The most important challenge we face is how to help ALL children reach their potential while using the resources we currently have. Communication between schools and families is crucial to student success. As a result of my work with the Parent Advisory Council many schools redesigned their homework policies to be clear and consistent across classes and schools and began sending home Unit Overviews for Reading and Writing. Effective teachers and strong curriculum are also key predictors of student success. I will advocate for research-based resources and opportunities for collaboration and training to help teachers reach all children. I will support policies that build on these successes and encourage systematic collaboration between administrators, parents, students and the community to streamline and strengthen district goals and optimize community resources to build stronger schools and a stronger Morristown.
I have extensive experience with each dimension of the school experience: as a parent of two elementary students, as a parent leader and liaison, as a teacher and as a taxpayer. I have been a parent volunteer in our schools for a long time, currently as co-president of the Alexander Hamilton HSA. But my passionate involvement in education pre-dates my time as a parent in the Morristown schools; it includes growing up in a family of committed educators, working as a community organizer, running a business in Central America, teaching high school in a diverse community, and obtaining a master’s degree in Educational Leadership- all of which have made me a better advocate in and out of the classroom. I understand the need to be extremely intentional about using resources in the most efficient and productive way possible. I will continue to work hard to ensure the positive and balanced experience of all stakeholders so that we may help ALL children reach their potential.
Current Elected Position
Vice President - Morris School District BOE
For the Morris School District (MSD), one of the most complex challenges is to provide meaningful, quality academic programs that support student progress and growth within the limited financial resources available. The MSD has a reputation for sound fiscal management. Our district will be debt-free in 2019 while managing to maintain an average annual tax increase of 1.4% over the last 5 years. This is well below the annual 2% maximum allowed by law.
Despite limited budget growth, MSD continues to provide new and better programs. For example, this year MSD took over 50% of the formerly contracted bus routes to improve our control over the safety and management of those routes. To continue on a fiscally responsible path, I will: 1. Maintain our collegial working relationship with our faculty and staff, as we begin new contract negotiations that will benefit both the MSD and its employees, and 2. Leverage our technology infrastructure to deliver new and better access to programs.
I value public education and I want to help MSD parents and students value it, too. I am the product of two public school teachers (aka “Mom” and “Dad”) who highly valued the educational and extracurricular opportunities available to me and my siblings. My father grew up significantly economically disadvantaged. It was through education that he achieved middle class standing. His experience helps me better understand what children can accomplishment through education.
As a parent, I have held almost every volunteer parent position available. From HSA President to first-day-of-school parent bus stop assistant. As an MSD board member, I represent MSD on the Boards of Teen Pride and the Educational Services Commission of Morris County. Professionally, my experience helps me understand budgets, projects and contracts. I am an academically trained engineer and technology manager with extensive experience in technology training.
Current Elected Position
board of education, morris school district
To be a true "lighthouse" district, the Morris School District needs to meet the challenge of providing excellence and equity to its diverse student and parent community. We are executing our strategic plan with fidelity, in terms of delivering rigorous, personalized, student-centered learning to every child in the District in an environment that nurtures their creative potential and allows them to ascend academically, emotionally and socially throughout their years here. Our goal is to have students and teachers partner to master challenging curricula in a student-based learning setting, preparing every student to graduate prepared to meet life's challenges and live a fulfilling and engaged life.
During the past 10 years of my career as an attorney, I have been general counsel to boards of education in Newark and Paterson. I, therefore, bring a tremendous wealth of knowledge and understanding to the office regarding all areas of education law, a valuable asset on the board. I also understand the impact of both functional and dysfunctional boards on an educational system. This understanding, coupled with my 21 years of service on the Board in the Morris School District, my own experience as a student in this district and my experience as a parent during the time my own children attended school here, give me the breadth and depth of perspective and knowledge that is needed on any board of education.This is particularly relevant as we enter into collective bargaining negotiations with our unions, a process that I have been involved with several times before.