HomeWashington Twp. NewsBoard of education: Seven vie for three seats

Board of education: Seven vie for three seats

Seven candidates, including two incumbents, are running for the three, three-year-term open seats on the board of education in the Nov. 7 election.

Incumbent Ralph Ross Sr. and candidates Jim McKeever and Daniel Woodington had not returned the Sun’s election questionnaire before press time.

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Name: Scott Laliberte

Age: 51

How many years have you lived in Washington Township? 24 years

Married? Children? Grandchildren? Married with three children – 21, 19, 15

School and degree: Bachelor’s degree in math and computer science, United States Coast Guard Academy, MBA (master’s in business administration), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Profession: Managing Director – Global Leader of Emerging Technology – Protiviti Inc.

Elected Office: I ran for the one-year term in November 2022.  I also filled an open seat for six months in 2022 when a board member resigned.

Community involvement: I have been and continue to be highly involved in the Washington Township community.  I have been coaching youth sports (both boys and girls leagues) in town since 2007 often coaching two to three sports per year including softball, soccer, basketball, and track and field. I am also very active with the Alzheimer’s Association serving as team captain for Team Mission for Margie for the last 25 years raising over half a million dollars during that time. I also serve as the President of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA).

Why are you running for an elected seat?

I see the need for pragmatic, level-headed, unconflicted, concerned citizens to serve on the board of education.  During the pandemic, I became concerned about the learning loss with our students. I began attending board of education meetings and saw a lack of trust from the community, scandals with board members and quite a bit of dysfunction. I have always been a person who believes that rather than complain about a problem, get involved and try to fix it. I believe I bring a practical approach to the BOE, trying to understand the issues and looking for reasonable solutions.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

I believe we have made great progress in the area of school safety over the last year by working with our local officials to get a police officer in every school building. While student safety always remains a top priority, I believe the main focus now has to be improving student achievement for all students. We need to identify new, innovative approaches to combat the learning loss that occurred during the pandemic and put our students back on the road to academic success.  We need to prepare them for success after graduation whether that be college, trades, or service.

Name: Thomas Baldosaro

Age: 54

How many years have you lived in Washington Township? 54

Married? Children? Grandchildren? I have been married to my wife Colleen for 23 years; we have one child, Christina, 17, a senior at Washington Township High School.

School and degree: I went to Stockton State College (now Stockton University) and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Profession: I’ve spent my entire career in the healthcare field, with 30 years spent working for hospitals in South Jersey – I’ve been a chief financial officer for the past nine years

Elected Office: First time running for elected office.

Community involvement: As a life-long resident, I’ve always been involved in the community. I spent 10 years coaching various sports (softball, soccer, basketball and tennis); Participated in many school activities as a parent (hoagie sale and other school events, played role of teacher for many Junior Achievement days) and in my role in healthcare (i.e. during the pandemic, I helped bring a vaccine event to the high school which enabled seniors to go on their senior trip; guest speaker in accounting classes).

Why are you running for an elected seat?

Our schools are currently in a period of transition. With a new superintendent and many new board members, I am confident that I have a skill set that would be helpful to our district.  A school is a business and needs to run effectively and efficiently. I would focus on accountability, engagement, and success. I look forward to working collaboratively with all leaders, to assure the following: transparency; setting of goals that are measurable, planning and forward-thinking when it comes to financial matters. It’s important to have diverse skills on a board and I look forward to helping.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

As previously mentioned, I believe in having diverse skill sets on boards.  In the hospital setting, we can assure this diversification as we choose our board members. Since this is an elected position, it is up to the public to see the importance.  I would focus on areas where I have expertise, the financial world.  I would assure you that proper financial planning is done for projects and strategic initiatives.  I would ask the leadership team to look forward and anticipate financial challenges. You must look ahead to appropriately plan for today.

Name: Patricia Blome

Age: 69

How many years have you lived in Washington Township? 45

Family: Married for 45 years to Charles. Four children, all graduates of Washington Township schools. Three of the four reside in Washington Township. Nine grandchildren, seven of whom are, have or will be students in the Washington Township Public Schools.

School and degree: Graduated from Elizabethtown College with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education.

Profession: Retired in 2018 from the Washington Township School District. I taught mainly kindergarten in the district for 40 years.

Elected Office: This is the first time I have run for the school board.

Community involvement: Involved in various cat rescues including Purrfect Angels and Furrever Friends. Member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, which is a philanthropic organization made up of woman educators who provide educational goals/support for women educators via scholarships, supplies, and programs sponsored by Delta Kappa Gamma.

Why are you running for a seat on the board of education?

I am running for a position on the board of education because education has been important to me for well over 40 years. Two of my four children are teachers. I continue to learn about the needs of our schools and our students from conversations with them as well as friends that I have in the education field. I continue to spend time thinking about, reading about, and learning about current trends in education. I also have personal views about what “best” practices actually work for our students. If I am elected, you will not hear me using popular words like “transparency” in discussions. I will be listening, researching, learning, sharing ideas, and trying to represent our students, staff members, parents, and citizens of Washington Township. I will actively model what “transparency” looks like in a board member.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

Thinking about just one area is difficult. There are so many areas that impact our schools and our tax dollars. A few years ago, our district initiated a “Welcome Home” program in order to educate as many of our students as possible at our home schools instead of sending them to schools outside of our district. The goal of this initiative is to educate our own students right here and to save the district the staggering cost of sending a student out of the district to be educated. It is an honorable goal. I would like to help the district find ways of making these classrooms the best placement for the students who attend special education programs throughout our district. I believe there are some changes that we need to consider in order to truly make this happen for our students.

Name: Bonnie Marano

Age: 40

How many years have you lived in Washington Township? 11

Married? Children? Grandchildren? Married with one child in sixth grade

School and degree: Master’s in professional school counseling from The University of Pennsylvania and Richard Stockton University, bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Profession: I currently own a software consulting company with my husband, but I am also a former school counselor and homeschooled my child until this year.

Elected Office: First time running for an elected seat.

Community involvement: My involvement in the community has primarily revolved around supporting and organizing activities within the homeschooling community in South Jersey for the past seven years. During this time, I volunteered to coordinate numerous events, trips, classes, and activities, aiming to enrich the educational experiences of homeschooling families. Now that my child has transitioned into the local school district, I’m eager to broaden my community involvement and explore new opportunities to contribute and make a positive impact within our local area.

Why are you running for an elected seat?

As an educator raised by educators, I am committed to improving educational quality. With a background spanning public schools, community colleges, state universities, and a MSEd from the nation’s top-ranked Graduate School of Education, I bring a breadth of relevant experience. Additionally, my work in Career and Tech Education and homeschooling both showed me the value of personalized and alternative pathways to success. Furthermore, as a business owner, I grasp the importance of maintaining fiscal responsibility while meeting organizational goals and being accountable to all stakeholders. I aim to leverage this diverse background to help improve our district.

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

Through forging partnerships with administration and fostering collaboration among all invested parties, I will focus on enhancing the quality of education within our district. Elevating our standards and curricula, as well as doing what is necessary to attract and retain the best educators to uphold these standards, is crucial to our district’s success. By emphasizing excellence in education, we ensure our students receive the highest-quality learning experiences. This empowers them with the skills and knowledge required to thrive and make significant contributions to society. By working together toward these common goals, we can shape a brighter future for our community.


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