Board of Education: Nancy LaCorte
Name: Nancy LaCorte
Street Address: 6 Blackwells Mills Road, PO Box 6344
Section of Town You Live In: Somerset
If not, have you held any elected position before, and if so, what:
I was elected to the Franklin Township Board of Education in 2006-2009 and re-elected in 2009. I chose not to run for re-election and my term ended on January 3, 2013.
Do you belong to any civic organizations:
I am employed by the Franklin Township Food Bank and I also volunteer for the Food Bank.
I am a member of the NJ National Guard 102d Cavalry Family Readiness Group since 2005 when I served as FRG Leader from 2005 until 2009
I am involved in the Franklin Township Memorial Day Parade and the Franklin Township Veterans Day Ceremony.
What do you see as your three top issues, and how do you plan on dealing with them:
Restore Civility & Integrity to the Board
I think the biggest problem is the Board. They cannot discuss issues, respect opposing viewpoints and work toward resolution. That roadblock prevents the District from moving forward on anything. The message being sent down to the students and out to the public is embarrassing. We need to bring civility back to the Board.
Support Referendum & Energy Savings Improvement Plan
I support the referendum and the ESIP. I served on the Facilities Committee with Rich Seamon when we began working on the referendum. I also participated in the Long Range Facilities Plan and Strategic Planning Sessions. I initially ran on an independent review of the District (MGT Report) which was supported by the Long Range Facilities Plan and then by the Strategic Planning sessions, all of which involved public input. The kids change schools four times and there is data to support a drop in student achievement as they acclimate to their new environment. Children in trailers are missing out on experiences that are taking place in the school building or something as simple as having to change classrooms which is a part of their social development. With all of the development in Franklin Township the schools are simply “maxed out”. The ESIP allows us to take advantage of energy savings.
Improve Communication & Transparency
When I was first elected to the Board I ran on televising Board meetings so more people knew what was going on in the schools regardless of whether or not you had children in the schools. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the time at the microphone and instead of bringing solutions or talking about some of the wonderful things that go on in our schools they use it to lodge personal attacks.
I am the consummate volunteer; always wanting to give back. I chaired the Community Relations & Volunteerism Committee for 5 years and wrote the Volunteerism Plan, including job descriptions for the District because I think the way to get people to support the schools is to get them in the schools. Not every volunteer opportunity involves working directly with children but we are all working for the children.
We need to change the conversation from being so negative about our schools and our community to all of the great things our kids are doing (there are many). When I was on the Board and I would visit the schools I would always ask the kids “What are we doing right and what can we do better?” Some of their feedback was very easy to implement but they weren’t being asked.
I believe that if you have to abstain on a vote, you need to have a reason. You should always be able to explain your vote if asked. I think that committees should meet regularly and report out on what they have done.