I’m pleased to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Board of Education and to introduce my two running mates on the Kids First slate – Brian Assadourian and Phil Campbell. Each will offer unique perspectives and talents.
Brian is a successful entrepreneur, who has built four companies from the ground up. He will bring real world knowledge of management and problem solving to the Board of Education. Also, as a life long Hudson County resident, the son of a former Stevens’ professor and the father of a son in the Wallace School Brian has direct personal knowledge of an urban education and what it takes to achieve success.
Phil is a third generation Hobokenite that wants give back to the community that – over 90 years – has given his family so much. Through his educational background, which began at Connors Elementary School and will soon be completed with an MBA from Farleigh Dickenson, he understands both what our schools are and what they can be for all students.
In the past year, we have increased transparency at the Board by creating an open bid process for professional contracts, passing a state mandated anti-nepotism policy and – finally – airing our meetings on television. But we have looked honestly at the district, as well. Working closely with the Superintendent, we completed a self-assessment uncovering a number of serious and ongoing failings. These include – unbelievably – the revelation that the Hoboken School system had no district-wide curriculum. We have now started to develop and document action plans to correct these problems.
Finally, our administrative staff is designed to support a much larger student base than what we have in our schools today, leading to some of the highest costs in the state. We must immediately implement fiscal responsibility and begin to find savings to reduce taxpayer burden while striving to increase our student population.
As a professor of Economics at William Patterson University, the mother of a 3yr old in the school system and a newborn, I am excited at our districts possibilities. We have great teachers, parents, students and great facilities. We are just beginning – in the past year – to build the foundation of accountability that will yield the results we deserve. I look forward to returning to the board along with Brian and Phil we will strengthen the consensus on the board to always put Kids First.