Henry, an incumbent, responds to our candidate survey prompts.
By Matt Skoufalos
As we reported in August, the Collingswood Board of Education will have an open position on its ballot at the polls this November. Incumbents Madalyn Deets and Fiona Henry will seek re-election, but board vice-president Joan Smith is retiring, leaving available three seats for which only two candidates have filed.
Although most of the campaigning has been happening at the write-in level in this race, we have offered equal time to Henry and Deets to present their platforms to our readers. Henry took us up on the offer. For more information on the write-in candidates, please read their profiles here.
Fiona Henry, 47
Biography: Henry, an 18-year Collingswood resident and mother of three, is a master’s degreed teacher with 16 years of experience educating students from seventh grade through college.
Prior to her service with the local board of education, Henry volunteered with various Collingswood PTA’s for some five years.
Have you ever held public office? “I have served on the Collingswood School Board since 2010; first filling an interim seat, and then serving a full, three-year term.
“Our board works by committee. As a teacher, I felt I could best serve on the Curriculum Committee, and have been a dedicated member of that committee for the past four years.”
What’s your philosophy of education? “Quality education goes beyond merely executing lessons, and strives to create student-centered learning opportunities in relevant and engaging learning environments.
“Learning must be meaningful, not task-oriented. Recognizing students’ strengths and interests will open doors for them to integrate the learning on a personal level.”
Why would you like to serve on the school board? “Before my school board experience, my involvement with the PTA provided me with the opportunity to be involved with the Collingswood Public Schools. Collingswood has strong schools and I am sincerely committed to serving our schools through innovative approaches that ensure our students are provided with the best opportunities for academic and social success.”
What are the biggest challenges for Collingswood schools? “As schools across the state adapt to meet curriculum, student assessment, and teacher evaluation mandates, Collingswood Public Schools will be challenged to continue to create the resources and the logistics needed to balance these demands while still keeping the focus on learning that is relevant to the students of our community.”
What are the biggest strengths of Collingswood schools? “Collingswood should be proud of the quality professional development opportunities afforded to teachers; the dedicated staff; the commitment to student-centered learning; the rich academic, artistic, and athletic experiences available to our students; and our diverse student body. Collingswood students will undoubtedly emerge as ‘career-and-college-ready,’ but more importantly, will be ready for life.”