Why I’m Running
While I have been involved in the Westfield schools ever since my daughter started first grade at Tamaques ten years ago, I must admit I did not attend my first Board of Education meeting until February 2018. In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Parkland, Fla., I felt compelled to attend the Board meeting to understand what measures the district was taking to ensure the safety of our children.
One meeting led to another, and soon I found myself either attending every month or watching the video recording online. I began to delve into each line item on the budget presentation and compare our stated district goals to neighboring towns.
After over a year of observing meetings, I developed a deep appreciation for the dedication and effort put forth by all of the Board members, as well as the Superintendent, Business Manager and District professional staff.
At the same time, I felt like I could meaningfully contribute to making our great schools even better. I felt confident that my strong accounting and finance background would prepare me to uncover any inefficiencies in the budget. I felt my deep experience in education technology would allow me to help navigate the direction of innovation in the district. And, perhaps most importantly, I felt my commitment to open, direct and consistent communication could help me to drive increased transparency and dialogue between the community and the Board/Administration.
In the spirit of learning as much as I can about the role of a Board member and the current challenges facing the district, I have proactively met with the following people over the past 3 months:
- Three current members of the Westfield Board of Education
- Five past members of the Westfield Board of Education
- Four principals of Westfield schools
- Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle
- Westfield Police Chief Battiloro
- Superintendent Dr. Dolan
- Westfield schools business administrator Dana Sullivan
- Representatives from:
- Westfield PTC
- Westfield Education Association
- Westfield PTOS
- Local representatives of Mom’s Demand Action & Be SMART
- Many, many parents throughout Westfield