Sharma Montgomery, a candidate seeking a three-year term on the Bayonne Board of Education, says she plans to make sound decisions through a parent’s perspective if elected.
“I want to make sure that I bring a perspective of “hey there are a lot of good things that work in this school district and not everything is broken” so let’s find the things that work and find out how to capitalize on them,” she told Hudson County View
The mother of two, one a recent graduate of Bayonne High School, used her eldest son’s experience as an example of what she would do if elected.
Her eldest son, Brian, preferred vocational studies rather than a traditional four-year college experience and was given a recommendation from one his teachers which really helped him follow his career goals.
“He has a good life and he’s happy. And that may not have happened and if he had gone down my path,” Montgomery reflected.
The candidate believes that the Bayonne school district has quality teachers and it would be great to expand vocational programs to students who are undecided about college.
“Every kid deserves to see a way forward that works for them,” stated Montgomery.
The former Air Force ground radio communications specialist would also like to see technology as a way to open communications between parents, teachers, administrators and trustees.
Montgomery pointed out that if documents were readily available online and have instant access to important information that can help them understand what is being discussed on the agenda, then this can initiate more community involvement, participation and interaction with the decision making process by the board.
The candidate also would like to see technology used to streamline forms and payments that parents make to the schools.
Montgomery also believes that it would be safer and easier if parents have the option to pay for their children’s lunches online.
This idea was triggered when her younger son was mugged for his lunch money and cell phone on his way to school last year.
Like all teachers and parents, Montgomery would also like to see the teachers’ contract resolved as it’s affecting the performance of teachers in the classrooms, and ultimately, the children.
Furthermore, she suggested the union and contract committee meet at least once a week, perhaps even every other day, until it is resolved.
As far as running with Gina Irizarry and John Sebik, she stated that the three have the same core values which is why the three candidates share the slogan “Vision, Action, Results.”
“The school board is completely dysfunctional if everyone has competing priorities.”
There are three, three-year terms and one two-year term for grabs in November 8, with a total of 12 candidates running.