Home Government Elections Brick BOE Candidate Profile: Victor Finamore

Brick BOE Candidate Profile: Victor Finamore

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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.

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Victor Finamore (File Photo)
Victor Finamore (File Photo)

Full Name: Victor Finamore

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Current Age: 50

Educational Background: 

Graduate Westfield Sr, High School. 1983

Attended Business Management Courses  Union County College.

Certified Pharmaceutical Tech Upsal College.

Continuing Educational on line courses – various studies.

Current Occupation:

Project Management – Hurricane Sandy Relief, Monmouth and Ocean County  Housing Advisor.

  • Previous background/ occupation:  Life Sciences,Health Care Benefits Administrator  [ Teachers, Unions,Employers ].
  • Financial services .
  • Research and Development.

Do you currently receive any public salary compensation? If so, from what public agency? 

Federal  Funded Project – Hurricane Sandy Relief.

Have you ever previously held an elected office in Brick or elsewhere?

I have never held any other office.

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 Board Of Education has a President and it’s current Superintendent; who the elected Board members, as a collaborative work together in regards to resolutions.

As elected, it would be best to understand what structure is currently pending in order to make  adjustments and suggestions as needed. No one ever walks in and make changes over night; it’s a process that has to be both learned and analyzed;  as well discuses in the proper forum for resolution.  Although Transparency among all departments including the Township Departments, is an objective  that I plan on seeking in many areas.  Negotiate fair contracts saving dollars for the community while providing the highest quality education for our children.
  • Open and honest.  No back room dealing – Transparency.
  • Keeping politics and  favoritism out. Fair play for all – Transparency.
  • Will listen to, address and evaluate public concerns when making decisions as part of a collaborative.
  • Will work to provide a quality education for all children at all levels.
  • Looking out for whats best for the children and their parents first.
The bottom line, I’m not going to tell you what you think you want to hear – I’m going to tell it like it is and work for the working class that makes up the majority  population, families struggling here in Brick  [ Homeowners, Renters, Seniors with a fixed income,- because the School budget effects everyone – it’s the public’s’ money. ]  not the pension riders and those who would prefer to over spend the budget making decisions about your Taxes.

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?

State data:

The State’s new School Performance Report, which replaces the long-used School Report Cards as part of national common core standards, places extra emphasis on student achievement in college and beyond secondary school. Earlier this year, there was already put in reforms and programs in place to improve student achievement to have been implemented.   These reports that are out, are implemented to inform teachers and staff on how to help improve the schools. Anytime a new program is introduced, it will take time to develop and process in order to become a success – without expectations of overnight. I believe that the current administration have been working on improvements that has a positive impact upon the students.

College and the marketplace:

The previous report shows that the township’s two high schools met all of their targets in academic achievement, but lagged in the category of college and career readiness. Great, – it’s a start; what more can you ask of your children and our teachers. They are making sides and progress with time. There was a budget passed for seven new advanced placement classes in each high school, plus a fourth year math class. The high schools will also offer SAT preparation classes according to that proposal [ although the PARCC is another conversation in it’s self ]. We also have to keep in mind that there are three types of learning skills, auditory input is most valuable; others rely upon a visual style. Still others learn through kinesthetic means, or a combination of the three. Every person has one primary learning mode. Once you identify that mode [ parents and teachers], can learn to maximize it and enhance your child’s education and direction.

Students that have learning disabilities have one commonality, a processing deficit that interferes with their learning. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that every individual learns differently and thus has a unique learning style. Hence, the sooner it’s recognized in a child’s performance; the sooner the teachers and parents can get him or her on tract to advance their learning skills.

It is important that our college prep students become better prepared  regarding critical thinking by having four-year math and science requirements in high school.

If anyone would like to review the 2014 report card – see the link attached:

http://www.nj.gov/education/pr/1314/narrative/29/0530/29-0530-020.html

http://www.state.nj.us/education/pr/1213/29/290530020.pdf

From there, we can understand areas and review the analysis, move forward and continue to work on the next layer of improvements as needed.

students preparing for jobs and careers, employability and earnings will be increasingly tied to [ what is known as ]  STEM knowledge; familiarity with common applications such as Microsoft Office, as well as Web literacy skills, to succeed in the current workforce.

Following effectively communicate with others outside of the ”texting world” – to have strong  writing skills for clear,strong customer service skills with concise and appropriate communication. Other areas include appearance, body language, self discipline and self-confidence are part of the influence of early development on children’s readiness to learn and chances of success later in life.
Life Skills are essentials in the workplace along with the ability to keep personal matters in order. Students need to be able to manage their lives and function as responsible members of society. Especially in managing finances is a must. many students may be missing  out on basic consumer mathematics skills, such as balancing a checkbook, filling out a tax return, budgeting, etc.

However, there is another facet to the equation, graduating High School is only the beginning and it’s readiness for continuing education for 4- 6 years of continuing education. In general colleges and Universities. with an average in State / County college avg. $35k a year. tuition or private Colleges – Universities avg. $60K a year  tuition [ pending any grants or scholarships available].  Planning for the next level of education starts at birth, not eight months before graduation day.
see link attached:  http://www.businessinsider.com/50-colleges-charge-60000-dollars-2014-7

Although for some parents – College and Universities for their children may become difficult number to achieve these days. There are alternative routes with great opportunities for the graduating Senior with hands on skills, such as: Vocational schools, Five Military programs, Reserves, – NJ National Guard and Coast Guard to start with. Teaching and guiding children with a plan, direction and opportunity at an early age; helps prevents  possible unforeseen difficulties later in life……

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?

It never was a secret, people are just tired and fed up of the non sense [ as advised by the public ] – that their concerns were never property addressed.    When I’ve  asked the public about attending ? – many of their responses  was – that the meetings take too long or there’s too much fighting or disagreements between the members why would a parent want to attend a 3- 4hour meeting after an 8 – 10 hour day from work?  – after attending  several meeting over the past few years,, you can’t disagree..  At times, there is a  communication disconnect somewhere that needs improvement and yet, there are those times that great things do get accomplished from the Board.

We are going through a transition of generations of a diversity of people; Homeowners, Seniors and recent influx of Transient Tenants moving in- with many more to come. My first initiative after elected – besides learning the process- would be to have an public out reach; voice your opinion and concerns, would love to hear your thoughts. from there; I can both respond and collect the data needed to assist by helping the Board members into a new direction knowing more about what the public wants.?

I want to start with several facets to emphasize and utilize around the town; that’s already in existing programs. utilizing current programs such as  BMAC, Parks and Recreation as part of  transparency programs with the Township – it’s Council, Community Programs and Mayor to make it interactive for everyone.   I would like to see more career events that children  and their families can attend to meet and greet professionals, outside schools, colleges to local business owners – perhaps special guest speakers.

Looking further in to sports and recreation, Arts and Sciences as well areas of developmental skill that can be utilized in various ways including scholarship programs – by getting parents involved with common interest to share with others.

We have to go back to the Performance Report reviews and look further into the areas that may need improvements. These ideas won’t work on it’s own, without the support of others and will not happen overnight.  it’s a working plan that takes time to plan and organize with others in an agreement to become an effective plan.

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?

Without reviewing the details of past 5 years of contracts, budgets, it wouldn’t be fair to calculate spending or funding. Although  after meeting with 100’s of people from the public, they often ask the same question. if almost 10 years ago, they were advised that it was “cost effective to build a New School”  than to refurbish the old one – why did we spend so much money on an old building?
The best answer to that question is – why not ask of those who have been on the board prior or current?  They chose not to rebuild; instead were the ones in agreements to contract and bid out for the repairs of existing school that were outdated?
With open contracts and uncounted for petty cash, it makes you wonder why follow the next question –  “How much have actually spent on the school just in repairs.?”   I want to know what was spent and why; prior – in order to understand – why – do we keep spending  funds that’s costing the Tax Payor ?
Going forward, I would inquirer about alternate route to see if any options are available including: utility grants, Education grants and School redevelopment grants available? There is funding out there, it’s researching it and seeing if the School system would qualify for any of the programs – that would save the tax payor money and help keep a $147M  budget balanced while getting work done and items needed for the students.