In Your Opinion: Support Potosnak, Desai And Smith For School Board

By Bill Connell, Somerset.

We have a Board of Education election coming up. Over the years I have been very involved in our schools; as a parent, as a volunteer, and as an active community member following our board. In a way the school board election seems sort of boring, yet critical to our township. My mind has gravitated to how much has changed in the last 10 years or so.

It is my summary view that schools Superintendent Ed Seto was the food tester for education in the 21st Century in Franklin. During his administration “No Child Left Behind” was implemented, Chris Christie came into being, state testing took on more importance and data-driven teacher evaluations were implemented. That is a whole lot of outside interference for the average classroom teacher. For the smart teacher it was insulting, for the lazy teacher it was a cattle prod and for the weak teacher, it was scary.

With all this data flying around, even the current administration won’t admit it’s overwhelming and burdensome. They just know they have to do it. The difference today from when this all started is people know it’s coming. We have a whole new group of teachers who went to college knowing this is in place.

We now have a new administration and a lot of the angst has been wrung out of the district. We have witnessed a high level of productivity in the school board. The real question is how do we keep that going. The district is literally under construction.

Buildings are being built and working relationships are being fortified. Fiscal responsibility is always a great objective but you have to be more effective then a cardboard cutout.

This year Mike Smith is running for school board. He has been an integral part of our creative team in the plays for several years at Sampson G. Smith School. I know first-hand Mike is a great listener, because he listens and works more then he talks. His work and educational background, commitment to excellence and patience will enable him to work on complicated board issues.

Ed Potosnak’s work as board president speaks for itself. He has been a steady confidence building presence on the board. Ms. Desai has a broad enough background to bring new perspective to the board. Together they will confidently and intelligently move the school district deeper into the 21st Century. As someone who has been following our school board and the progress made recently I encourage voters to support Smith, Potosnak and Desai for Franklin Board of Education, ballot positions: 1, 3, and 6.


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