Editor's Note: Each of the nine candidates running for a seat on the township Board of Education responded to a questionnaire sent by Brick Patch. Their answers to our questions – plus one personal statement – will be published on our site verbatim. Two candidate profiles per day, in alphabetical order according to last name, will appear this week 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: Konstantine Goulas
Current Age: 18
Occupation: Student at BTHS
Are you employed by a public school district?: No
Highest Level of Education Achieved (optional: include degree/institution) :
High school, pending graduation.
Have you ever previously held an elected office in Brick or elsewhere?
No, but I am involved in student government.
Where do you stand on balancing Brick’s resources between academics and sports programs? Given a tight budgetary environment, where would your priorities lie in this regard?
There has to be a balance, more weighted toward academics. Sports are important and do need to be included in the overall experience. We must try to produce well rounded students and sports along with academics is part of the formula. Strong bodies produce strong minds.
How would you seek to bolster the academic experience of students with the goal of adequately preparing them for college? What specific types of programs and initiatives would you like to see put in place to make Brick the most academically challenging district it could be?
We do not necessarily need to reinvent the wheel, we should look to open a dialog with other schools that are having a high rate of success in sending students to good four year colleges and universities. We need more AP classes, more technology classes, we need a twenty first century curriculum that meets the challenges of a twenty first century workplace.
How should the board deal with public participation at board meetings? Also, briefly describe your views on how the Board of Education can achieve the most transparent relationship possible with the community, and specific policies you would propose that would help meet this goal.
A question and answer period at board meetings. Meaningful Q and A where the board is willing to act on suggestions the public makes. They should also have an extra BOE meeting a month dedicated to just answering questions the public has. We also, need to look into something with social networking to keep the public informed.
Capital projects – including repairs to aging school buildings – have long been a concern of many Brick residents. What improvements should be prioritized and what would be your strategy in mapping out a potential referendum to be presented to voters?
First, cleanliness should be Number 1. Regular maintenance of the buildings is needed. We must be conscious about energy efficiency, saving the taxpayers’ money by replacing windows on the older buildings, and replacing old inefficient boilers. A building will last, if we keep the maintenance up. Making sure the windows do their jobs, making sure there is heat, and having a good roof are three things the district should keep high on their list.
Going to a four day school week is a possibility. It is definitely something to be studied, and tested but should be put on the table. Going from 7AM to 4PM, on four days, schools that have adopted the four day school week are saving lots of money on energy costs, transportation costs, and cafeteria/food costs. On the day where we have parents needing daycare, we could open one school and have it act as a daycare location. We can charge for daycare services, bringing in an alternative revenue stream other than taxation. This would be similar to the PAL program but on a larger scale. The day off could give more students time needed to become more involved in the community.
In 250 words or less, please describe why you are seeking election or re-election to the board, and why you are qualified to represent the interests of the taxpayers and the students in such a position.
First, I feel because as a soon to be graduate, I offer a unique perspective and personal insight. After going through the district from K-12, my insights are fresh. I am aware of all areas that need improvement. I see it how it actually is, as I live it daily. I do not get escorted through the school as they want me to see it. I see the good, bad, and ugly. We need to chart a positive, productive course for the students of the Brick Township school district.