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BOE Candidate: Dan Corey

Running for BOE to help increase communication bring the teachers to the forefront

  1. How do BOE candidates intend to address the yearly antisemitic graffiti and antisemitism that occurs in and on school property differently?  Enough is enough.

    1. What do you think the district could do more going forward?

DAN COREY: The way forward is to recognize that any and every instance of hateful expression is a teachable moment. With such a strong Jewish community in Glen Rock, our response to anti-semitic acts are opportunities to reinforce the common values of respect that every adult and child in our community deserves. As a Trustee, I would support programming aimed at teaching the importance of respect and hopefully reducing the appeal of doing these misguided acts.

  1. My understanding is that Glen Rock children quarantining due to traveling outside certain neighboring states are being required to quarantine and will not receive synchronous learning, while children quarantined for other reasons will receive synchronous learning. I understand that most other NJ school systems are not taking this approach.

    1. are you in favor are not in favor of having that different synchronous learning approach depending on the reason for quarantine?  Why?

DAN COREY: No, synchronous learning needs to be uniformly available for any remote student. The silver-lining to COVID-19 is that it took a pandemic to make remote-interaction acceptable in areas where it never was imaged. Virtual access is now here to stay in and also something that needs hands-on & forward-thinking attention. I expect to lean on remote-work experience from my international and transcontinental career to help shape BOE policy that addresses the strengths & weaknesses of remote interaction. 

  1. We currently have a few trustees on our Board employed by other school districts (three currently with one whose seat is opening up). As such, they are sometimes forced to abstain from votes or participate in certain BOE responsibilities due to a conflict of interest. It is my understanding that some of the current candidates are also employed by other districts.

    1. As valuable as it can be to have an educational background at times, would these candidates also be forced to abstain from some future BOE votes?

    2. And if our total number of trustees is 9, with 5 having to abstain at times, can we still have a productive BOE?

DAN COREY: I do not have any conflict of interest but understand that some Trustees and candidates are limited on very select issues. That said, the strength of a highly effective board lies in its ability to conduct free, open, and informed discussion as peers my experience serving on & for boards, the best decisions come from respectful discussion and not from individual votes on ideas. If a candidate must abstain from a vote I would certainly look for their voice & experience to have an impact throughout the remaining issues.

  1. What is your position in regards to the reorg that happened in our schools under the new superintendent?

–  (1 principal of both schools and content area supervisors).

DAN COREY: The situation of faculty departures proves the reorg was too much & too soon. Educational environments rely on a culture of trust, which has already been rocked nationally during the pandemic. The unique culture of teaching requires that faculty be recognized as subject matter experts, not a subordinate labor force. Now that we are on this path, GR must consider how other school districts have integrated supervisors and found value out of that structure after growing-pains from the process. GR should be looking to those examples to find the best method of improving the educational experience without forcing our own growing pains when other examples are available. 

      5. Do they think we have an issue with community involvement in major school-related decisions and if so, how will they address it if elected.

DAN COREY: There are 2 issues here. Access to public meetings is one of the most critical access opportunities for residents, but parents need an improved communication portal beyond a window to look inside. Many GR parents privately fund tutoring for their children, and responding to that demand should be part of the district communication process. It’s an implied duty of the board to ensure our busy neighbors can trust that they are getting a full and complete picture of the issues our district faces. I am glad that meetings are now accessible in-person & via webcast and I will support any and effort opportunity to improve access for busy residents.

      6. How will they work with the board if they have dissenting opinions?

DAN COREY: Having varied experience and perspectives is certainly the greatest thing residents could hope for in aboard! Dissent among a respectful board means that all trustees are addressing issues and working to ensure that outcomes will consider all information. We should expect nothing less from our board.

  1. What is your attitude to the removal midterms and finals in MS and HS?

DAN COREY: Considering the unstable situation caused during and following quarantine, I think suspending exams was the right call. Now that we have a better opportunity to re-engage in our classrooms, we can reevaluate if that decision should be permanent. The utility of “pressure tests” seems to be declining as more colleges and universities do not require them. Whatever the consensus, we need to ensure a shift like this doesn’t eliminate students’ opportunity to demonstrate individual performance.

  1. Did you accept campaign contributions from the GREA and, if so, are you concerned about the conflict of interest if called to vote on matters affecting the GREA?

DAN COREY: I have not solicited or been offered any contributions. I am particularly honored to be considered for the BOE on the merits of the ideas I share. I believe those serving on a non-partisan body charged with serving the interests and needs of our community youth must be impartially dedicated to serving the youths’ interests.

  1. What specific steps will you take to repair the relationship between the BOE and the GREA?

DAN COREY: Clearly defining the role of a supervisor is an important first step. It must be established that teachers are not subordinates to administration but rather subject matter experts that can rely on administrative support in order to focus on their important roles with students. As a Trustee, I would lean on stakeholder principles to ensure that our teachers are part of steering committees. Teachers must have an authoritative role in the development and selection of best practices so that they can be an advocate of necessary change as it comes and can implement it most effectively.

  1. What do you hope to change if you get a seat on the BOE?

DAN COREY: Remote instruction is a new frontier for education. I will support decisions that improve remote instruction integration without disrupting the quality of instruction. Technology integration is not a replacement for in-person interaction and the BOE needs to continue working toward technological integration so it is a net advantage and not a distraction.

Individually, I hope to redefine the level of engagement that our community expects from trustees. I want neighbors to know that they will have a peer on the board that understands how policy best supports our intent to deliver nothing but the best possible academic opportunities in GR. 

  1. Do you approve of the job the superintendent is doing?

DAN COREY: Accountability is a partnership. Ultimately, we elect the BOE to set effective policy so that the administration can manage to achieve our desired outcomes. This is the same as how any chief executive works to meet the goals of a board of directors. While I recognize the visibility that our superintendent promotes in his activities throughout the district, there must be balanced feedback from the board to ensure that energy and enthusiasm are on a track that GR parents intend. I’m eager to add a clear & decisive voice representing our community’s intent to ensure our school leadership serves the community.

  1. On to Covid, the CDC has since changed its cross on Mask waring now Advising that all kids k-12 have a mask on in Schools what is your take on Kids wearing a Mask?

DAN COREY: Masking is a cultural shift for American communities, unlike other countries where people commonly wear masks when they individually are sick. Without that precedent, it’s no surprise that there is disagreement regarding a sudden and total requirement. As adults, I believe we can better identify valuable teachable opportunities for children as it relates to masking and public health in general. While masking has a role in preventing disease, more needs to be communicated to our children so they can understand we are living in unfamiliar times and that all of these emergency responses will not last forever. 

  1. One thing that people tend to talk about is that teachers tend to leave GR for other schools in your opinion how do we keep them in GR?

DAN COREY: We need to address and reverse this “us versus them” trend immediately. Teachers are people with families and obligations that have put trust in the stability of their profession in order to be most effective in their roles. Dramatic, top-down changes to the organizational structure are an especially very risky move in professions like education where compensation is not in a high range. Any new methods we establish for teachers need to be formulated to improve the effectiveness of senior & junior faculty, recognizing that performance in the classroom has a high correlation to mentorship among department faculty.

  1. For readers who might not know you do you have kids that Attend School in GR?

DAN COREY: I am a proud & supportive father of 3 children. My 2 oldest are currently in Hamilton (Go Huskies!) and excited that our youngest will join them in 2 years. GRHS classes of 2032, 2034, and 2037 are going to be bittersweet!

  1. How long have you lived in GR?

DAN COREY: My roots are in GR. My wife & I moved here together 6 years ago for our children, but I graduated from GRHS, starting in Kindergarten at Coleman. My mother taught at Hamilton, Byrd, and Coleman from 1966-2003, so this community has been an important part of our family for 3 generations.

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