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 Ralph Valvano.
Name: Ralph R. Valvano
Where did you grow up? Please tell us a little bit about your education and profession.
I grew up in Franklin Lakes, NJ. I graduated from the following Franklin Lakes Schools:
- Woodside Avenue School
- Franklin Ave Middle School (“FAMS”)
- Ramapo High School
BS in Accounting from William Patterson University
MS in Taxation from Fairleigh Dickinson University
I am a Certified Public Accountant and the Chief Financial Officer of Flowers National Bank
How long have you lived in Franklin Lakes?
Approximately 39 years
Why are you running for a seat on the Board of Education?
Because I expect my daughter who started kindergarten this year, to have the same level of education that I did growing up in Franklin Lakes. I am not sure that this will happen given what I have seen occurring over the past few years at the BOE meetings. I see so much anger, crying, antagonistic behavior and disrespect, that I can no long standby and just complain. I want to do something about this. I think we can all agree that we want the best education for our children. We want them to be competitive, to get into college and into a very difficult job market (which I can tell you first hand is very hard right now and most likely will get harder). However, getting to that goal will not happen in the current environment.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
I have worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, JPMorgan Chase, I am a CPA, have been responsible for $500 billion budgets, but that alone, would be short of the truth. The real reason is because I do not accept what has been happening for the past few years in our school system. It is a disgrace, regardless of “what side” a person is on. It is time to heal and do what is right for the entire community. There is no room for “sides” in our town. We will all prosper or fail together.
What do you feel are some of the most important issues the district is facing?
We do not have a leader. Our first order of business should be to find a permanent superintendent that will lead. This is a very dynamic position that will require a skill set that can bring our teachers, principals, parents, the board and other administrators together. Right now, we do not have this. I would invite our voters to go and listen to a podcast on the web of the last few BOE meetings. The podcasts tell the story very clearly.
To see profiles of the other three candidates, click here.