To the Editor:
On November 8 you will be asked to be part of the democratic process of voting in a very important election. Choosing our country’s leader has left most of us in a position we may have never experienced in any other presidential election before. The disparity between ideals has never been more volatile. While I am certain we will get through this time and learn from it, I feel it is important to note that right here in Bayonne on the same ballot, are 12 candidates for the Bayonne Board of Education who would like to only bring good, equitable, quality and innovative ideals to the school district.
I am one of those candidates. My values regarding education were introduced to me at a very young age when my father looked each one of my siblings and I in the eye at dinner and said, “Each one of you is expected to concentrate on your schoolwork and eventually go to college. There are no options. I expect nothing less.” Well, all of us but one did graduate with at least a Bachelors Degree. Along the journey he did realize that college is not for everyone and you can be very successful by your own path.
My reasons for running for a seat on this board are absolutely inspired by my father’s values. As a teacher and an artist, and I am lucky to be both, I want all students to be able to have the opportunities they deserve and that will allow them to be who they are. Whether this means a college-bound biochemistry major, elementary school teacher, accountant, designer, carpenter, or chef, their blueprints for success must be nurtured.
How can this be attained? By providing the students with the best teachers, administrators, coursework, facilities, and choices we can give them. We also need to involve the business community of Bayonne with the tasks of providing cooperative education opportunities, mentoring programs, and a voice in decision making on expenditures that will have an effect on the economy of this city. I have an idea for these companies that are given what I feel are way too generous tax abatements, I would like a plan of action where if you are given a gift of abatement, you must give back to our schools. Whether that means funding a facility in any building or repair or by providing high school students who are seeking careers, an internship or cooperative experience within your company.
If elected, I will be a constant voice for progression, equal academic opportunity for all, and high quality leadership. We all want Bayonne to shine. A great city starts with its school district. Please consider voting for me, Gina Irizarry, for a three-year term on November 8. I promise to be your voice.