BTN is conducting a series of interviews with the Board of Ed Candidates to find out more about them and what they stand for. We are also including their Top 5… We asked the candidates to be creative in their top 5. This can be from their top 5 things, top 5 sports, etc…
Our first candidate to participate is Sheldon Hirschberg, incumbent. Mr Hirschberg has been with the Glen Rock BOE for 7 years.
1. Why are you rerunning for the BOE?
The primary reason that I am running for the Board of Education is to give something back to Glen Rock. My wife Diane and I have lived in this town for 40 years, and Glen Rock has given much to my family and me. Among other things, Glen Rock Public Schools have educated my two sons, and being on the Board of Education gives me an opportunity to contribute to the community. While there have been many successes during the past several years (our schools have been recognized by numerous media outlets for their accomplishments), there is much work yet to be done and I would like to continue to be a part of that work.
2. Why do you think you are a good fit for the BOE?
I believe I am a good fit for the Board of Education because of a number of reasons. First, I care greatly about young people and the education process; effectively educating the next generation of Americans is critical to the long term success of our nation. Next, I try to understand and analyze all issues before I take a position on any of them, but always remembering that the Board of Education has an obligation to the young people of our community to provide them with the best education that we can reasonably provide. Finally, I believe that I have the ability to help continue to help our school district advance in a fiscally responsible manner because of my experience and background in finance.
3. What do you think are some of the top issues you would like to see accomplished in your next term for the school district? and why are they important?
To me, the top priority of our school district is to effectively educate the young people in our schools. In order to do that, we must continue to attract, retain and motivate outstanding teachers. Teachers are the people who are in front of our classrooms, and they are the ones who educate our students and make learning exciting. The next priority is continuing fiscal responsibility in our school district. We have been able to improve our schools, while keeping tax increases reasonable by making decisions that have allowed our school district to improve and increase our programs and services. We must continue to do that.
4. Do you support K-3rd students biking to school with parents? Would you consider allowing them to park their bike in the bike rack?
I do support biking to school, and whatever steps would be necessary to encourage young people to do so. I also encourage parents to walk their young children to school. Walking has been proven to have significant health benefits to people of all ages.
5. Are there any changes you would like to see the school district look at? and why?
The Board of Education has a responsibility to educate the students in our schools and to help prepare them for life in the 21st century. We must make investments in technology and allow young people to embrace change, not fear it. I would also like to see the school district offer more courses in subjects that are new, interesting and exciting to students.
A readers question: They want to know how anyone can sit on the BOE and not have kids in the school system.
I do not have children currently in the Glen Rock schools. However, I do have two sons who both attended Glen Rock schools from grades K through 12. I understand the challenges of being a parent in our competitive schools. Also, I am keenly interested in education, and in order to understand the issues facing a Board of Education today, became a substitute school teacher in a neighboring district shortly after I became a member of the Glen Rock Board. I continue to be a substitute teacher, and that experience gives me an insight into schools and what it takes to move forward in the current educational environment.