By Annie Resnikoff & Rebecca Freer
BOE candidates answer campaign Q’s
Hi’s Eye interviewed the five candidates running for the three spots in the upcoming Board of Education election on Nov. 4. To read their full responses, please visit whshiseye.com. They were all asked the following question: What are your plans for improving education in Westfield?
Mr. Michael Bielen:
Specifically, I would like to:
1) Invest in technology resources and training our teachers so they can properly prepare our students to become part of a 21st century workforce.
2) Develop adaptive learning curriculum to tailor instruction to each individual students so they can learn at their pace with their own personal goals.
3) Offer teachers career paths for success as found in the private sector.
4) Integrate the BOE into the student community.
5) Consider alternate funding options such as an alumni fund and licensing so we can establish new programs.
Mr. Mark Friedman,
We have invested heavily in technology in the last few years, just so that we could catch up. We have spent money on hardware and software and in the professional development of our staff. We need to continue to use the new technology and blend it into the curriculum.We need to find ways to add classes and programs that will train students for the continuing evolution in the types of jobs that are available. We need to add new kinds of computer classes that will give our students an edge as they move into college.
I would like to support technological improvements ... to allow for more national and international cultural interaction so students can get an idea of the different lifestyles that exist throughout the world and appreciate the many different ways you can live your life. I would also like to provide greater focus on programs that help students with stress and anxiety issues, and find funding to expand the diversity of our extracurricular activities. [The] Westfield Public Schools have done an outstanding job of providing our children with a positive educational experience.
Ms. Peggy Oster:
I would like our students and teachers to have the resources needed to be on the cutting edge of technological advances in education. Westfield’s schools and facilities are old and require significant maintenance in an ongoing manner to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for our children. Lastly, Westfield taxpayers effectively shoulder the total cost of our local educational system. Every year we need to analyze every aspect of our budget to ensure we are providing the necessary educational services in the most cost-efficient manner possible.
Mr. David Sexton:
I think that Westfield Schools are already doing a lot of great things, so I’d like to make sure we keep headed in that direction. I’ll work with the other school board members and the administration to keep an eye on the budget and make sure there are funds for all the basics. I would like to build stronger links to our alumni, perhaps by forming a social network so that they can continue to help the schools.Sometimes folks who really love a school will want to help if they know there’s a need.