In preparation for Tuesday’s election, Patch asked the four candidates running for three seats on the Franklin Lakes Board of Education to fill out the following “Patch Candidate Profile.”
Below are the answers Patch received from Candidate Kathie Schwartz.
Name: Kathie Schwartz
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Hawthorne, NJ
Please tell us a little bit about your education and profession.
I have a BA in Accounting from Rutgers and an MBA in Finance from NYU. Prior to becoming a stay at home mother in 2002, I spent thirteen years in the banking and finance industry, most recently as a Managing Director with Deutsche Bank’s global Private Client and Asset Management group. Since 2002, in addition to my focus on raising my children, I have been active in the community with the Franklin Lakes Newcomers and Neighbors Club (held various Executive Board positions including President and Treasurer), PTAs, Meals on Wheels, Valley Hospital Auxiliary, Oasis and Children’s Aid and Family Services. I was also a member of the Board of Education from 2008-2012, Board President from 2010-2012, and Vice President and Finance Committee chair in 2009-2010.
How long have you lived in Franklin Lakes? 15 years
Why are you running for a seat on the Board of Education?
I’m running for a seat on the Board again because I think Franklin Lakes deserves to be a top tier and model school district. I want to bring experience back to the board table and work with the board to direct its focus on setting the vision for our schools, hiring strong leadership, and making decisions that are strategic, well-thought out and transparent.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
I feel I am the best candidate for the job because of my previous board experience and my deep understanding of the issues facing public education and our district. I am familiar with all of the financial, operational and academic challenges the board is facing and can bring that knowledge to be a productive board member from day one. I have experience in school personnel and contract negotiations for multiples administrator and teacher contracts, I have served on the Board’s committees for Curriculum, Finance, Operations, Community Relations, Policy and Legislative. In addition I’ve participated in multiple district-wide committees such as the Homework Committee, Efficiency Committee, and several administrator search committees. There is a substantive learning curve for new trustees, and given that our overall board is quite new, I feel my experience and depth of knowledge can be an asset. In addition to my board experience, I am a good listener, and a rational, critical and independent thinker who is able to work collaboratively with others to come to consensus and make decisions that will be best for our district and our community.
What do you feel are some of the most important issues the district is facing?
Education reform mandates are handing down many new challenges for public schools. New curriculum standards require us to raise the bar for all students, as we seek to not only meet but exceed these standards in Franklin Lakes. NJ tenure reform has changed the way teachers will be reviewed and evaluated for the first time in 100 years. These changes are significant, and require us to invest in revision, training, realignment of technology and resources in the way we do business.
The specific challenge this year will be to meet the challenges brought on by these mandates, while transitioning our administrative structure and searching for a new superintendent. Our district has been operating with a lot of change, and I will bring an experienced voice that is already familiar with the district, budget, curriculum, strengths and weaknesses, who already understands what needs to be done and can step right in and continue the work.
Do you have an election website and/or Facebook page?
To see profiles of the other three candidates, click here.