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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.

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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

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

South Brunswick Board Of Education Profile: Arthur Robinson

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Arthur L. Robinson, loves collecting rare books and textbooks to build his personal library. A current member of the South Brunswick Board of Education, Robinson says that the court’s decision to add more housing to the district could eventually strain school resources. But he hopes to tackle this problem through experience and leadership skills and lead the district toward achieving its academic goals.

Read below to learn more about Robinson and his platform for the upcoming elections in South Brunswick.

Name – Arthur L. Robinson

Age (as of Election Day) – 63

Position Sought – South Brunswick School Board Member

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

Education –

Master’s in Environmental Policy Studies, NJIT

Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University

Professional diploma, Wharton Management Program, UPENN

Professional diploma, Naval Command and Staff Program, U.S. Naval War College

Certified Public Manager, Rutgers University and the state of New Jersey Civil Service Commission

Occupation –

Manager, state of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection and formerly as a Chemical Safety Engineer, 16 years.

Retired U.S. Navy Commander, 22 years

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

South Brunswick Board of Education member since 2008, presently serving as vice-President and chair of the Policy Committee; previously served as Budget Committee Chair.

Served on the Negotiations Committee.

Former member of the South Brunswick Township Planning Board.

Why are you seeking elective office?

I’m seeking reelection to the South Brunswick School Board to continue providing leadership and continuity of board operations as a part of the policy-making body during these tough times fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic and to continue ensuring that the district receives its economic fair share of resources from the state. I will continue to work steadfast with my fellow board members, the administration, the community, and parents to ensure that each and every kid receives and adequate education to pursue their dreams whether through college or trade or military service.

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

The single most pressing issue facing our community is the eventual court’s decision to add more housing to the district, which will cause an increase in the student population thus producing a tremendous strain on the existing school resources: fiscal, physical and human to accommodate the rapid increase in student population. I will work through the Board’s liaisons to the Planning and Zoning Boards to emphasize the impact on the existing school resources and provide solutions to ensure that the District concerns are a part of the decision-making process. I will ensure that the District’s Sending Map is balanced across the district, if this happens due to a potential increase in student population.

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

I would say that the critical differences are that I am a sitting board member with twelve years of

Garwood Board Of Education Profile: Christine Guerriero

GARWOOD, NJ — Garwood School Board has three seats up for grab in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

Christine Guerriero and Albert Del Conte are both vying for one of the three, three-year seats available, leaving one seat open.

Are you running for office in Clark-Gawood? Contact Alexis Tarrazi at alexis.tarrazi@patch.com for information on being featured in a candidate’s profile and submitting campaign announcements to Clark-Garwood Patch.

Christine Guerriero

1. Why are running for Board of Education?

As a third-generation BOE member I have a strong belief in the value of a quality education and in the importance of community service. I received my start in life in the Garwood Public Schools and I learned valuable academic and life lessons in the system. I have served on the Board for 18 years. With most members in their first term on the Board I provide a wealth of knowledge and perspective to the newer members.

2. What are your qualifications for this position?

Many years ago a man in town asked me why I was running for the Board since I had no children in the district. I told him that it was true; I wasn’t running for one child, but I was running for 400 children. He hadn’t considered that someone without children would have an interest in how the schools were run. I come to the board table without a bias because I don’t know the staff as classroom teachers; I leave their performance to the administration. As a school nurse by profession, I know policy as it relates to the health and safety of the district. Over the years I have been President and Vice President. A member of a number of committed and have represented Garwood on the Clark BOE, Union County School Boards Association and the NJSBA Delegate Assembly. am knowledgeable, passionate and devoted and I have taken the time to attend many workshops to learn my responsibilities and to hone my skills. I have the time and commitment to devote to the education and welfare of the students of Garwood.

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

Currently, the most pressing issue is the effects of the pandemic and the new manner of teaching and learning on student academic success. As one person on the Board I have no power to make changes or demand outcomes. Together with my fellow board members we will work with the superintendent to provide the best learning opportunities under the circumstances.

4. What are other issues you would like to see addressed in the school district?

The issue which closely follows the academic challenges of Covid-19 is the budgetary challenge. Due to the pandemic and loss of State revenues, Garwood, like most districts, is losing money which was originally part of the budget passed in early May. Our budgets have been fiscally responsible ones, but now we need to take an