Letters-March 11, 2004

Casino Night

was success
To the editor:
   Thanks to the many supporters of the Delaware Township Community Education Foundation’s first Casino Night Feb. 28.
   In addition to raising funds for the Delaware Township School, all who attended enjoyed delicious food and the company of friends and neighbors. Our local celebrity dealers Liz Calamito, Barry Starkman and Fred Strackhouse added a touch of excitement in the games.
   We’d like to thank Hanisch Associates Inc., Russ Poles of N.T. Calloway Real Estate and the Colalillo family for sponsoring the event.
   Thanks to the following prize sponsors: Bello family, Delaware Township School PTA, Tara Oberg, Mercolino Evans family, Rowland family, Richard E. Yard Plumbing and Heating, John P. Martin Excavating Service, Barna Building Contractors, Sergeantsville Grain and Feed, JWS computers and the Woods family.
   Thanks to the Sergeantsville Fire Company for its help with the event.
   A special thanks to all of the volunteers who put together this event: chairpersons Jeannie Colalillo and Beth Deene and committee members Roz Dunn, Scott Falk, Mary Lyons, Suzanne Perron, Donna Rowland, Pam Sailor and Elise Smith.
   Casino Night proceeds will help fund after-school and community enrichment programs, an annual science fair, library books, in school art, technology and teacher mini-grants.

Jane Roosa
Delaware Township Community
Education Foundation trustees

Teacher dedicated

to production
To the editor:
   In the last issue of The Beacon, I wrote a letter to the editor, which expressed my opinion that Dolores Dragan deserves considerable appreciation for her fine work in the Lambertville Public School’s production of "String of Pearls."
   Unfortunately, due to my lack of awareness, I failed to mention the equal dedication that Karen Pagan has brought to the "String of Pearls" performances since its inception. Indeed, Mrs. Pagan and Mrs. Dragan together deserve recognition for their devotion to their students in these wonderful productions.
   I hope I have shed some much-needed light on the people who bring us this wonderful black-light theater.

Jim Mastrich

Candidate experienced

in chief search
To the editor:
   If you were unable to attend any of the recent public input sessions sponsored by the South Hunterdon Regional High School Board to assist them in their search for a new superintendent, I would encourage you to consider participating in any future community forums the board may hold.
   Recruiting, securing and retaining an effective chief administrator is one of the most critical tasks a school board will take on, and your input to the requirements and expectations is key to their success. I believe the board is making every effort to include residents, parents, students and teachers in this challenging process.
   The board has enlisted the New Jersey School Board Association to facilitate this search as did the West Amwell Elementary School Board two years ago. This can be a long process as was the case at West Amwell if a board wants to maintain focus and persevere seeking the right candidate.
   Along with fellow board members at West Amwell, I spent long hours and countless evenings over the course of a year, incorporating input from the public, parents and staff to define the profile of the "perfect" superintendent, poring through resumes, participating in numerous interviews, developing and negotiating a contract and, ultimately, selecting a candidate who met our community’s needs and expectations.
   And now for the advertisement portion of this letter. In order for South to locate and retain a viable candidate, it seems reasonable to expect a similar effort will be required.
   As a candidate for the West Amwell seat on the South board, I would look forward to working with other board members in the superintendent search effort. I believe my experience at West Amwell and my understanding of a successful search process has prepared me to be of help to the South board as they select the next administrator.
   There are many other challenges for South that parallel what we have experienced at West Amwell, such as budgets, facility improvements, curriculum enhancements, staff development, community relations and, in just a couple of years, teacher contract negotiations.
   Like other middle and high school parents, I want to ensure South is providing effective and efficient education for our children. As a taxpayer, I share the same concerns of my neighbors regarding cost containment and minimizing tax impact, not just for myself, but also for all residents.
   In the coming weeks, I will speak more about these challenges in the hopes of providing additional background on my experience as a board member. Hopefully, as a voter, you’ll find this information of value to assist you in making an informed decision about who would best represent West Amwell on the South board.

Dave Beaumont
West Amwell

Former member

is candidate
To the editor:
   I would like to introduce myself as a candidate for the Lambertville Board of Education.
   I am a former fifth-grade teacher in the Flemington-Raritan school district and served on the Board of Education in Frenchtown.
   My husband, Peter Mehltretter, and I have one child in the Lambertville Public School and next year will have two.
   I know firsthand the challenges faced by small school districts such as ours. The current school board has done an excellent job balancing the needs of the school with the needs of the community.
   As a board member, I will strive to make every penny of the budget count while pursuing additional funding through alternate means. In addition, I believe a superior education for every child begins with a highly qualified staff. I will ensure Lambertville’s already excellent teachers receive the professional development they need as we face ever increasing state and federal educational mandates.
   My time with the Frenchtown Board of Education combined with my extensive education background would make me an excellent asset to the Lambertville Board of Education. I have over 10 years of teaching experience in rural, suburban and inner city schools and am currently a professional development provider for New Jersey schools.
   In Frenchtown, I helped implement full-day kindergarten as well as oversee facility upgrades and a revamped curriculum.
   As I drop off and pick up my son at school each day, I am struck by the professionalism of the staff and the joy of the children. If I am elected to the board, I will do my best to maintain the current quality of instruction at Lambertville Public School while helping our school district meet upcoming educational and budgeting challenges.
   Providing for two-way communication is an essential aspect of a school board. I would look forward to your input so together we can prepare our children for their future.
   Please take the time to vote for your school board members April 20.

Alantha Carter

Township resident

seeking election
To the editor:
*nbsp;  My name is Ken Sullivan.
   I have solicited the signatures necessary to be placed on the ballot for the 2004 West Amwell Township School board election.
   As a candidate, I would like to reach out to the community at large to provide a vehicle and a venue to/for those residents who want to better understand my views on the education process as well as the skill sets that I would bring to the table as an elected official of the community.
   I invite you to visit my Web site at www.4-the-kids.com.
   Of paramount importance to my wife and I is the education of our children. I presently have three children in attendance at West Amwell Elementary school, and in two years, I will have all four children attending West Amwell Elementary.
   Through the auspices of the electronic medium (Web site), I have provided the following information for consideration: a background/bio sheet; a listing of competencies/skills sets, which would be of value to advancing the good works already in existence at the school; a brief listing of my viewpoints and positions on the education process in the community; access to voter registration forms; and access to e-mail to address questions and/or to arrange for speaking engagements/roundtables prior to the election.
   While new to the West Amwell community (two years), you will see from my background that I have always made an effort to contribute to the well being of the community in which the Sullivan clan puts down its stakes. I have been active in local church activities and sports and recreational programs.
   In addition, during my residency in West Amwell , I have held a golf fund-raiser, which raised $2,500 for the school. I have assisted in the development and fulfillment processes associated with the recent survey/questionnaire project aimed at supporting the current board’s strategic planning processes and have begun work on behalf of the school to research and seek grants from public and private sources as an alternative to tax increases as the primary methodology of increasing the school’s revenue base.
   I invite you to take a few minutes out of your busy schedules to navigate your way around the site.
   I invite you to reach out to me by phone or through e-mail.
   I will be more than willing to come have roundtable sessions with groups of neighbors that would like to both share their views and hear my positions and proposed action plans prior to making a decision in April — my home or yours.
   I want for this to be an educated vote and not purely an emotional one. I would be deeply grateful if you would consider voting for me in the upcoming election.
   For those that need to register for the school board election, registration forms are due to the county by March 20 and should be mailed to county election officials by March 15. These forms can be found on my Web site.
   Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration.

Ken Sullivan
West Amwell