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 : Walter Campbell
Current Age : 70
Current Occupation: Retired. (Previously, high school teacher.)
Are you employed by a public school district?
Highest Level of Education Achieved (optional: include degree/institution) :
Graduated Glassboro State College, Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences (double major),
Teaching Certification in Grades 7 – 12.
Graduate coursework at Rutgers University, Trenton State College, and Seton Hall University.
Have you ever previously held an elected office in Brick or elsewhere?
Currently an appointed member of the Brick Township Board of Education.
Previously served as an elected member of the Point Pleasant Boro Board of Education, 1983-1986
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 an important priority is to improve the heating and cooling efficiency and costs at our buildings. A very interesting option I would like to explore is fan-powered flat-plate energy recovery modules. These units are used in individual classrooms and provide heating and air- conditioning, as well as dehumidifying and ventilation. This eliminates the need for very costly new boilers and chillers, and may even be able to be partially funded through energy grants. In addition to the safety improvements that are already underway like emergency lighting, exit signs, entryway improvements, and exterior doors, I would prioritize the rest of the roof replacements in the district.
At no time in the near future can this town endure a referendum.
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?
It is important that our college prep students become better prepared by having four-year math and science requirements in high school. Also, the expansion of the one-on-one laptop program, initiated by the current board, needs to be further expanded. Smaller learning communities (academies), which focus on specific disciplines in greater depth, will also provide our students with rigor and opportunity. We are moving towards increased professional development for our staff, which will further improve classroom instruction.
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?
I strongly support full-day kindergarten because the increased instruction time is an advantage to the students. Social development is also enhanced by full day kindergarten. The PLC should have the physical capacity to house a full-day kindergarten program. To pay for the additional staff that would be required we would have to reallocate some of the funds in the existing budget, without taking away from current student programs.
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?
Public advertising on school buses and athletic fields, shared services with the township, Energy Savings Improvement Programs (ESIPs), and the scheduling of outside events at the newly refurbished gymnasium, track, and auditorium at Brick Memorial High School are all potential sources of revenue that can financially provide our students with necessary programs and facilities upgrades.