NJ Pen Elections 2022: Meet the Haddon Heights School Board Candidates


This year, four Haddon Heights residents are running for three open seats on the borough Board of Education. We invited each of them to tell voters a bit about themselves in the lead-up to the election.

By Matt Skoufalos | November 3, 2022

On November 8, voters in Haddon Heights will choose from among four balloted candidates for three seats on the borough school board.

Incumbents Stacey Augustine and Lisa Long will defend their positions against challengers Raymond Clark and Monica Schrank.

We invited everyone to reply to the same set of prompts, telling voters about themselves, their priorities, and their views of the current state of the community. Answers were edited for clarity and length.


Stacey Augustine. Credit: Stacey Augustine.

Stacey Augustine, 39 (Incumbent)

School social worker Stacey Augustine is a seven-year Haddon Heights resident and married mother of two school-aged children.

Augustine holds a master’s degree in social work from Widener University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers Univesity, and a New Jersey Department of Education Supervisor Certificate.

A sitting member of the board and a member of the Haddon Heights Good Neighbors organization, she enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, attending her children’s sporting events, running, and reading.

What is your philosophy of education?

In today’s society, a well-rounded education for students is imperative for future success.

In addition to rigorous academics, education should include a focus on “soft skills,” such as communication, time management, teamwork, critical thinking and decision-making. Development of such skills produces successful students and adults.

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

I have had the privilege of serving on the Haddon Heights Board of Education since January 2020. Over my term, the Haddon Heights School District has experienced various changes. I am hoping to continue the progression the district has made by lending my experience as a professional, parent, and resident.

I am a firm believer in transparency and accountability. I hope that my work on the school board over the past three years has shown my commitment to the students, staff and community members of Haddon Heights.

What are the biggest challenges your school district faces?

As a current board member, I am aware of some of the challenges our district is facing. As seen in most school districts across the country, the pandemic has impacted student achievement and academic growth.

The mental health of our students, staff and families is another challenge that many educators are faced with. In a recent school climate survey, an area identified to improve upon was increased communication and transparency with families and the community.

What are its biggest strengths?

Haddon Heights is known for an outstanding school system with talented and dedicated staff members. Our staff goes above and beyond to know their students, which leads to a strong school community.

I am also very proud of the initiatives the Haddon Heights School District has rolled out through the strategic plan involving mental health initiatives, and with social/emotional learning.

What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

1. As a school board member, I am one voice at the table, and work collaboratively with the other members to ensure the district is running effectively. If I am re-elected, I would like to continue the progress the district has made within the strategic plan.

2. I am pleased to see that many of the goals identified in the strategic plan have been addressed in some capacity over the last few years. Although a lot of work has been done within the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goal of the strategic plan, this is an area that I feel the district needs to continue to prioritize, by continuing to increase the diversity within our academic programs and be sure to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.

3. I would also like to see the district create more engaging opportunities for all students to develop interests and goals by offering various elective classes. In addition, a continued focus on social/emotional learning will only strengthen the mental health of our students, and build upon the progress that has already been achieved.


Lisa Long. Credit: Lisa Long.

Lisa Long (Incumbent)

New Beginnings Learning Center Director Lisa Long is a 28-year Haddon Heights resident and mother of three.

Long is the current Haddon Heights Board of Education vice-president, and has served on the board for 18 years, including two as president.

A former Prudential insurance underwriter, she also holds an MBA.







What is your philosophy of education?

I believe it is critical for a school district to provide a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, and to instill in them the confidence to know that they can learn. It is important that we provide quality programs and talented teachers that look to develop the “whole” student, not solely focusing on academics.

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

I have enjoyed my many years of service on the board, and have been honored by the community’s continued faith in me.

I believe my experience on the board, knowledge of the district, previous work experience, and current teaching role make me uniquely qualified to be a member of the Board of Education.

I care greatly for the children of Haddon Heights, and will always be committed to doing my best to support them.

What are the biggest challenges your school district faces?

Funding continues to be one of the greatest challenges in Haddon Heights and in districts across the state. In Haddon Heights, state aid has remained flat or had a small reduction over the last several years.

State-regulated caps on property taxes alongside unfunded, state-mandated programs often limit the district’s ability to add staff and programs the administrators and community would like to see.

Any area in our district could benefit from additional funding. This is not because our children aren’t achieving, but because adding staff and programs can always benefit both students that struggle in school and those who are high-achieving. Enrichment programs, tutoring, art, music, and STEM, to name a few, could all be improved with additional funding.

What are its biggest strengths?

One of our greatest strengths as a district is our staff. I believe we have a group of talented and caring administrators, teachers and support staff that provide quality instruction and create a supportive environment in our schools.

Another strength is the families and students who attend our schools. Family involvement and support is one of the most important keys to the success any school district.

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

As a community and district, Haddon Heights developed a strategic plan in 2019 that was approved by the Board of Education in June of 2020. Since that time, our district goals have been based on this plan, and many have been achieved, including full-day kindergarten.

However, with significant changes in our district administration, including a new superintendent, and the recent impact of COVID, it is important for us to review this plan, and make certain that action steps and their priority level are still appropriate.

Therefore, our new superintendent is now reviewing the strategic plan, and will be making recommendations to the board in the coming months. As a board, our key issues will be directed by this plan.

As a current Board of Education member, I am required to follow our code of ethics. This is part of the School Ethics Act, which is New Jersey state law. Due to this code, current board members are often limited in how we offer our opinion versus stating facts when discussing school district matters. We each hold one vote on a 12-member board, and cannot speak for the board unless it is factual. We are required to ensure the district is well-run, but do not run the schools. We set policy and goals, but it is up to the superintendent to administer them.

With all of this in mind, I hope you understand that I cannot provide campaign promises or answer questions with my opinion, but only state facts.


Monica Schrank. Credit: Monica Schrank.

Monica Schrank (Challenger)

U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center engineering manager Monica Schrank is a 12-year Haddon Heights resident, and a married mother of two.

She holds a master’s degree in engineering management from Rowan University and a mechanical engineering degree from Penn State University.

In her free time, Schrank enjoys family trips to the shore, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.




What is your philosophy of education?

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of a student’s social and emotional learning, and has shown that the school environment is more than the academics of reading, writing, and arithmetic for students.

As a parent, I want school to be a place where my children are not only supported academically, but emotionally as well. In order for this to work, parents and guardians must be viewed as a part of the educational team, and must communicate and collaborate as needed to ensure each individual student is best supported.

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

I am seeking to run for the school board to be a voice at the table for our students with disabilities, IEPs, 504s, and Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions.

I am extremely resourceful and feel that my experience with advocacy for my son, who has an IEP, makes me uniquely qualified for this role.

As a small district, we have an opportunity — with a little creativity — to level the playing field for all of our learners by providing the necessary resources to set each learner up for success in the least restrictive environment possible.

I am confident that adopting a more inclusive education model will benefit all of our students.

What are the biggest challenges your school district faces?

The biggest challenge our school district faces is an aging infrastructure and a limited budget to support all of our elementary-, middle-, and high-school learners.

Partnering with our sending districts and neighboring towns to implement best practices is one way we can look to maximize our limited resources.

What are its biggest strengths?

Our teachers and staff in Haddon Heights are the district’s biggest strength. We have been a part of the Haddon Heights school system since my oldest son was in pre-school, and I am continually amazed by our caring and resourceful teachers and staff.

What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

  1. Equity and inclusion of ALL of our learners.
  2. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) of our students coming out of the pandemic along with addressing any academic concerns.
  3. Communication and collaboration across the sending districts.

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