Meet the Candidates: Haddonfield Board of Education

Leading up to the 2020 election, The Haddonfield Sun is running a Meet the Candidates series. Featured below, candidates running in the 2020 election for Haddonfield Board of Education provide some background on who they are and why they’ve chosen to run.

Name: Lynn Howard Hoag

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom, lawyer (not currently practicing)

Clubs/Organizations: Board of Education Policy Committee Chair; Board of Education Communications Committee Member; Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, actively involved in elections work.

The strength of our community is dependent on the success and well being of our children. I interviewed for an open seat on the Board of Education last fall. With my background in law and advocacy, and as the mother of three, I felt I could positively contribute to the community I love, and work to ensure that every child has his or her own success story. I was appointed to the board last November, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.

My husband and I moved here in 2007. We were drawn to the strong sense of community, the excellence of its schools, and the proximity of my parents who have been residents since 2001. We have three children who have benefitted from the school system: our oldest graduated from HMHS in June, our middle child is now a freshman there, and our youngest is a fifth grader at Elizabeth Haddon.

I believe every child should be nurtured, inspired, and empowered to live up to his or her potential, and I have worked diligently to ensure that was true. I am grateful for the strong leadership of our administration, the collaborative nature of our current board, the dedication and flexibility of our teachers and staff, and the support of the community.

I pledge to work to the best of my ability to help the district achieve its strategic goals: social and emotional learning, cultural responsiveness, and contemporary learning, all of which are important in these times.

Name: Heather Paoli

Occupation: Banker

Clubs/Organizations: Haddonfield Board of Education, Camden County Educational Services Board member, alumni associations for Wharton School of Business, St. Joseph’s University, Fulbright Scholar Association; Christ the King church member; Girl Scout Troop leader, soccer coach, Haddonfield Junior Women’s League and Royal Tea chair, Newcomers Club, Tatem PTA, band parent, cheer team parent.

I am a Haddonfield Board of Education incumbent with 10 years of experience, running for reelection because I love our community and schools, and volunteer service is the surest way to make a difference.

I have lived in Haddonfield for almost 20 years with my husband Jim, daughter Colette (HMHS sophomore) and son, Connor (eighth grader HMS). Thank you to everyone in our community for contributing their ideas, thoughts and concerns regarding a safe return to school, and then supporting the safe reopening with adherence to the new protocols. This is a trying time, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s input and support.

As a BOE member and re-election candidate, my immediate and ever-evolving primary priority is ensuring that our students get the best education possible safely. That goal takes precedence over everything else during this pandemic; however, it is important to not lose sight of other objectives that must continue to progress: academic excellence, cultural competence, school safety and security, and managing our facilities and long-term plan given the changing face of education with remote learning possibilities. Additionally, a core value of mine is ensuring that the BOE thoughtfully and genuinely listens to the community and that the community has input into school decisions.

If you would like to share your thoughts, always feel free to email me at: paoli4boe@gmail.com. I would enjoy speaking with you. I’ve donated my time and energy in many ways. With your support, I hope to continue to serve.

Name: Tom Vecchio

Occupation: Attorney

Clubs/Organizations: Board representative to Haddonfield Educational Trust, former Chair/Member of Haddonfield Environmental Commission, former coach for Haddonfield Soccer Club.

In 2017, I asked the residents to help me raise the bar higher. You responded, and in that time, we chose new district leaders, finalized our strategic plan, overhauled policies, and implemented structural changes to enable student success and growth. During my first term, I chaired the policy committee, served on the curriculum and finance and facilities committee, and was a board representative on the strategic planning committee. I currently chair the board’s negotiations committee and worked diligently with the Haddonfield Education Association on reaching an agreement on a one-year contract extension. In the new year, we will continue these efforts to reach a longer term deal.

While continuing to support the district in its efforts to educate in a hybrid and virtual environment, we must focus on getting our children and teachers back into the classrooms safely. Mr. Klaus, the administration, teachers, students, and the community have been incredible in this regard and our primary goal as a board will be to continue to support these efforts. Concurrently, we must support the district’s goal to modernize our curriculum, drive student achievement, prioritize cultural responsiveness, and be ever mindful of our students’ collective and individual social and emotional well-being.

In that way, we will ensure that the picture of a Haddonfield graduate is one of a well-rounded contributor to our society. I look forward to meeting these challenges and thank the community for their participation and support.