Challenger Mark Spindel is loath to criticize the schools board’s stewardship of the district; he just feels its members could use an infusion of fresh ideas.
Ideas that Spindel believes, as a retired educator with extensive experience crafting school budgets, negotiating contracts and developing curriculum, he has both the knowledge and the insight to ably introduce and implement.
If elected, the N. Plaza Road resident, who retired in 2010 after 40 years as a public school teacher and administrator, hopes to boost parental involvement in the education process, increase academic rigor and make the board’s actions more transparent to the public.
“It’s time for a change,” Spindel said during his closing statement at the candidate debate last month. “Let me offer a new perspective on solving problems. Enable me to see things in a different light and entrust me with your child’s education as you have entrusted the others for so long.”
To get parents more involved in their children’s education, Spindel has proposed holding regular principal chats and focus groups to better address any concerns that parents may have.
“I think that every school should have what I had introduced [when I was a principal], a ‘Chat with the Principal,’” he said. “Have parents invited into the school where the principal sits down, discusses matters with them, concerns of theirs that they would like to bring to the attention of the principal, so that changes can be made.”
He’s also suggested holding board meetings at different schools each month to increase attendance, partnering with local businesses and colleges to host school workshops and pushing for a more transparent school budget process.
Spindel, who, among other things, is a member of the borough’s Property Maintenance Committee, Community School board and a trustee at the Glen Rock Jewish Center, said he was motivated to run for the board of education this year because he missed being away from kids and the educational process.
His wife, Jane—who is also an active community volunter—and both of his children, are products of the Fair Lawn school system.