Editor’s note: Each of the 12 candidates running for a seat on the Brick Township Board of Education were sent a questionnaire by Brick Shorebeat. Their answers to our questions will be published on our site verbatim. We have disabled comments on profile articles to ensure the candidates’ statements speak for themselves and readers can decide, without additional, potentially anonymous commentary, their view on those running for office.
Full Name: John Lamela
Current Age: (No answer provided.)
Educational Background: I hold two Master’s degrees from Monmouth University.
Current Occupation; Do you currently receive any public salary compensation? If so, from what public agency? I am currently a public school administrator and receive a salary from that district.
Have you ever previously held an elected office in Brick or elsewhere?
(No answer provided.)
As it presently stands, the administration of the Brick school district remains in flux. What should the academic priorities of our administrators be over the next three years?
The academic priorities over the next three years should start with an academic inventory that includes all stakeholders involved in the educational process. The priorities must address the needs of all of our students that perform at all levels to ensure that they are getting the instruction and follow through that prepares them to move on to life after high school.
At its core, a public school district will always be judged based on the achievement of its students. Though Brick’s performance has improved in some areas in recent years based on state data, that same data has repeatedly shown that the Brick district lags in the category of college and career readiness. In a competitive state like New Jersey, what specific initiatives should be put into place to ensure that Brick students will be able to compete in both college and the marketplace with their peers who reside in the state’s highest-performing districts?
Specific initiatives that relate to state data need to be carefully evaluated. I do believe that any initiatives that are put in place should attempt to align our curriculum and instruction with all areas of readiness for career and college as well as assess those areas that need improvement.
Most Board of Education meetings are extremely lightly attended. On some occasions, concern has been expressed that not enough parents are engaged in the academic aspects of the school experience. What specific ways can the district better engage parents and members of the community with the aim of bringing them into discussions on academic achievement?
There needs to be “parent buy-in”, by this I mean creating opportunities for parents to actively participate in the academic interests and outcomes of their sons and daughters. A Parent University that would offer opportunities to target specific areas of academics to create a greater understanding for parents so they can relate to their students and become actively involved in their education.
In recent years, some long-sought facilities improvements have been completed in various school buildings. With the condition and age of the district’s facilities continuing to be a chief concern among Brick residents, which improvements and/or upgrades would you prioritize, and which funding mechanism would you favor to finance those projects?
One of the first things cut in any budget or when money is needed is facilities and capital improvements. I believe we need to see what strategies or strategic action plans have been put in place where previous plans may have been cut and how we can move forward to improve our facilities based on need and cost. More importantly have an open and transparent dialogue about funds in our current budget and how we can move forward to bring our facilities up to date.