HomeHaddonfield NewsMeet the Candidates: Haddonfield Board of Education

Meet the Candidates: Haddonfield Board of Education

For those planning on exercising their right as citizens of this country and of the borough on Nov. 5, we present the candidates running for seats on the Board of Education.

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Name: David Siedell

Age: 48

Occupation: Senior Director of I.D.E.A. (Instructional Designers and Educational Architects) team for the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Coach Haddonfield Little League & Coach Haddonfield Youth Basketball Association; BOE representative on Haddonfield Educational Trust and for Central Elementary PTA; former member of Haddonfield Foundation, former President Haddonfield Civic Association; Member of the Knights of Columbus.

When I first ran for the Board of Education in 2013, my slogan was “Rebuilding Excellence” and the four areas I felt were in greatest need of shoring up were: Infrastructure, Opportunities through Technology, Public Trust and Strategic Partnerships.

While the board and administration has made significant progress in many areas, there is still much that is left to accomplish toward these goals. Since 2013, our district has executed a successful referendum and restoration project to ensure our buildings will be safe and dry for years to come, as well as a process to keep ongoing maintenance a priority. Work is now just beginning to identify the next set of issues and opportunities on which we can capitalize to improve the physical infrastructure of our district. I hope to be a part of these planning exercises and projects to come.

The district has standardized curriculum delivery using Instructure Canvas and Google Classroom in the high school and middle school, added online options for some classes and added computer science curriculum into the math department preparing our students for the 21st-century economy. As a long-time member of the Curriculum Committee as well as its current chair, I look forward to working to further improve educational consistency for all students in all district schools and neighborhoods.

The new administration in place for the district – with their dedication to data-informed decision making, accountability to state standards and our own high-bar goals, and their transparent nature – has greatly improved trust that our schools are being well run. Working to make sure our district’s communication is clear and its policies are concise, current, and evenly applied are areas I hope to be able to continue to help improve.

I am not satisfied with the progress made in identifying and nurturing partnerships that could benefit Haddonfield schools. Working with public/private partnerships that could improve our learning spaces at minimal cost to the taxpayer, identifying grants that could fund initiatives for our dedicated teachers, and relationships with local, regional and national companies to create real-world experiences for our students or additional learning opportunities for our staff and faculty would only benefit our district.

The job isn’t finished. I am looking forward to the next 3 years for the opportunity to do so.

Name: Jaime Auletto Grookett

Age: 42

Occupation: Instructor at Camden County College, Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher, business owner

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Haddonfield Memorial High School Campus Beautification Committee, HMHS and Haddonfield Middle School Parent-Teacher Association, Lion’s Heart, College Reading and Learning Association, National Organization for Student Success, International Literacy Association.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for education with our local community while serving on the Haddonfield Board of Education, and hope to continue to serve for the next term.

In 2000, I earned my M.S.Ed. in Language, Learning and Curriculum from the University of Pennsylvania. Among my work as an educator, I have taught high school English courses, instructed graduate Education courses, and written curriculum at the state level. Currently, I teach developmental Reading and Writing courses at Camden County College.

As a mom and experienced educator, I want a strong school system for our community. My family and I have called Haddonfield home for over 10 years. During our time here, I have been dedicated to supporting our schools and community in various roles, such as PTA President, PTA Vice President, chair of several PTA committees, and Haddonfield Civic Association Membership and Publicity Chair. I’ve enjoyed volunteering with and getting to know families who share the same passion for maintaining an excellent education system.

In January, the Board of Education appointed me to an open position. Since my appointment, I’ve had time to learn about the wonderful aspects of our district as well as the challenges we face. I believe I’ve proven to be a valuable board member and instrumental in the development of many of the forward-thinking initiatives currently in place.

I believe Haddonfield deserves an excellent school system, and I am proud to say that I am a part of our district. Going forward, I believe it is important to maintain and advance initiatives that meet the needs of all students, while understanding the unique needs of each individual. I will work tirelessly to ensure that all of our schools excel and prepare our children for the 21st century.

With your vote, I will continue to build on the many strengths within our school system while also looking critically at areas that need our attention. I will work diligently to maintain our excellent school system while addressing its needs with fidelity and efficiency.

Name: Linda Baker Hochgertel

Occupation: Chief Technology Officer

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Haddonfield Civic Association, Past President Elizabeth Haddon PTA, Haddonfield Middle School PTA Vice President, Broadway Theater of Pitman Board of Advisors.

I am excited by the opportunity to join the Haddonfield Board of Education and eager to serve a community for which I feel so much passion. I promise to be a strong advocate for our children.

My husband, Bob, and I moved to Haddonfield more than 20 years ago, and quickly realized there was no place we’d rather raise a family and build a future.

In the years that followed, I volunteered for countless PTA events, served as President of the Elizabeth Haddon Parent-Teacher Association, served on the Haddon PAC Committee and as the Parent Representative for the New Teacher Interview Panel. I also served as President of the Citizens for Responsible Investment in our Schools—an organization that helped pass the Haddonfield Bond Referendum to ensure much needed building updates were provided for our children’s safety and well-being. Most recently, I have served on the Haddonfield Civic Association, a group whose mission is to inform, promote and organize civic discussion.

I am a full-time working mom, and have spent more than 25 years in the field of publishing and technology. As Chief Technology Officer for The Wyanoke Group, I am responsible for the long-term technology vision and electronic product strategy, while working collaboratively with stakeholders throughout my organization. I pride myself in possessing a history of strong employee advocacy and team building skills that stretch across the organization.

I believe these same skills and abilities I employ in my career on a daily basis would help me to serve as an effective BOE member:

·        Ability to make decisions that support established goals/objectives; willingness to             compromise to achieve those goals

·        Ability to offer creative, problem-solving solutions

·        Team-player mentality; ability to help guide and promote a shared vision

·        Effective communicator; ability to listen and distill complex thoughts into simple               terms

·        Life-long learner philosophy; desire for continuous personal development and                 ongoing pursuit of knowledge

I am excited by the prospect of helping to shape the direction of our great schools!


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