HomeMarlton NewsMeet the candidates: Evesham Township Board of Education

Meet the candidates: Evesham Township Board of Education

Planning on casting your vote for Evesham Township Board of Education on Nov. 5? Get to know your candidates below and vote with confidence.

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Name: Aneesha Kanthan

As a product of our town’s education system, I know the extraordinary impact that our schools can have on our children and their future. It’s that first-hand experience and appreciation for our school system that inspires me to run for the board of education – I want to ensure that our township’s children benefit from our schools just as much as I did.

I have three main points that are the focus of my campaign:

1. Transparency – Our school district needs to communicate its performance and commitment to students and parents better. As a member of the board of education, I would focus on improving how the school district informs parents, taxpayers and families looking to move to our district with a more thorough and understandable presentation of all the great work our school district is doing as well as what we are working to improve.

2. Resources – Our schools currently use a 20th century handbook to solve 21stcentury problems. Students, teachers and administrators need resources that are in line with the world we live in. We should be investing in programs and technology that will deliver efficiencies for our schools and taxpayers alike. We need to reduce the time teachers and administrators spend on activities that take away from their time with students and let them focus on educating and helping our children grow.

3. Advocacy – Recent headlines have highlighted the severe budget cuts our school district is losing from the state. With millions of dollars being lost in just the next few years, we need our board of education members to fight for fair funding. I am committed to partnering with our local elected officials to provide strong and urgent advocacy in Trenton to make sure our students get the funding they deserve and local taxpayers don’t have to bear more of a burden.

I have lived in Marlton my entire life and I know first-hand how amazing our schools are. I know what a large part our teachers and school staff play in raising our children. But we need to emphasize the great work that we do for our children. We need to provide our students, teachers and staff with better resources. And we need to fight for our fair share from the state. I have benefitted so greatly from our schools and it’s my sincere hope that our township’s children do the same.

 

Name: Jeff Lanzilotta
Age: 41
Occupation: Teacher
Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Voorhees Township Education Association Treasurer and Legislative Action Team Chair,  MRC wrestling and soccer coach, Voorhees Middle School wrestling and track coach, Democratic Committee, Jaggard and Rice PTA

Foreseeing the $9 million education state budget cuts for our Evesham Township Schools over the next five years scares me as a teacher, parent and resident. As a teacher for the past 20 years, I understand the difficult job teachers take on to educate all students despite diverse learning styles, lack of resources, time constraints, strict budgets and growing class sizes. Unfortunately, teachers’ as well as administrators’ jobs will only become more taxing once these budget cuts occur.

As a parent of three beautiful children (Drew- third grade, Dani- first grade and Dylan- preschool), I am invested in this educational system that will touch them every day for the next decade. So far, we could not be happier with the school district and it is my intention to keep the healthy mix of core curriculum and other educational programs. While math and reading are vital for success and promotion of higher education, the special education, arts and extracurricular programs help mold students into well-rounded, life-long learners.

Lastly, stabilizing our spot at the top of the South Jersey school charts is very important as a resident. Not only does it give our kids the best chance to grow and thrive in the least restrictive environment, but it also creates young, responsible citizens who will eventually take over as workers, parents and independent members of our Marlton community.

I hope to earn your vote for the Evesham Township Board of Education. My ability to see from the perspective of a teacher, parent and resident separates me from others running for the position. It is tough for me to see men and women who neither have kids nor set foot in a classroom making decisions for our children. My 20-year work experience for a school district can help identify where cuts can be made and what resources are necessary for the growth of all students. This will be very important as we embark on a journey with a new superintendent and huge state budget cuts in the next five years. Let kids grow.

Name: Trish Everhart
Age: 56
Occupation: Preschool Associate
Clubs/Organizations you belong to: ETSD BOE Vice President; member of St. Joan of Arc Parish

I am Trish Everhart. I have resided in Evesham for over 26 years. My husband and I have one daughter, a senior at Skidmore College.

My top priority in running for re-election for the Evesham Township Board of
Education continues to be the children we serve. I am your voice…and my goal is to ensure that all children have the same access to a quality education, while balancing accountability/fiscal responsibility.

The cause for quality education is paramount. To ensure that all children have the same access to the same level of education is what drives my decision to run for re-election for the school board.

Quality education is first and foremost our mission as school board members. It is my goal to continue to build upon the foundation of education excellence that is our district’s mainstay, provided by our highly qualified professional staff and state of the art curriculum.

During my tenure, valuable personnel and technological enhancements have been retained and programs grown, while being sensitive to taxpayer concerns.

Our children are our greatest investment and I will continue to place them first in any decision I make.

I will be prudent when developing the strategies to address some of the important issues facing our district, such as the significant loss of state funding, budgeting and shared services. I will ask the hard questions and seek out solutions. I recognize the need for open lines of communication between the board, the administration and the community. My focus is to continue to work collaboratively, addressing district and state funding challenges. I am your voice.

I possess a strong record of voluntary public service. It is my passion to spend my time in the schools and throughout the community. I take the time to talk to various stakeholders and am proud to represent them as one of nine board members. I bring to the table dedication, confidence, a strong work ethic and the courage and experience to tackle the large issues.

My primary areas of focus in seeking election are:
·     Advocate for educational excellence for all children;
·     Promote accountability/fiscal responsibility; and
·     Foster collaborative community engagement and communication

Together, we can continue to make a positive difference for our children, our district and our community.

Name: Lewis Kipness
Age: 67
Occupation: Retired Director of Contracts
Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority

Twenty-eight years ago, when my new job relocated my young family to South Jersey, we were attracted to Evesham’s affordable real estate and excellent reputation in educational programming. Over the years we watched our children excel in the district, and as young adults both now work in New Jersey with advanced degrees in education.

Education is the foundation of an informed citizen of the community and the backbone of our society. Our schools must support all of our children: students with special needs, gifted and talented students and those that fall in between. I want to see the reputation of Evesham schools continue to provide excellence in education through its staff, administrators and facilities. However, fiscal responsibility will be a true test given the anticipated cut backs in state funding. Together, with the cooperation of all stakeholders, including those in the community and Evesham’s elected leaders, we can ensure continued transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility.

As a school board member in Boonton, several divisive issues facing the district forced me to make difficult decisions. Having dealt with those high-profile issues puts me in a unique position to serve the educational and fiscal needs of the
Evesham School District.

I am eager to share my school board experience to benefit public education, give back to my community and pay it forward.

I am a retired contract management professional and have negotiated multi-million-
dollar contracts in the power and environmental industries. Dealing with government agencies and private companies, each with unique circumstances and requirements, required flexibility and making tough decisions in a timely manner.

This background, including two Corporate President Awards for teamwork, will enable me to work with board members and stakeholders to reach an agreement.

I will have no conflicts of interest and my decisions will be based on what is right for each and every child. I look forward to representing you on the Evesham BOE by asking for your input, listening to your concerns and being respectful of your viewpoint.

I care about education and paying it forward. Please vote for me on Tuesday,
Nov. 5. Thank you.

Name: Dennis Mehigan
Age: 53
Occupation: Chief Administrative Officer and a Certified Legal Administrator for
Pietragallo, Gordon, Alfano, Bosick and Raspanti, LLP. I am also a licensed Certified
Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner practicing in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Pennsylvania Bar Association, American Institute of Certified Fraud Examiners, Association of Legal Administrators, Evesham Township Planning Board, South Jersey men’s softball leagues

The primary responsibility of a school board member is to establish goals for the public schools based upon student educational needs, parent and community aspirations, state and federal standards and district financial resources. It is in the best interest of Evesham Township to have the board members of the Evesham Township Board of Education be a representative cross-section of its residents. A board member needs to act with conviction and cannot be influenced by the agendas of others.

I am running for re-election with a continued focus on improving the quality of the education provided to every student in our school district. I am an advocate of transparency and accountability and I will not accept mediocrity. During my 30-plus years of experience working in a CPA firm, a large corporation, and most recently in a law firm, I have shown my ability to be a leader and to improve the performance of those working within an organization. My focus is to “raise the bar” and to achieve the highest level of success. I will continue to strive for education excellence for all the students of the Evesham Township School District while balancing my fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of Evesham Township.

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