As a proud product of public education, holding degrees in Biology, Health Sciences, and Physical Therapy, I am thrilled to run for Teaneck Board of Education alongside Dr. Gerald Kishenbaum and David Gruber, two dedicated individuals who share my passion for enhancing Teaneck Public Schools. With two of my own children currently enrolled in Teaneck Public Schools, I deeply grasp the importance of a quality education. Furthermore, as a dedicated member of the CSEA Union, I possess the skills to foster a collaborative and supportive environment, bridging the gap between the Board and school personnel.
Bio and Qualifications
My bio and qualifications make me well-suited to be a Board of Education Trustee for several reasons:
My degrees in Biology, Health Sciences, and Physical Therapy demonstrate a strong educational foundation, which is invaluable for understanding curriculum development, educational programs, and student needs.
Professional ExperienceWith over 20 years of experience as a healthcare professional in a level one trauma hospital, I bring a wealth of knowledge about healthcare systems, safety protocols, and the importance of wellness. This experience is crucial for addressing health-related concerns in schools and advocating for student well-being.
My dedication as a CSEA Union member reflects my commitment to working collaboratively with stakeholders, understanding the importance of labor relations, and advocating for the rights and interests of educators and staff.
Having two children currently attending Teaneck Public Schools gives me a personal stake in the educational system. My perspective as a parent provides valuable insights into the needs and concerns of students and families.
My strong advocacy for special education, parental engagement, and safe schools demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity, community involvement, and student safety, all of which are important aspects of being a Board of Education Trustee.
My dedication to enhancing academic achievement for all Teaneck children aligns with the primary mission of the Board of Education, which is to ensure the best possible education for all students in the district.
Advocacy Beyond the Classroom Walls
My advocacy extends beyond the classroom walls. As a staunch advocate for special education, parental engagement, and safe schools, I am committed to ensuring that every child in Teaneck receives an education tailored to their unique academic and socio-emotional needs. To achieve this, I have outlined several key goals that I am committed to pursuing during my tenure:
- Enhancing Communication for Transparency and Effectiveness
I firmly believe that open lines of communication are crucial for fostering strong, trusting relationships among parents, students, and administrators. If elected, I plan to implement a comprehensive communication strategy that guarantees transparency, timely updates, and collaborative decision-making. By leveraging technology and community engagement, we can bridge any gaps and create a supportive educational environment for all.
- Promoting a Safe Academic Environment With Transparent Reporting
Safety is of utmost importance in any educational setting. Addressing bullying within Teaneck Public Schools is a top priority for me. I am committed to collaborating with school administrators, teachers, students, and parents to establish a comprehensive anti-bullying program especially at Thomas Jefferson Middle school and Benjamin Franklin Middle School.
In the context of promoting a safe academic environment, it’s crucial to address and understand bullying laws. Educators often misconceive these laws, thinking they only apply when a protected characteristic is involved. However, according to Stuart Green, an advocate for New Jersey’s anti-bullying law, any distinguishing characteristic can be sufficient to qualify an incident as bullying.
School officials play a central role in addressing social distress, regardless of whether it strictly meets legal definitions of bullying.
Bullying continues to be underreported in New Jersey schools, partly due to the practice of screening complaints before investigation.
There exists a degree of confusion regarding the evaluation and investigation of harassment, intimidation, or bullying allegations under state law.
To meet the bullying definition, incidents must be reasonably perceived as motivated by characteristics such as race or religion.
When an incident doesn’t fit this strict bullying definition, it falls under the purview of the school’s general code of student conduct.
In summary, addressing bullying in Teaneck Public Schools necessitates a better understanding of the law and enhanced reporting mechanisms. Schools are reassessing their procedures to tackle underlying issues, even if they don’t neatly align with the strict definition of bullying. This underscores the importance of promoting transparency and collaboration, fostering a culture of respect, and ensuring every student’s safety and support, which should be the core message of Teaneck Public Schools in creating a safe and respectful academic environment.
- Strengthening Special Education Services and Enhancing Transparency
Recognizing the diverse needs of our students, I am committed to improving and investing in special education services across the district. I believe in a holistic approach that caters to both academic and socio-emotional growth. By collaborating with experts in the field, exploring innovative teaching methods, and providing ongoing professional development for educators, we can create an inclusive environment that empowers every student to thrive.
In addition to improving special education services, we must also address the need for more transparency in special education procedures. Parents play a critical role in this process, and their input and control are essential. I believe that parents should have access to clear and comprehensive information about the special education process, their rights, and the resources available to them. They should be empowered to actively participate in developing and revising their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), ensuring it aligns with their child’s unique needs.
In conclusion, my journey from being a product of public education to a dedicated healthcare professional has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the transformative power of education. Together with Dr. Gerald Kishenbaum and David Gruber, I am confident in our ability to enact positive change within the Teaneck Public School system. My goals focus on communication, safety, special education, transparency, and fiscal responsibility, all with the overarching aim of enhancing academic achievement for every child in our community.
Your Support Matters
So this November 7, vote for change. Vote 1, 2, 3 – Kirshenbaum, Gruber and Wolff for Teaneck Board of Education.