WARREN, NJ — Warren Township School Board has five candidates vying for three seats in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
Todd Weinstein is one of the candidates running. The other candidates include Christian Bellmann, Eric D. Winch, David Brezee, and Laura Keller.
Lori Ruckstuhl-Clar is also running for one, one-year unexpired seat.
Are you running for office in Warren? Contact Alexis Tarrazi at [email protected] for information on being featured in a candidate’s profile and submitting campaign announcements to Warren Patch.
1. Why are running for Board of Education?
I’m running because I care.
I care about the future of the students (and families) in the Warren school district.
I care about and have a long-term vested interest based on having 3 young kids in the school district.
I care about how school will function in a safe environment during this COVID-19 era.
I care about how financial decisions are made that impacts our students and the families who live in Warren and pay taxes.
I care about our teachers and want to put them in positions to be as successful as possible while nurturing their career growth.
Lastly, I care deeply about the town of Warren. While we have only been here a brief 3.5 years my family and I have truly fallen in love with this community who has been beyond welcoming.
2. What are your qualifications for this position?
I believe in a co-creation process by which parents are heard and part of the solution on a safe return to school plan in this COVID-19 era.
COVID-19 has completely changed our world and the way in which our children are being educated. This is obviously the core issue at hand and cannot successfully be problem-solved by the board and Dr. Mingle alone. That said, I highly respect the board members for their voluntary efforts, time and energy as well as the communication plan Dr. Mingle has put in place.
Professionally, I help patients become better advocates for their health by educating them about various treatments and which one(s) would be best for their condition. If elected to the BOE I would like to help our parents and students become better advocates for their education, what style(s) works best and provide consistency during this school year that likely will have some form of distance learning for the duration.
I would like to use my professional experience of successfully providing patients with a voice to take part in their healthcare decisions and parlay that same approach to our parents & students.
It’s important that parents are heard, understood and provided with real-time dialogue during these extraordinary times.
If parents can be part of the problem-solving approach by having their solutions (when appropriate) implemented it will allow them to have “skin in the game” and thus fully support decisions being made.
3. The single most pressing issue facing our school district is ____ and this is what I intend to do about it:
The most pressing issue facing our district is the safe return to full-time/half-day school.
I believe we need to further explore how other towns have successfully returned as well as document the ones who have failed. To date, I have not yet heard about our district referencing those best practices and how they are being brought to our schools.
I also think we need to explore how we are interpreting the NJ state regulations and whether we are being either too conservative or liberal. While I completely respect and abide by the governing bodies they have left leighway for each district to do what it believes is best as well as safest.
I think we need to be more creative in our thinking to take advantage of opportunities to get our kids in school more often, like outdoor socially distanced classes (weather permitting).
Furthermore, consideration needs to be given to getting children in school more frequently who have learning disabilities and have been classified with 504’s and IEP’s.
4. What are other issues you would like to see addressed in the school district?
The district needs to be cognizant of the fact that enrollment is likely on the rise with more families moving to Warren with school-age kids and especially in light of city dwellers seeking the suburbs due to COVID.
Therefore, with more students more services and staff are required and thus we need funding via increases in tax dollars. Yet, this comes at a time when many are facing and likely will continue to face financial hardships due to COVID. It is a real dilemma that will need smart current and visionary fiscal management.
This article originally appeared on the Warren Patch