This past week has been tough one for many of us in South Brunswick in the aftermath of Sandy, but as a community we've pulled together and helped each other. Being part of a community and a citizen of this great country there are certain rights and obligations we have to meet. One of those obligations is to go out and vote on Tuesday, many important races are going on Nationally, on the State level, on the county level and township level.
Having been a former School Board of Education candidate in our great township, I can really appreciate the dedication and efforts of our School Board and Administration. We continue to provide excellent education at a cost that is considerably less per student than the State average. We continue to be pioneers, whether it is by electing a High School Student 3 years ago to the Board or by having one of the most inclusive School Calendars with the acknowledgement of Eid and Diwali holidays, South Brunswick School System is the envy of other school districts across the state.
I encourage everyone to get involved with your school district: attend the Board meetings in person, engage in proactive dialogue with your elected Board members, and offer ideas and insight that can help move our district forward. The South Brunswick School Board is faced with ongoing difficult decisions whether its with the ongoing financial fallout of the economy or the evolving state and federal guidelines. As someone who has attended the majority of Board meetings for over the past seven plus years, I understand the challenges and restrictions faced by the Board and Administration.
Having served on different boards, the most effective boards are those that have a blend of different professional backgrounds, school board experience and new blood. Azra is the new blood that the Board will benefit from, her best attributes being a good networker in that she is very proactive in meeting and talking to the diverse make-up of our town and being 100% positive in her attitude with a passionate commitment to do whatever needs to be done.
The one candidate that can help move our school district forward is Azra Baig. Her commitment to civic responsibility is evident by her involvement in so many things from volunteering at the soup kitchen, making meals for the homeless, and helping local neighbors remove downed trees from Hurricane Sandy. Despite these activities, she also supports her 2 children's school and athletic team activities as anyone that knows has seen her front and center in supporting them 110%. It’s evident she’s in tune with the pulse of our township in a myriad of different ways. Working as a Registered Nurse, she’s keenly aware of the importance of good health and education goes hand in hand. That element has been missing from the Board since Anna Tupe and Dr. Speesler have left the Board.
In closing, the best way you can demonstrate your support is by coming out and voting on Tuesday, November 6. Please do your part and make your voices heard!
Believe me when I say, every vote does count, I can tell you from firsthand experience as a former Board of Education candidate when I fell only short 20 votes from winning a seat.
--Arif Patel, Monmouth Junction