Meet the Candidates: Merchantville BOE 2016


We invited school board candidates from each of our coverage areas to submit short biographies of themselves to inform voters ahead of the November 8 elections.

By Matt Skoufalos | November 4, 2016

This Election Day (November 8) Merchantville, like many towns in the area, has a contested school board election, with five candidates running for three open positions. NJ Pen invited everyone on the ballot to share a little about themselves with voters.** Here’s how they responded.

2016 Merchantville BOE Candidate Gina Adams. Credit: Gina Adams.

2016 Merchantville BOE Candidate Gina Adams. Credit: Gina Adams.

Gina Adams (challenger)

Gina R. Adams, 48, is a mother of four, including two high-school students and one child in the Merchantville School.

Adams currently works as a Child Care Director and has almost 20 years in executive leadership.

What is your philosophy of education?

“Although I graduated from a public high school, my elementary years were spent in a private school.

“My children have experienced a mix of public, private, parochial and charter schools.

“I believe these rich experiences, both as a student and parent will be useful as we challenge ourselves to help our district be its absolute best.

“I believe a good public education is the big game changer in the lives of children regardless of race, class, religion or gender. I believe fine and performing arts, civics, and leadership are all a part of a whole public education experience where diversity and inclusion are not only on posters but reflected in the values and activity of our schools.

“This quote by Nelson Mandela sums up my philosophy on education nicely: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Why would you like to serve on the school board?

“I have served over 15 years on a variety of governance boards ranging from a large national nonprofit, to a NJ-appointed committee to small, faith-based groups. I have also served on the board of a small private school. I want to offer my unique set of skills and abilities coupled with my passion for people, to help our Merchantville community be the best it can be, today and in the days to come.”

What are the biggest challenges for Merchantville schools?

“The biggest challenges for our district and others in our state is resource allocation and improving standardized test scores without giving up innovation and creativity in the classroom.”

What are the biggest strengths of Merchantville schools?

“Merchantville is a good community with reputable and accessible leadership. Merchantville has resources. We have what it takes to be our absolute best.”

What are three key issues you would focus on if elected?

“Merchantville School has seen a lot of physical improvements that are wonderful for our children and community. If I were elected I would focus on resource allocation, improving test scores and the retention of good teachers.”

Other Balloted Candidates

Also appearing on the ballot are incumbent board members Lee Plenn, Jennifer Perno, Anjali Desai, and Albert Vitiello.


**Editor’s Note: Candidates who did not respond to our request for information may opt to e-mail answers to our prompts along with a photograph as late as 9 a.m. Tuesday, November 1. We will not update these profiles beyond that time.

Get more local news that matters. Check out NJ Pen on Facebook and Twitter, or click here to become a supporter.


Comments are closed.