2016 BOE Candidates Night
By Saul Qersdyn
Published: November 1, 2016 @ 6:00 PM EDT
On October 13th, the Roselle Park PTAs and PTOs presented their Board Of Education (BOE) Candidates Night. The forum was open to all seven residents officially running for the school board. The open question & answer format for the evening allowed candidates to respond directly to audience members who were the ones asking questions. The forum allowed for an opening statement, responses from each of the five candidates in attendance, and closing remarks – each with a two-minute time limit. The evening was moderated by Union County PTA President Jenn Jaskula.
The school board candidates in attendance were Loren Harms, Matthew Leingang, Agron Meshi, Jeff Regan, and Joseph Signorello. Candidates Scott Nelson and Kimberly Powers were not available due to previous commitments but Mrs. Jaskula read their statements to the public.
The two-hour event had a total of 13 questions that covered topics related to the education of the children of Roselle Park and each candidates’ thought on how to address issues that will face them if elected.
The opening statements were first and they are available below individually.
The first question asked each candidate to name one of the programs that they see as a positive and one area that they think needs to improvement.
The second question asked what the candidates’ opinions were on teachers being rated on the students’ standardized test scores.
Question 3 asked about the school budget and if each candidate whether they supported it or, if they did not, what would they cut.
The evening’s fourth question dealt with the issue of those families who did not re-register for school this year as part of a five-year school policy but were allowed to attend school and what would be done in the future to address issues with registration.
The next question asked about the current state of special services department and the idea to revive a parent advisory council.
Question 6 inquired about what strategies each candidate would use to keeping the community and parents informed and to improve communication with the community.
The seventh question asked how would each candidate vote on replacing the light poles that were removed for safety if all of it were funded by taxpayers.
A resident asked what prompted each candidate to run for the school board this year.
Question 9 asked about term limits.
A question was asked about what each candidate could say about themselves that is unique and would bring something to the school board if elected.
Question 11 was from a resident who wanted to know what each candidate will do to communicate the school district outside the community and promote the positives of the school district to families interested in moving to Roselle Park.
A resident asked about each candidate’s opinion on what would benefit special education including Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Talented & Gifted programs.
The last question asked each candidate – if they were elected to the board – what would they do to plan ahead for unexpected costs, such as the school bus that was needed to transport students to and from the Union County Magnet School.
Each candidate in attendance was allowed closing statements.
Election Day is November 8th.
Candidates left to right are: Matthew Leingang, Agron Meshi, Jeff Regan, Loren Harms, and Joseph Signorello