BOE President's Reports
BOE President's Report November 2019
I would like to start by thanking everyone who has supported me these past 10 years as a member of the Manchester Board of Education. It doesn't take skill or experience to serve on a board of education. Anyone can be a good board member. You don't need to be an educator, or an administrator. You don't even have to be a parent of a student in the district. You just need to understand your role. You must set goals that promote student achievement. It is the superintendent's job to figure out the means to achieve these goals and the business administrator’s job to find a way to finance them without a financial burden to the taxpayers.
I have attended trainings and workshops to learn how I can be productive and a good board member. I have encouraged our members to also learn their purpose and attend NJSBA trainings. Last month I attended the 2019 NJSBA workshop and had the opportunity to attend several workshops. I tried to choose those that had relevance to our district and to see what other districts throughout NJ are doing in their schools to meet the needs of their students.
I attended a group session "engaging your local senior citizens to share, lead and help. Spring Lake Heights shared with us what they were doing to tap into the free resources in their community. This is an area we in Manchester need to continue to look at new ways to engage our senior community.
I attended the keynote speaker session where we heard from Ian Hockley, the Executive Director of Dylan's Wings of Change. Mr. Hockley is the parent of Dylan, who was shot and killed in 2012 in his first grade class at Sandy Hook in Connecticut. With experts in their field they developed a student leadership program that develops social and emotional skills through engaging experiential activities and inspires children to go above and beyond for others.
I also attended a group session "Moving toward support: Ways to integrate wellness and a stigma---free initiatives”. A small district in Bergen county created powerful support for students and families after the suicide of two fathers in their community. This is a school district with less than 700 students and in a short time lost two parents to suicide. They created a wellness room to support social and emotional learning. We need to continue to be a district that doesn't know what they have prevented, not a district that knows what they did not prevent.
The NJSBA offers trainings and workshops throughout the year. I encourage the Manchester Board Members to attend these and learn their role. Mr. Trethaway was selected as regional superintendent of the year. Support him and trust him to implement your goals. He has surrounded himself with talented and wonderful supervisors who share his vision, and the board’s, for the district. Let them do their jobs. They know our students and they know where we want the district to be in the future. We all need to work together to continue to meet the needs of our students, our parents and our community. Manchester is a great town and our children deserve the best that we can do.