1. Why are you running for the BOE?
I think it will be very interesting and that I have the skills and experience to be valuable. With two children still in the system, I am committed to maintaining the excellence of our schools and I am finally in a position career-wise where I have the time to dedicate to the role.
2. Why do you think you are a good fit for the BOE?
Many of the skills that I use as a transactional attorney at Goldman Sachs are ones that will allow me to serve effectively. I need to be an effective communicator and negotiator. I need to act ethically and in compliance with law and company policy. I need to work with, and build consensus among, divergent groups. I need to be comfortable learning new things. I need to be analytical, a problem solver and able to make unemotional decisions in the interests of my client. And as a representative of my firm, I need to act civilly and professionally at all times. I believe all of these skills will translate well to service on the Board.
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?
Without a doubt, quickly reaching an agreement with the GREA and hiring a talented long-term Superintendent are the most important issues facing the district. Other than the students, the teachers are the district’s best asset. We need them to be happy. And as the CEO of the district, the Superintendent is its single most important employee. The Superintendent’s relationships with the teachers, the Board and the residents are vital to the health of the district. Not only will the successful candidate be qualified, but s/he will appreciate how special Glen Rock is and want to be here for the long haul. We need to get this right!
4. Please tell us something unique about you.
I would approach Board service with a unique perspective. My wife, Jennifer, and I moved to Glen Rock 21 years ago. We have four children – two are in college, one is a sophomore at GRHS and one is a fifth grader at Central School. As a result, we have experienced (and are still experiencing) all that the district has to offer. And with all four kids being different, we have a well-rounded view of different challenges that parents face.
I also have uniquely relevant work experience. I have over ten years of experience working with municipal and state entities on financing transactions, including as a bond attorney at the very firm retained by the Board with respect to the referendum. That experience will be valuable to the Board and the district if all or portions of the referendum are passed March.
5. Are there any changes you would like to see the school district look at? and why?
As I mentioned at Candidates’ Night, I’d like to see more play and free time integrated into the elementary schools. The homework policy needs to be finalized as well. In addition, I would like to see more strategic and effective use of the Guidance Department and the implementation of more technology at the younger grade levels. I also want the district to come up with new and innovative ways to solve its pervasive problems and budget challenges. Merely as a candidate, I have had residents approach me with novel ideas. I’d be thrilled to see that creativity and enthusiasm carry over to Board meetings where such ideas can be shared and discussed openly. Everything is on the table. No more business as usual!!
6. what are your thoughts on the Referendum and the projects that are named in it?
I am reserving judgment on the referendum issues until I learn more as the vote approaches.