School Board Candidates Discuss Motivation to Serve

(Image by Nicole DeGeorge)
Editor’s be aware: The Stafford Township Board of Education has a trio of a few-12 months phrases open. The Leader questioned all seven candidates to give voters a short glimpse into each and every individual. Incumbents Deborah Lyons, Patricia Formica and Gerald Simonelli, and challengers Christopher Fritz, James Curcio, Kenneth Budinski and Gregory Guido – were emailed the similar thoughts. Budinski did not answer by push time. Lyons, Fritz and Simonelli are the ballot workforce “Community Jointly Wins.” Formica, Guido and Curcio are the ballot staff “Accountability and Transparency.”
Q: Why do you want to be a member of the Stafford University Board – effectively, what drives you to want to be concerned?
Simonelli: I want to be a member of this board mainly because we have a strong and prosperous university district, and I want to make certain it stays that way.
Formica: I am driven to re-run for this board of training to continue the progress I’ve created above the earlier two and half a long time. I want to make a change to this group due to the fact I love offering back again. I’m personally invested in the success of the university district since my daughter, nieces and nephews go to faculty right here. I have no voting conflicts in the district, and I can vote on all board issues and sit in on all board discussions. I’m running on the exact same system with James Curcio and Gregory Guido, who both have no conflicts of fascination either. Throughout my 1st phrase, I have tested I will keep on to stand up for the pupils and the taxpayers, even if I have to stand by yourself.
Lyons: I have lived in Stafford Township because 1979 and am a solution of the Stafford Township College District, as are my kids. Seven a long time back, when nobody filed a petition for a seat on the board, I was concerned of what could occur to our youngsters and teachers, so I ran a compose-in campaign and gained the seat. Nowadays, I am operating for the exact same rationale. A person of the board associates on yet another ticket has been pushed by her own agenda considering that she obtained a seat three many years ago. Given that her election to the board, there has been division like never ahead of. I want to restore civility and dialogue to the board as an alternative of creating division.
Fritz: Whilst serving as a law enforcement officer with Stafford Township for 25 yrs, I was constantly attempting to effectuate optimistic variations in our neighborhood. I realized, transferring ahead from my occupation in legislation enforcement, I would want to remain associated with Stafford Township. I really feel the Stafford school board is the appropriate stage for me. I served as a DARE Officer to the district for 19 a long time of my job and care deeply about the students and team. Getting a board member will afford me the opportunity to, when all over again, operate with the district from a posture of leadership, whereby I can affect the foreseeable future of the Stafford College District and our students.
Guido: I have three major reasons why I want to be a member of the Stafford College Board – ages 7, 4 and 2. My household and I will be a part of this faculty district and neighborhood for a long time to occur, and I want to keep the district’s good results for this and upcoming generations. As an attorney who focuses a great deal of his apply on authentic estate, the significance of a effective university district are unable to be understated to preserve the group thriving. As a mother or father of a scholar in the district and a resident taxpayer, I share the similar interests as the extremely folks the college board is meant to characterize. Having these exact same passions is why I chose to run with Patricia Formica and James Curcio on the ballot, as, alongside one another, our pursuits are entirely aligned with people of the learners and residents of our town.
Curcio: My greatest driving issue to be a school board member is my daughter, who is in the district. I’m also a taxpayer in the district. I want to guarantee the taxes we shell out are currently being used the most effective way attainable for the two our college students and taxpayers alike. Our college district is excellent, and I’d like to enable make sure it stays that way for yrs to appear. For that purpose, I am managing with Gregory Guido and Patricia Formica, as our interests are aligned with the pupils and inhabitants of Stafford.
Q: What do you believe that are the best three troubles … and how would your involvement enable handle them?
Curcio: The top three concerns at this time facing the Stafford University District are: condition funding cuts that influence our district right finding by way of the COVID-19 pandemic and conflicted board customers. As a controller with a bachelor’s diploma in accounting and an MBA in finance, I routinely deal with balancing budgets, applying allotted cash as efficiently as achievable and getting expense personal savings. These abilities will enable me to aid offer with the funding cuts without the need of triggering greater tax burdens to the people of Stafford Township. Along with Patricia Formica and Gregory Guido, I have no conflicts inside of the district that would protect against me from voting on any challenges offered to the board.
Fritz: The best a few difficulties are the state budget cuts the district received, lack of a unified university board and COVID-19. With the funds, there’s really no easy way to go about dealing with it, but a unified college board that performs collectively with diplomacy is a good begin. As for the lack of a unified board, divisiveness does not work with a college board. All members want to work collectively as a staff. I’m a staff participant and will perform extremely really hard to be empathetic of differing opinions and open up-minded to differing ideas. With regards to COVID-19, the pandemic provides an obstacle to all college districts as opposed to just about anything we have observed in our lifetimes. The university board desires to keep on being open up-minded and fluid as situation alter day by day in disaster periods like these. To do so involves becoming supportive and knowing of the problems remaining faced day by day by administrators, academics and parents.
Lyons: The most essential situation is the division and distrust involving members of the board. The present minority on the board has unfettered obtain to the board lawyer, which charges the taxpayers dollars. We need to be ready to disagree, negotiate and come to a consensus devoid of hatred. I’m also quite anxious with school protection, and as the spouse and mom of police officers I know some of the evil that occurs in these unsure times. There is no total of time or income I would deny for the basic safety and safety of our youngsters. 3rd, we have to go on the monitor of coordinated schooling with the high university district. When I started out on the board, the districts communicated badly, and I was adamant that this should be a precedence and am happy to report that we have manufactured remarkable strides.
Guido: At the moment, the major 3 concerns presently struggling with the Stafford Faculty District are: the state’s funding cuts that immediately have an affect on our school district ensuring ongoing accessibility to all applications for the students and navigating by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most importantly, these challenges should be tackled to make certain our students’ instruction continues to be unaffected, while guaranteeing the district maintains fiscal accountability in its paying to retain the necessary school resources for the college students and sustaining a standing quo on taxes. This will contain producing tricky selections and doing proper investigate. As an legal professional, I have the background and encounter to make these hard choices in the greatest desire of the individuals I symbolize – in this occasion, the students and the people of Stafford. Like the other customers of my crew, Patricia Formica and James Curcio, I have no conflicts within the district that would avert me from voting on any concerns just before the board, which, sadly, has turn into an situation on new votes by the board.
Formica: Proper now, the major 3 difficulties going through this district are the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline of around a $1.2 million of point out assist, and the division among users on the board of training. My involvement will help these challenges since I will proceed to continuously check with the ideal queries. I am functioning on the accountability and transparency system, and my report as a board member is reflective of equally. My vocation as a Real estate agent affords me a flexible agenda, therefore I can go to nearby, county and condition features to preserve the community more informed.
Simonelli: Acquiring by way of the pandemic issue is very first, and as an expert trainer, as well as a father or mother, I can deliver perception and explore the concerns from numerous diverse viewpoints to aid with dilemma-solving. Next is the state reducing funding to our district. Because of these concerns, we are going to have to think outdoors the box to give a quality schooling for all our college students. With 32 a long time of teaching encounter, I feel I can arrive up with imaginative methods that will aid the district. 3rd, after this pandemic is about, it is critical we make sure the district recovers. Parents, academics, college students and employees will need to check out and settle into a new routine irrespective of the disruption the pandemic has triggered, and learners might need more providers owing to tutorial losses, not to point out the impacts on their mental well being. As the head of the Curriculum and Exclusive Schooling Committee, I will make confident there are programs in our faculties to satisfy these requirements.
Q: What does quality training glimpse like in your thoughts and how is it greatest accomplished?
Guido: A high quality education is 1 that stimulates a student’s thoughts and encompasses a main curriculum, along with other systems and routines that invigorate a student’s pursuits in the arts, sciences and actual physical action. As a dad or mum of a student, I have a pulse on what the other dad and mom in the group are hunting for from our district with regards to education. I know it is significant to maintain all the present-day programs, these types of as S.T.E.A.M., and not enable people systems come to be victim to the state’s cuts to our education and learning assist. The ideal way to realize this is by a collaborative group work involving the college board, the district and the dad and mom.
Lyons: Pretty basically, we will have to make Stafford Township a put in which the most effective educators want to continue on to appear and teach. At the very least a single member of another ticket thinks lecturers are overpaid. I imagine we have to sustain pay and gains that are aggressive. We then have to deliver an environment in which dad and mom are engaged and our kids sense safe and sound though they discover.
Simonelli: I consider good quality schooling entails assembly the desires of all pupils, when challenging them to be productive and successful citizens. This signifies instructing the total baby bodily, emotionally and socially, as perfectly as academically. Also, we have to have to be positive to give truthful and proper training for all pupils.
Formica: I imagine a good quality training can be measured on just about every student’s confront as they enter and depart the properties every day. Did they understand something, or did they tumble as a result of the cracks? In my brain, a high quality education can be greatest reached with teamwork during the district. If all within just the district and school board can begin doing work with each other as a staff, then the pupils will have the finest possible case in point and methods for a constructive finding out setting. A positive faculty surroundings will final result in a flourishing local community, which will not only benefit our learners but all city people and taxpayers.
Curcio: Top quality education is all-encompassing. It is additional than just publications and checks. It includes bodily fitness, arts/audio, science, immediately after-university pursuits, golf equipment, and so forth. It is developing a nicely-rounded personal who is aware of how to imagine critically for on their own and is not frightened to ask concerns. This education and learning is most effective reached as a result of a mixed work among school and property. I’d like to aid make positive we are carrying out the ideal we can on the schools’ end.
Fritz: Excellence is realized by a assortment of means, and one of the most critical is top quality management – a school board that completely supports the school and college students they serve, recognizes their achievements, many thanks them for their tough function, and stays included in their progress is a college board that cares about quality education. The school district also wants the guidance of our neighborhood. Faculty boards provide not only their colleges, but their district’s taxpayers as well. This needs a harmony of transparency and have confidence in.

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