Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Livingston Board of Education as voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5.Incumbents Ronnie Spring and Leslie Winograd are seeking re-election, and face challenger Art Altman in an election for two board seats that carry three-year terms.
Each candidate was sent questions by the editor as part of Livingston Patch's Candidate Profile. Each candidate's response will be posted leading up to election day.
The following are the responses submitted by incumbent Leslie Winograd.
Why are you running for a seat on the Livingston Board of Education?
It has been an honor serving as a member of the Livingston Board of Education for the past three and a half years.
I am proud of the board’s accomplishments and would like the opportunity to continue to work with my fellow board members in serving our community.
What makes you qualified for the position?
For almost ten years, I have been actively involved in our school district, working with parents, teachers and administrators on behalf of Livingston students.
My experiences as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Budget Task Force, Livingston Education Foundation and PT Council, and as an elementary HSA President, provided me with in-depth knowledge of our school system and prepared me for my current role as a board member.
However, it has been my experiences on the board that have been particularly rewarding. Board members must make well-informed policy decisions that maximize education while being fiscally responsible. With the changes in the Livingston School District's leadership (three new board members and a new superintendent), I seek re-election so that my continued service will provide continuity to the board and ensure the ongoing smooth transition, which includes goal-setting and the evaluation of our Superintendent.
What are the biggest challenges facing the school district in your opinion and what school-related issues would you focus on if you were elected?
As a 1983 Livingston High School graduate and the parent of three children in our schools, I am well-aware of all that the Livingston School District has to offer, but also that we must strive to improve and to provide the best educational opportunities for our students’ success.
To this end, the board is looking to Superintendent John Alfieri to bring fresh perspectives to a number of areas including a review of CP and honors offerings at Livingston High School, the evaluation of new math programs and textbooks by our recently hired K-8 math supervisor, and a review of our K-8 language arts curriculum.
In addition, the board expects that development and evaluation of special education programs will continue, enabling our special needs students to be educated here in Livingston with their peers.
We must also continue to provide productive professional development for teachers and train our administrators and staff in new observation and evaluation processes resulting from major legislative reforms.
I am especially looking forward to the launch of a new strategic planning process involving input from parents, teachers, administrators and students.
Technology will be a focus of the Strategic Plan, and the Livingston School District's three-year technology plan is due to be updated and overhauled. Technology must be upgraded to enhance instruction and meet the demands of an explosion in the use of wireless devices by our students and staff.
We will also need to meet the demands of PARCC, online assessments aligned with the new Common Core State Standards which will be given to students nationwide,
The role of the Livingston Board of Education as a policy setting body is simple, but the role its members play in creating and evaluating policies and priorities is complex and requires a genuine interest in and concern for education.
Ron Spring and I share this passion for educating Livingston’s children. Please visit us on Facebook at Spring and Winograd for Livingston Board of Education.