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Eileen Briamonte for Holmdel Board of Education

HOLMDEL, NJ – Three seats are up for grabs on the Holmdel Township Board of Education, according to the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office.

Current board members Eileen Briamonte, Jamie Collins and Peter Reddy will be seeking to retain their spots on the board, challenged by newcomers Zhenling “Linda” Zhang and Irfan Lateef.

Related: Election 2020: Who’s Running For School Board In Holmdel?

Briamonte was first appointed to the Holmdel Board of Education in 2016 for a one year term. She was re-elected in 2017 for a three-year term. She has been a Holmdel resident for 20 years alongside her husband Chris. The pair have two daughters at Holmdel High School.

Briamonte holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Villanova University. She has been a private tutor for SSAT, SAT and ACT for 12 years, with prior experience as a computer analyst.

“We came to Holmdel because we had multiple relatives raising families here and we saw how great those kids were growing up,” Briamonte told Patch. “We knew that Holmdel Schools provided a foundation for their successes.”

Are you running for a spot on the board of education? Contact Nicole Rosenthal at nicole.rosenthal@patch.com for information on being featured in a candidate profile and submitting campaign announcements to Patch.

Why are you seeking a seat on the school board:

I am seeking re-election because we need experienced leadership to continue moving the district forward. Although the referendum is close to the finish line, the school board still needs people who have been actively involved to see it through to completion. Over the summer, I advocated for securing the services of a seasoned professional to serve as interim superintendent, understanding we needed a person with depth of experience so that we could successfully reopen schools. Now there is an excitement around the district with Dr. Seitz, and I look forward to our continued collaboration with him as we plan for more in person instruction. I am inspired by the great things that will come from the culmination of renovated buildings, new educational spaces, extraordinary new courses, new sports facilities and renovated artistic spaces. There is always more work to be accomplished, and goals to be set, and I’m prepared and ready for the ongoing challenges.

The single most pressing issue facing our school district is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it:

The Board will conduct a search for a permanent Superintendent (as an interim can only serve for 2 years) shortly. The position where the Board has the most influence is the selection of the Superintendent. This election is important because those individuals elected will be involved in the process to identify the next Superintendent. The type of foresight needed for our Board can only be gained from direct experience. It is critical that this decision is made by those who are trusted and have the experience to make this decision in the most decisive and informed manner. My four years as a Board member provides

HCPSS Education Board To Recognize 2020 Friends of Education

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — The Howard County Board of Education will recognize The Nora Project and Terri Jones with Friends of Education Awards during the 4 p.m. Oct. 22 virtual board meeting. The board meeting may be viewed live on Comcast channel 95 or Verizon channel 42 and web streamed.

The Nora Project offers a curriculum that enhances empathy, normalizes difference, demystifies disability and supports creating an environment where everyone can feel included. First grade students at Fulton Elementary participate in The Nora Project with Cedar Lane School students. Promising outcomes from this partnership have included enhanced understanding among students about disabilities and how to be a good friend, as well as a more positive sense of community in the classroom.

Jones, an HCPSS parent, has shown dedication by supporting Homewood Center’s annual Recycled Treasure Sale. The event enables Homewood students to select donated holiday gifts to give to their loved ones. Jones spends hours acquiring donations, attracting volunteers, generating interest and more.

The board also will acknowledge nominees Bonnie Bricker and Alan McLaine for their contributions to the school system.

The Friends of Education Award was established in 2001 to salute exemplary volunteer contributions of time and talent that directly support academic achievement and safe learning environments for HCPSS.

Source Article

State education board demands $11.2 million back from Epic Charter Schools over state audit findings | Education

Holt began her presentation by setting the record straight on two issues she said have been commonly mischaracterized in public discourse since the release of the state audit report a couple of weeks ago.

She said Gov. Kevin Stitt’s charge to State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd included the task of reviewing annual audits on Epic from the previous three years, but it did not limit the scope of the forensic audit as a whole to any such time period.

In all, $125.2 million of the $458 million allocated to Epic Charter Schools for educating students the past six years was found to have ended up in the coffers of Epic Youth Services, a for-profit charter school management company that has reportedly made millionaires of school co-founders Ben Harris and David Chaney.

“We ask for annual appropriations totaling approximately $3 billion and $125 million works out to about 4.1%,” said state board member Kurt Bollenbach, of Kingfisher. “Are you saying I do not have access to or oversight of 4.1% of the funds that come through this department?“

Holt responded: “Yes.”

Holt described how Epic and its affiliates armed themselves with lawyers to make the state auditors’ task of interviewing school personnel and scrutinizing records particularly difficult.

So difficult in fact that 63% of the funds turned over to EYS — nearly $80 million budgeted for students’ learning needs — remains out of reach of the State Auditor’s Office and outside public scrutiny.

Source Article

Six candidates vying for three seats on the Muskegon Board of Education in the Nov. 3 election

MUSKEGON, MI – Six candidates are vying for three open seats on the Muskegon Board of Education in the Nov. 3 general election.

Muskegon Public Schools is one of the largest districts in the county with 3,514 registered students this fall.

School board trustees serve six-year terms and are tasked with a variety of jobs including, approving an annual budget, hire and evaluate the superintendent, and adopting policies that give the district administration direction to set priorities and achieve its goals.

Three of the candidates – Zachary Anderson, Billie Bruce and Louis Churchwell – are incumbents seeking reelection.

The other three candidate are new challengers – Kwame Kamau James, Nicholas Sima and Jonathan Witmer.

Here is some background information provided by each of the candidates:

  • Anderson, 27, attended Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and now works as a consultant. He has served on the Muskegon school board for the past six years and has pushed for transparency and accountability from the administration, he said.
  • Bruce, 77, is a Muskegon Public Schools graduate and earned her degrees from Muskegon Community College and GVSU. She has served as secretary on the Muskegon school board for six years. She is a pediatric Registered Nurse and earned a certificate for Elementary Drug Free School Zones from Concordia University.
  • Churchwell, 62, is a clinician and Group Coordinator with HealthWest Muskegon. He graduated from Muskegon Public Schools in 1977 and currently serves as the school board’s Vice President. He studied at Grand Canyon University and earned two master’s degrees: a Masters of Science in Professional Counseling, and a Masters in the field of Substance Abuse/Addictions. He is a former CEO of West Michigan Therapy, Inc. and founder of Transitional Living Center in Muskegon Heights.
  • James, 45, is self-employed and earned his associate’s degree from Muskegon Community College. He has two sons who attended and graduated from Muskegon Public Schools and was a Big Red Marching Band parent volunteer. He has worked as a youth mentor at Every Woman’s Place, which provides help for victims of domestic violence, a site worker at Site Worker, LA’s BEST After School Program, and a garden facilitator at Growing Goods Summer School Program.
  • Sima, 34, is a Technical Support Technician and has earned his associate’s degree.
  • Witmer, 41, is a real estate appraiser with two students in the Muskegon Public Schools system. He is a graduate of Muskegon Public Schools and earned a bachelor’s degree in geography at GVSU. He also completed graduate coursework in Urban Regeneration at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Witmer is president of the governing board at First Congregational Church UCC in Muskegon, secretary of the Nelson Neighborhood Improvement Association and youth soccer coach for Muskegon Soccer Club.

MLive Media Group has partnered with the League of Women Voters of Michigan to provide candidate information for readers. Each candidate was asked to outline their stances on a variety of public policy issues.

Information on all state and federal races and many of Michigan’s county and local races

Lawrence Board of Education Profile: Patricia Hendricks Farmer

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ — Patricia Hendricks Farmer is a product of the Lawrence public school system. Given this fact, she thinks she is perfectly poised to bring positive change to the school district.

Read below to learn more about Hendricks Farmer and her platform for the upcoming elections in Lawrence.

Name – Patricia Hendricks Farmer

Age (as of Election Day) – 52

Position Sought –

Lawrence Township School Board

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

Bachelor’s, Journalism /Public Relations, Temple University

Lawrence High School

Occupation –

Business Associate , Princeton Montessori School

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office – None

Why are you seeking elective office?

Education has always been at the forefront of the Hendricks family tradition and is the primary reason why I’m running — to add my voice as a former student, parent and member of the community. I hope to responsibly manage the taxpayers funding of schools and advocate for education in our district that is representative of the community.

The single most pressing issue facing our school district is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Social justice. I want to unite community and schools through curriculum and cultural partnerships.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I currently work in a school and have experience working with parents and community groups advocating for education. I’m a graduate of Lawrence High School and a lifelong member of the community.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)?

Hiring of teachers that represent the community

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

I am committed to providing support to parents as we together navigate the emotional and social health of our children in this changing educational environment.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

My business background in banking includes human resources, diversity and organizational development and mortgage lending. My private public school experience gives me a unique viewpoint on education.

The best advice ever shared with me was:

Your education can never be taken from you.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I am committed to working with the community and school district to provide the students of Lawrence the best education possible.

In anticipation of the upcoming election, Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns. We will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.

Have a correction or news tip? Email sarah.salvadore@patch.com

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Source Article

Phyllis Landrieu, former Orleans School Board president dies

Landrieu was the aunt of the former mayor and U.S. Senator and well-known as an advocate for early childhood education.

NEW ORLEANS — Phyllis Landrieu, a former Orleans Parish School Board president and passionate advocate for early childhood education, died Saturday. She was 86.

Mrs. Landrieu’s late husband Joseph was the brother of former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu. The mother of ten children, her nieces and nephews include former Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and former Orleans Civil Court Judge Madeleine Landrieu.

Mrs. Landrieu served just one term on the Orleans Parish School Board, from 2004 until 2008. Her election came one year before Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures, which decimated the public school system and prompted a state takeover of the city’s failing schools. Despite challenging and often contentious times, when Mrs. Landrieu left office in 2008, she touted the board’s accomplishments.

“This board is operating at the highest level of business proficiency that is needed. That’s a big accomplishment,” she said in The Times-Picayune. “We took over a system that was widely corrupt, totally inefficient and ineffective.”

Landrieu was elected to represent a district which included parts of Uptown, Central City, the Garden District and the Central Business District.

After leaving the school board, Mrs. Landrieu devoted herself to the cause of early childhood education. She co-founded the Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation and served as the nonprofit group’s president and chief executive officer.

“The goal is to change education in Louisiana forever,” Mrs. Landrieu said of the project.

Its centerpiece was the Mahalia Jackson Early Childhood Center, a Central City facility offering day care, basic health care and early childhood education for as many as 500 infants and pre-schoolers.

In a 2013 interview with New Orleans Magazine, Mrs. Landrieu explained the origins of the foundation, saying that too many New Orleans children were at-risk from infancy and failed in school because of underlying social and physical health disadvantages.

“The superintendent of education told me that what children in our schools lack in order to succeed is early childhood education,” she said. “The next day I set about trying to develop early childhood education in New Orleans, in the state and in the nation and I joined with a whole group of people, 250 others, who decided that’s what was important.”

In addition to serving the needs of young children, she also worked to help abused and neglected children. She helped establish the Task Force on Child Sexual Abuse, a group devoted to increasing the reporting of child abuse. She was also a member of another similar group, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, and president and chief

East Windsor Board of Education Profile: Jagruti Patel

EAST WINDSOR — A resident of East Windsor, Jagruti Patel is running for a seat on the school Board. She says that the current pandemic has posed a number of challenged for the school community, and as a Board member she plans to tackle the biggest one of them all first – training and equipping teachers to better handle the virtual mode of education.

Read below to learn more about Patel and her platform for the upcoming elections in East Windsor.

Name – Jagruti Patel

Age (as of Election Day) – 49

Position Sought –

East Windsor School Board member

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government? Yes – I worked for Federal Agency

Education –

B.S.in Accounting

Occupation –

Auditor for over 25 years

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office –

Current – 17 years on East Windsor Planning Board

Why are you seeking elective office?

I am seeking elective office so I can contribute and provide new ideas to the East Windsor educational system.

The single most pressing issue facing our school district is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

The biggest issue facing our schools is the COVID-19 pandemic and teaching and learning in the virtual world. We need to provide adequate training for all the teachers, provide technology devices to staff and students so they can teach or learn from anywhere and try to promote the most successful learning environment remotely.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

Bringing new ideas, promoting diversity and providing good education to all students in East Windsor township.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency).

We have to provide training for the teachers, provide technology so teachers can effectively do there job, provide more interactions between teachers and students in the remote environment.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

Another issue facing our schools is lack of equal access for all. All students should have the appropriate resources in order to be successful. For example, there should be renovation of our schools with high-tech teaching rooms and labs for students. A third issue facing our schools is meeting the needs of our diverse population. We have to ensure all students are performing to their highest potential and are given them proper support to be successful.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

My greatest accomplishments is adapting to changes in any environments in personal and professional life.

The best advice ever shared with me was:

Teamwork. If we all work together, we can achieve our goal of excellency in our schools.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I am very approachable and I will always listen to both side before addressing the issues and providing solutions.

In anticipation of the

Meet The Candidate: Sarah Mehrotra For State Board Of Education

WASHINGTON, DC — In addition to voting for president and vice president of the United States in the Nov. 3 general election, voters in Washington, D.C., will choose a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives; at-large member of the D.C. Council; member of the D.C. Council for wards 2, 4, 7 and 8; U.S. senator; U.S. representative; at-large member of the State Board of Education; member of the State Board of Education for wards 2, 4, 7, and 8; and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.

Sarah Mehrotra, 28, is a data and policy analyst at The Education Trust. She is running for the Ward 2 seat on the State Board of Education.

As part of its coverage of the 2020 election, Patch has asked candidates in select races in D.C. to fill out a questionnaire to describe why they think they’re the best person to fill the job they’re running for.

Candidate

Ward 2 Board of Education

Party Affiliation

Democrat (SBOE is nonpartisan)

Family

Virat Gupta, Partner

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education

Hamilton College and Harvard Graduate School of Education

Occupation

Data & Policy Analyst at The Education Trust

Campaign website

https://sarahforward2schools.c…

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

None.

The single most pressing issue facing Ward 2 is overcrowding of our middle schools and this is what I intend to do about it.

We need a new middle school in the eastern end of the Ward.

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

I support Black Lives Matter. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, have made us sharply focus on racism that has always existed in American society and in schools. As students are in school, they are not only grapping with distance learning and the pandemic, but also this renewed focus on racism. My priority is making sure that students have adequate access to mental health supports and making sure our schools are culturally responsive and our curriculum is purposefully uplifting voices of those who have been historically left out of the conversation.

What are your thoughts on the campaign to “defund” the police?

One form racism has taken in schools is increasing police/SRO presence in schools where predominantly students of color attend. SROs contribute to over-criminalizing students and the school-to-prison pipeline. Instead of punitive establishment in schools, we should implement restorative justice programs, such as in Oakland Public Schools, encourage nonviolent resolution of conflict, and allocate funding for more school guidance counselors.

What are your thoughts on the state and national response to the coronavirus pandemic? Do you favor such measures as limiting operation of non-essential businesses or restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a nationwide mask mandate?

Yes, I favor a nationwide mask mandate.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I am the only candidate who works in K-12 education

Princeton Board of Education Profile: Michele Tuck-Ponder

PRINCETON, NJ — Incumbent Princeton Board of Education Vice-President Michele Tuck-Ponder is running for another term this coming election.

A resident of Princeton, Tuck-Ponder has held various offices in over the past 30 years, including Mayor. Tuck-Ponder says she’s a strong advocate for reasonable spending and cost saving measures. She wants to ensure all students get equal and excellent education without putting much burden on the taxpayer.

Read below to learn more about Tuck-Ponder and her platform for the upcoming elections in Princeton.

Name – Michele Tuck-Ponder

Age (as of Election Day) – 62

Position Sought – Member, Board of Education

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government? – No

Education –

B.S. Journalism, Northwestern University

J.D. University of Pennsylvania Law School

Occupation –

Executive Director, Destination Imagination (2017- present)

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office –

Princeton Township Committeewoman

Mayor, Princeton Township

Commissioner, Princeton Housing Authority

Campaign website –

www.mtp4boe.com

Why are you seeking elective office?

There are few more important duties of a community than ensuring that all children are provided with the best education possible. I am running for re-election to the Princeton Board of Education because of my commitment to equity in Princeton Public Schools. Good intentions and mission statements have proven to be ineffective in moving PPS to correct the inequities in our district. For the past three years, I have used my voice and my vote on the Board of Education to highlight and address issues of inequity in our schools.

The single most pressing issue facing our community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Affordability. It is almost impossible for low income people to find affordable housing, taxpayers are feeling pressured, and schools and municipalities are struggling to meet the needs of our constituents. I will continue to advocate for responsible spending and cost saving measures. I will also continue to ask State Legislators to address tax policy that does not address the funding needs of our schools or our towns.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

In one word, “Experience”. As a 30-year resident of Princeton, I have served in a variety of roles, serving the community as an elected (Mayor and Township Committee) and appointed official (Commissioner, Princeton Housing Authority) and as a volunteer (Girl Scout Leader; Member, Princeton United Methodist Church). While the other candidates have stated a commitment to equity, fiscal responsibility and excellence, I have a record of service that demonstrates that commitment. As Board Vice Chair, Chair of the Equity Committee and the Labor Negotiations committee, and a member of the Policy and Personnel Committees, I have gained intimate knowledge of the strengths and challenges facing our schools. I am the parent of two children who have attended Princeton Public Schools and excelled. I want the same for all children. And most important, I know how to get the job done.

Describe the other issues that define

Sarah Mehrotra For State Board Of Education

WASHINGTON, DC — In addition to voting for president and vice president of the United States in the Nov. 3 general election, voters in Washington, D.C., will choose a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives; at-large member of the D.C. Council; member of the D.C. Council for wards 2, 4, 7 and 8; U.S. senator; U.S. representative; at-large member of the State Board of Education; member of the State Board of Education for wards 2, 4, 7, and 8; and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.

Sarah Mehrotra, 28, is a data and policy analyst at The Education Trust. She is running for the Ward 2 seat on the State Board of Education.

As part of its coverage of the 2020 election, Patch has asked candidates in select races in D.C. to fill out a questionnaire to describe why they think they’re the best person to fill the job they’re running for.

Candidate

Sarah Mehrotra

Age (as of Election Day)

28

Offices Sought

Ward 2 Board of Education

Party Affiliation

Democrat (SBOE is nonpartisan)

Family

Virat Gupta, Partner

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education

Hamilton College and Harvard Graduate School of Education

Occupation

Data & Policy Analyst at The Education Trust

Campaign website

https://sarahforward2schools.c…

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

None.

The single most pressing issue facing Ward 2 is overcrowding of our middle schools and this is what I intend to do about it.

We need a new middle school in the eastern end of the Ward.

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

I support Black Lives Matter. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, have made us sharply focus on racism that has always existed in American society and in schools. As students are in school, they are not only grapping with distance learning and the pandemic, but also this renewed focus on racism. My priority is making sure that students have adequate access to mental health supports and making sure our schools are culturally responsive and our curriculum is purposefully uplifting voices of those who have been historically left out of the conversation.

What are your thoughts on the campaign to “defund” the police?

One form racism has taken in schools is increasing police/SRO presence in schools where predominantly students of color attend. SROs contribute to over-criminalizing students and the school-to-prison pipeline. Instead of punitive establishment in schools, we should implement restorative justice programs, such as in Oakland Public Schools, encourage nonviolent resolution of conflict, and allocate funding for more school guidance counselors.

What are your thoughts on the state and national response to the coronavirus pandemic? Do you favor such measures as limiting operation of non-essential businesses or restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a nationwide mask mandate?

Yes, I favor a nationwide mask mandate.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking