 2) Continuing to foster the relationship with Princeton and exploring ways to help Princeton with its short and long-term goals for Princeton High School. 3) Engaging new-comers to the school in a way that fosters their participation and support for the school, its students, teachers and administrators. I would encourage outreach to parents that are new to Cranbury, the Cranbury School and, in an increasing number of cases, the U.S.
The following is taken from the Cranbury School's website. It accurately reflects my view of the Board of Education's role in supporting the Cranbury School's mission: The Cranbury Township Board of Education establishes policies, approves personnel, adopts budgets, approves curriculum, awards bids, and makes final decisions on educational issues. However, the responsibilities of day-to-day operations are that of the Chief School Administrator and through him or her to the administrative, teaching, and support staff of the district.
In short, I'm running for the school board because I want my children and your children to flourish in the Cranbury and Princeton schools. I also want those who do not have children in the Cranbury or Princeton schools to be assured that their money is well spent and that the Cranbury School is cultivating good citizens.
As mentioned in the Cranbury School's mission statement, student success requires a safe environment, encouragement of strengths, curiosity, creativity, initiative and social responsibility. Exposure to technology and extracurricular activities is also important. The most important factor however is inspiring the desire to learn and become a life-long learner. Students are only in formal school for a short portion of their lives; it's the enthusiasm of the teachers, administrators, coaches, parents, friends and others that inspires the desire to be life-long learners. I wouldn't presume to know the secret to this inspiration but I would say that trying new things and resisting rote is a great place to start.
It has been my experience that Cranbury residents value excellent education more highly than lowering taxes. That being said, school-library cooperation has helped, community volunteerism and fund raising has helped and teacher/administrator/parent commitment has helped. There is no perfect balance and neither the recent public housing impositions nor the new condominium development will make things easier. I believe that the school board will have to work closely with the Township Committee on planning, zoning, public housing, taxation and "payment in lieu of taxes" issues to mitigate negative impacts and enhance positive impacts.
Although my family is an "education family" which includes many teachers, an NJEA representative, a principal and even a couple of superintendents, I took a different path. I have an undergraduate business degree from Rutgers School of Business and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Camden.

I practice with ten other attorneys in North Brunswick, NJ. Our practice is essentially limited to representing home owners associations and condominiums. We are, in essence, the Boards' attorneys. I have guided hundreds of boards through good times and bad over my more than twenty years in the association law field. I understand the role of a board member from serving on boards and working with them day and night.
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