Meet the Candidates: Haddonfield BOE 2015

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We invited school board candidates from each of our coverage areas to submit short biographies of themselves to inform voters ahead of Tuesday’s elections.

By Matt Skoufalos

Tuesday is Election Day, and Haddonfield, like many towns in the area, has a contested school board election, with five candidates running for three positions. We put out an open invite to everyone on the ballot to share a little about themselves with voters.**

Here’s how they responded.

Joshua Drew

Joshua Drew

Joshua Drew (challenger)

Ten-year Haddonfield resident Joshua Drew is a husband and father of three elementary-school children. A corporate attorney and former federal prosecutor, Drew has served for four years on the Haddonfield Zoning Board, coached youth soccer and basketball, and volunteers with the Central School PTA.

Philosophy of education:

“I believe education must provide children with a foundation of knowledge, and also give them the tools to think critically and continue to learn, so that they are prepared to succeed in college, or in whatever path they choose.”

Why would you like to serve on the school board?

“I am committed to making our schools as good as they can possibly be, and I believe with my skills and experience, I can make a significant positive contribution to the school board and the quality of education that the children of Haddonfield receive.

“If elected, one of my main goals will be to make sure the Board continues to perform its duties and make decisions with transparency, responsiveness, and accountability. Through my professional experience, I have extensive project management expertise, and have managed multi-million dollar budgets. I know how to balance competing interests and make difficult decisions. In particular, I have learned the value of listening and getting input from all stakeholders, and understand that this is one of the keys to sound decision-making.” 

What are the biggest challenges for Haddonfield schools?

“The greatest challenge facing the Board is the need to repair and update the physical plant and infrastructure of the school buildings. This resource-intensive process cannot be postponed, and will require ongoing oversight from the Board. There is widespread acknowledgement that we must maintain the schools and provide a safe, secure, functional learning environment. I agree with the sentiment expressed by many, including some current Board members, that, going forward, the Board must improve its facilities inspection and planning, including by developing comprehensive policies to address maintenance issues.”

What are the biggest strengths of Haddonfield schools?

“The district’s greatest strength is the people who make up the school community, from the teachers, administrators and other staff, to the parents and extended families of the kids in the schools, to all the other residents of the borough. We have incredible talent, dedication, energy, and enthusiasm across all these groups. When these resources are engaged, aligned, and working together, they constitute an unbeatable combination that is the main reason Haddonfield schools are as great as they are, and a source of continuing pride for all of us.”

Adam Sangillo

Adam Sangillo

Adam Sangillo (challenger)

Adam Sangillo and his wife Jenn are relatively new to Haddonfield, but with middle- and elementary-schoolers Caroline, Holly, Hadley, and Bennett, attending Haddonfield Middle School and Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School, the family is building many friendships in the borough.

Sangillo is a First Vice-President with Janney Montgomery Scott, a Rotarian, treasurer of the Haddonfield Civic Association, and coach of a youth travel soccer team. 

He has never held public office.

Philosophy of education:
“I believe education is a collaborative effort among students, teachers, parents, and administrators in an effort to foster a love of learning and achieve the student’s fullest potential.”

Why would you like to serve on the school board? 

“I have a sense of duty and the desire to continue to build on a legacy of excellence. I would like to bring my financial background and communication skills to unify our community around our common goals. Clarity of information, fiscal responsibility and long-term planning are essential to finding the best path forward and I welcome the opportunity to be a part of that process.”

What are the biggest challenges for Haddonfield schools? 

“Our focus right now is centered on the condition of our buildings and the need for repair. The current BOE is working on a bond referendum, which is sure to bring about lively discussion, and we should use that discussion to help us develop a plan for the future.

“We have a very intelligent, knowledgeable and engaged citizenry and as we face the many conversations about the decisions ahead, it is important that consensus is built in the decision-making process and that disagreements are articulated thoughtfully and politely.”

What are the biggest strengths of Haddonfield schools?

“A deep sense of community involvement in our schools fosters and encourages our students, teachers, parents, and administrators to do their best in all activities, be they academic or extracurricular.”

Other Balloted Candidates

Also appearing on the ballot Tuesday are incumbent Susan Kutner and challengers Joseph Evangelisti and Glenn R. George.

Links

**Editor’s Note: Candidates who did not respond to our request for information may opt to e-mail their answers to our prompts and a photograph as late as 9 a.m. Monday, November 2. We will not update these profiles beyond that time.

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