Board takes pride in service to community

Many people volunteer their time because they believe they can make a difference. Volunteers perform thankless jobs, but it still remains a job. Whether one volunteers as a member of the school board, a soccer coach or a first aid squad (which, incidentally, are in need of volunteers), the level of expectation is the same. You give 100 percent, nothing less. I am writing, not to defend our school board, but rather to inform you as to who we are and what we do.

The current Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education is a diverse group. Some of us have no children, others have children and grandchildren in the elementary level.

We are school teachers, nurses, public administrators/servants and sole proprietors. We give 20 to 30 hours of our time each week. We do not complain. We just do it. Our compensation consists of coffee, bottled water and chocolate chip cookies on Tuesday evenings.

The board’s job is to oversee, without micro-managing, the K-8 Manalapan-Englishtown school district and its $60 million budget.

We review and approve curriculum presented by a group of curriculum supervisors second to none. We support (fiscally) and encourage participation in job fairs that allow us to continue to hire the most qualified teachers, and we have the best.

We have a fiscal obligation to our taxpayers as well. On that, we saved almost $30 million by putting on additions to existing schools rather than build new freestanding structures. By doing that we preserved valuable recreational space for our children’s sports programs.

We have one of the lowest cost per pupil rates in New Jersey while providing a quality education. We observe best practices in other districts and incorporate them into ours.

When things go right, we probably smile in our bathroom mirror. When they do not, such as the current situation with our middle school, we do not hide our heads in the sand.

This board seeks to face any obstacles before us and help remedy the situation at hand. We may not get much praise, but we do not falter when criticized. The blame game comes later.

So now that you know a little of who we are and what we do, I ask that you respect our positions as well as anyone who volunteers their time or services. May I suggest that if you do not know what any volunteer does nor seek to find out their responsibilities, don’t be too quick to rush to judgment.

As for our school board meetings, if you can attend on Tues-day that is great. If you cannot, please read the minutes posted on our Web site. Your involvement in education is important. Finally, please vote in April on the school budget. It is somewhat distressing when only 9 percent of our population votes.

Anthony Manisero



Regional School District

Board of Education