We invited candidates for the borough board of education to tell voters a little about themselves ahead of Election Day. Here’s how they responded.
By Matt Skoufalos | November 4, 2018
On November 6, Merchantville voters will choose from among incumbent Board of Education (BOE) president Eliot Honigfeld and incumbent board member Marc Carcanague for three seats on the body. There is no balloted candidate for the final seat.
We invited each candidate to respond to the same set of prompts, telling voters about themselves, their priorities, and their views of the current state of the district. Here’s how they responded (edited for clarity and length).
Balloted candidates whose responses are not noted here have not responded to requests for contact. This story will be updated if they reply.
Marc Carcanague, 50
Marc Carcanague is a master’s degreed teacher and educator of 19 years.
Carcanague teaches AP World History teacher at Brimm Medical Arts High School in Camden, where he also chairs the Social Studies Department, serves as advisor for the Class of 2019, and is dean of discipline.
A married father of two, Carcanague enjoys travel, music and cricket.
What is your philosophy of education?
“My philosophy of education is based in the belief that academics should be the vehicle to provide children with the life skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing modern world.
“The classroom should be a place where socialization, emotional development and working as part of a team are as important as the material they learn.
“I believe that while standardization tests are an effective way of comparing school districts, they are less useful when measuring teacher success. Finally, I think it is imperative for the school to be actively involved with the community through service-learning projects so that both our students and citizens understand the importance of supporting our school.”
Why would you like to serve on the Merchantville school board?
“As I mentioned when I interviewed for the open seat this summer, my daughter began kindergarten this September, and I would like to gain a better understanding of how our district operates. In addition, as a career educator, I feel I can add an important perspective to the board.”
What are the biggest challenges of the Merchantville school district?
“Meeting the needs of all our children. The annual report shows that there are gaps in our success, and we need to do what we can to make sure that the Merchantville school district gives opportunities to everyone.
“In addition, we are in the final stages of integrating our curriculum with Haddon Heights High School. It is important that when are students leave eighth grade, they are well-prepared for the challenges which face them at the high school level and post-graduation.”
What are the biggest strengths of the Merchantville school district?
“I feel Merchantville is a safe place for our students to learn; one where I feel everyone from teachers and staff members to school safeties seems to know and care about each other. There generally seems to be a ‘can-do’ attitude among its staff as well.”
What are three key issues you would focus on if elected?
“Complete integration of our school into the Haddon Heights high school curriculum.
“Improve relations and communication between our school, parents and community.
“Increase the scores of that groups of students that are underachieving. A district can be judged not by its strongest performers, but rather by its weakest. For those, we simply need to do better.”
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