Abbey True Harris bids for seat on Mansfield Township school board

Abbey True Harris
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Abbey True Harris

When Mansfield Township residents head to the polls this November, they will be casting their ballots for several races including the school board and general elections.

This year, residents will have a choice in the Nov. 5 Mansfield Township School District Board of Education election as four candidates will run for three vacancies on the school board. Abbey True Harris is among three other listed candidates on the ballot for this year’s school board election. The other three candidates are Jared Fantasia, Stephen Thomas and Nikolas Vrettos.

Harris is a current school board member, attorney and executive. Harris and her husband Brian Baumley, a small business owner, live in Mansfield with their three young children – their two sons attend Mansfield public schools and their daughter will start kindergarten in 2020. Harris has served various non-profits, including the Board of Directors of the Trenton YWCA; volunteered as a legal representative for abused children in court; clerked for the Supreme Court of New Jersey; worked in the government, charitable, and private sectors; and served as a member of the Mansfield Township Board of Education for three years.

Abbey True Harris

Why are you running for a spot on the school board?  What drives you to public service?

Since high school, I have been active in public service, earning a law degree and a Master’s in public policy, and working for charities and government offices.  Believing that public schools are the backbone of society, after being elected in 2016, I have been an active school board member in Mansfield.

Other than taxes, what would you say is the most pressing issue/s facing the township schools? If elected, how do you plan to tackle that issue?

The safety of our town’s children is paramount. I look forward to continuing to work with the superintendent and board of education to ensure that the high quality of education currently provided continues to be delivered in the safest environment to a growing student body as Mansfield’s populations expands.

How would you say you differ from your opponents? Why should voters choose you?

My professional experience — working in local, state and federal government, a national law firm, and a regional company as in-house counsel – combined with helping to run a family business while raising three children has given me unique insight into balancing goals and budgets in an effective and friendly manner.

What, in your opinion, makes Mansfield Township somewhere you want to serve?

My husband and I were drawn here from Mercer County almost ten years ago because of Mansfield’s friendly “feel” and excellent public education. The people in Mansfield are kind, hard-working, and band together.  I look forward to continuing to contribute to this community as a member of the school board.

Candidates Jared Fantasia, Stephen Thomas and Nikolas Vrettos could not be reached for comment.