Meet the Candidates: Merchantville BOE 2017


We invited school board candidates from each of our coverage areas to submit short biographies to inform voters ahead of the November 7 elections.

By Matt Skoufalos | November 2, 2017

This Election Day (November 7) Merchantville has an uncontested school board election, with two 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.

Craig Nussbaum. Credit: Craig Nussbaum.

Craig Nussbaum (Incumbent)

Craig Nussbaum is a father, a social worker at the Gloucester County Special Services School, and a practicing behavioral therapist.

Nussbaum has a master’s degree in social work as well as an MBA, both from Rutgers University.

What is your philosophy of education?

“All students can be reached when a teacher creates the proper environment.

“Nothing happens in a vacuum, so the student needs everything around him or her to be conducive to learning.

“Teachers that take the time to create a positive relationship with students receive maximum effort in return. I want to help create a school that has staff members that are dedicated to that end.

“I believe that all children can be successful when they can be made to feel that way. I am happy to serve a school that has such incredibly dedicated teachers and staff members.”

Why would you like to serve on the Merchantville Board of Education?

“My daughter is in fourth grade in Merchantville. I want to help be a voice to help direct her education, as well as that of the other students in the school, to ensure they receive the best possible learning. That will set all of these kids up to do great things in their futures.

“I am dedicated not only to education, as a lifelong learner myself, but also to the incredible community of Merchantville. As a school social worker for children with special needs, I believe all children are entitled to the best education possible and hope my voice will serve the students and staff, school, and community well. The school is intertwined with the vitality of our Merchantville.”

What are the biggest challenges for the Merchantville school district?

“I think the biggest challenge for the Merchantville school district is trying to offer all of the extracurricular activities and technology that larger school districts have without passing the fees along to the parents directly or by raising taxes.”

What are the biggest strengths of the Merchantville School District?

“I believe that Merchantville’s biggest strength is the smaller environment. Every teacher that I’ve experienced through my daughter created a special relationship with her that made her excited to learn and come to school daily. My daughter sees the school administrator, Mr. Strong, regularly outside.

“Administration has the ability and takes the time to know students who are doing good things. The school has many positive, proactive initiatives to reward the good kids and incentivize them to continue those good decisions.”

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

“If elected, I would focus on the following issues: continuing education and training for all teachers, further development of resources for students with special needs, and further development of programs for at-risk students.”

Other Balloted Candidates

Also appearing on the November 7 ballot is incumbent board member Anjali Stocker (Desai).


**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. Monday, November 6. We will not update these profiles beyond that time.

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