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: Madeline Colagiovanni Iannarone
Current Age: 60
Brick High School 1973
Capri School of Cosmetology 1998
Ocean County College
Current Occupation; Do you currently receive any public salary compensation? If so, from what public agency?
Team Leader @ Brick Township Recreation Department
Senior Hair Dresser @ JC Penney Salon, Ocean County Mall
(Public salary from Brick Township Recreation Department)
Have you ever previously held an elected office in Brick or elsewhere?
I have been appointed to several boards. BMAC, Board of Adjustment and the Brick MUA as a Commissioner. Member Lead and Seed program at Brick High School, Member Ocean Medical Center Association, Member Brick Trap Neuter and Release Program
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 priority should always be, to give the students the best possible education. Teachers and administrators need to be included by giving support to allow them professional learning and development as necessary for the academic changes that are happening in education. We need to do all these things while always keeping the Taxpayers in mind.
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?
We have many students that graduate and go onto secondary schools and career and are very successful. As an example many of our teachers are graduates of Brick High School and Memorial High School. Of course we can always raise the bar and I do acknowledge that there are problems in Brick as in many economically diverse communities. I would always be willing to work with educators, parents, students and local businesses to come up with programs to enhance the services that a school can offer.
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?
In today’s society it is very hard to get the public involved in evening meetings; most families have working parents that try to spend time with their children in the evening. I believe we can connect with the parents using many different avenues one being SurveyMonkey System, where questions can be sent out to the community to gauge what directions could be taken. It’s a relatively and inexpensive method to represent what busy parents are thinking and comments could be added to the surveys.
Also I feel we should be working with parent groups, such as the PTA’s and bring them onto committees, listening to their opinions is an important piece of academic achievement. Listening to what teachers need, to improve learning. The teacher in the classroom, and parental involvement; are the two important indicators that show academic achievement for the student.
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?
The opportunity of saving energy in our school buildings has not been utilized to its potential to date. The existing board has used ROD grants that required our surplus funding, at 60% of the project costs to fund boilers and roof top units (heaters). The state has a program called ESIP which allows the savings to pay for the energy savings projects. The schools district has a yearly energy bill over 2 million dollars per year. The energy audit done in 2011 showed a possible energy saving of 10%, some proposals have been submitted for up to 20% savings yet the taxpayer is funding this work, instead of taking advantage of programs that would allow using funding for other things.
A real look at how much things cost and where available funding is needed, that will be my priority. I am an independent person looking to represent the township residents; I will listen to the needs of the students, the faculty and the taxpayers. I plan to take a fair analysis of each situation that comes along, and make the best decision I can for the benefit of all people in the township.