Editor's Note: Each of the 11 candidates running for a seat on the township's Board of Education responded to a questionnaire sent by Brick Patch. Their answers to our questions will be published on our site verbatim. Candidate profiles, in alphabetical order according to last name, will appear through Friday until all have been published. We have disabled comments on profile articles to ensure the candidates' statements speak for themselves and readers can decide, without additional, anonymous commentary, their view on those running for office.
Full Name: Lois Turner
Current Age : 55
Current Occupation: Client Accounts Analyst
Highest Level of Education Achieved (optional: include degree/institution)
B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and Management from Montclair State University
Are you employed by a public school district?
Have you ever previously held an elected office in Brick or elsewhere?
Question 1: The issue of school district facilities is frequently on the minds on Brick residents. Please describe your specific priorities in terms of where tax dollars and capital funding should be directed for facilities projects. Do you favor looking into the possibility of holding a referendum for a future capital outlay?
I feel that we should continue to address school facilities’ improvements on a safety first basis. I also feel that we should not seek to burden the taxpayers with a referendum during this difficult economic time.
Question 2: Some members of the community have voiced concern over the rigor of the district’s academic program, as well as the availability of honors and advanced placement courses at the high school level. What specific policy steps do you feel the district should be taking to ensure students receive a rigorous and competitive college preparatory education in our public school system?
In order to be competitive we need make available to our students all the tools necessary to succeed at the next level. Our selection of AP courses needs to be enhanced and also we need to reconfigure the amount of time required to complete the course within the current 4x4 block schedule. With the course being full year, as it is now, our students are at a distinct disadvantage compared to students in surrounding districts and severely limited with the amount of AP courses they could take in any given year.
Question 3: Full day kindergarten is becoming more common in public school districts, and there is the possibility that the state could mandate its availability in the coming years. Describe your support for, or opposition to, such a program in Brick. If it becomes a mandate, what approach would you take towards implementing a cost effective full-day kindergarten program for the Brick district?
With so many families having two working parents, most children are in some form of school or daycare for the whole day already. If they were able to stay at their school for the full day as opposed to just morning or afternoon, they would benefit from continuity of instruction in a structured nurturing environment. We need to start now exploring how to best accomplish this before it becomes a mandate. I would suggest looking at the capacity available within every elementary school as well as the PLC and then make decisions based on that information.
Question 4: It is no secret that New Jersey – specifically, its suburban communities – has the nation’s highest property taxes. What specific ideas do you have to generate revenue or realize savings in order to stabilize the tax rate, while maintaining a proper scholastic program for students?
We need to make our district attractive to tuition paying out of district students. One way of attracting those students is to establish “Academies” within our high schools. These specialized learning communities would have a twofold benefit to the district. Our own students would benefit from the enhanced learning experience and the out of district students would bring in revenue.