I probably have not spent my early adult years like most millennials. At 18, I ran for public office for the first time, and was elected to county committee, a position I still hold 14 years later. At 25, I ran to become a member of the Hoboken Board of Education, winning and becoming the youngest member ever to be elected to the board.
Six and a half years volunteering for any unpaid position can be a stressful/tedious endeavor, only if you don’t love what you are doing. I absolutely loved every minute being a Hoboken Board of Education trustee and although it sometimes (okay, most times) caused more stress than my full time job, it was all worth it. I have had to work with many superintendents during my tenure. I can say with great ease, leaving this board, that I feel very comfortable with Dr. Johnson at the helm. I know that she appreciated my constant questions at meetings. I was always dissecting items on our agenda, and her thorough responses not only satisfied my questions, but they communicated to the public how the Hoboken Schools are being run. This is how a relationship between a board member and superintendent should be, honest, mutually respectful and mindful at all times that we are answerable to the people of this community.
Six years on the Hoboken Board of Education: consistently voting against tax increases, updating the public on the unsightly scaffolding at Brandt school, ensuring that we lowered legal costs, spearheading the new turf at the High School and being instrumental in hiring one of the best superintendents in the state. But reflecting on my time, I feel I have best represented the concerns of the broad range of people in our community by asking the tough and thoughtful questions.
I have heard many times during my years on the board: being a board member is the most thankless job anyone could have. This is why I think it’s very important we recognize all of those who are currently serving and have served on the board. We all volunteer our time, time that could be spent with our families or loved ones but we served because we are all passionate about our beliefs. I also know that I can leave with my head held high. The amount of support I have received the last few weeks is humbling and appreciated.
The Hoboken Board of Education is filled with great teachers, administrators and staff members, always a bragging point of mine while attending New Jersey School Board Association meetings. Their time, dedication and commitment given should be commended. With hard work, determination and perseverance, even a deli-boy could have made so many impactful decisions benefitting our community. I feel as if my service to community is not over but needs a much needed break. When one door closes, another opens.
Hoboken Board of Education Trustee
County Committee Person Ward 2, District 1