FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Seven candidates are seeking three available three-year terms on the Freehold Township K-8 School District Board of Education in the November 2020 election.
The terms of board members Michael Amoroso, Michelle Lambert and Michael Matthews will end in December.
The candidates seeking the terms are Amoroso, Lambert, Matthews, Scott Berlin, Margaret Girgis, Cheryl Palew and Mary Thomann.
Berlin, Matthews, Palew and Girgis did not respond to request for comment.
Amoroso is the owner and operator a kitchen and bath showroom in Freehold Township. He has lived in Freehold Township for 19 years and has been a member of the board for nine years.
“I am seeking re-election because our current public education system is in a crisis,” Amoroso said. “Our local school system is facing unprecedented challenges and we need highly experienced board members to support our school administration during this difficult time.
“My professional background includes 15 years of engineering experience at various telecommunications companies, including AT&T and Lucent Technologies. My prior corporate background as well as my current small business experience allows me to bring practical knowledge to the board, especially when given difficult analytical issues that must be resolved for our community,” he said.
If re-elected, Amoroso said he will focus on creating a clear path back to full-time, in-person instruction while maintaining a safe environment for staff and students as the coronavirus remains a concern; participating in the evaluation of the next budget to relieve taxpayers from the burden created by rising property taxes; and the future instructional quality of the schools, with attention toward the curriculum that will be implemented and how instruction will be delivered to students over the next few years.
Lambert is an attorney who has lived in Freehold Township for 29 years. She has served on the board for 10 years.
“I am seeking re-election because I am invested in Freehold Township schools’ continuous goal of providing the best possible education within the confines of fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers, which is not an easy task at times.
“I respect and want to continue a system designed to create life-long learners in our students and to prepare them for their respective futures. I am proud to be part of a system that educates the whole child, from social-emotional well-being to physical well-being, in addition to learning, and would like to continue supporting this model.
“My professional background as an attorney helps my ability to look at all aspects of the district from all angles. Each decision deserves thoughtful analysis and careful consideration for all possible outcomes. I believe my background helps me to do this on a regular basis,” she said.
If re-elected, Lambert said she will work to improve communication with other residents of the community, prepare for possible future threats while delivering a quality education, and exploring new ways of cost savings and revenue sources.
Thomann is the managing director of One Grand, an independent bookstore and literary media company. She has lived in Freehold Township since 2012.
“As the mother of three children with vastly different abilities and educational needs, I have a vested interest in making sure the district is functioning at its best for all kids.
“I am the daughter of two New Jersey public school teachers who later became administrators, so I know teachers and administrators must work hand-in-hand with the public to achieve the very best outcomes for our kids,” she said.
“Personally and professionally, I have experienced the pros and cons of private, public, American, European and Asian school systems and I have learned there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work for all children.
“Now, more than ever, we need creative critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the ability to stand up and ask tough questions, and the willingness to fight for what our kids and families need and deserve. … I feel that my skills as a professional communicator and manager will be an asset to the district, especially as we must work together to transition back to normal in the wake of the coronavirus,” Thomann said.
If elected, Thomann said she will focus on getting children, teachers and staff back to school safely, balancing high taxes with offering the best education students can receive, and addressing technology in the classroom.