Maria Valado, seeking a two-year seat on the Bayonne Board of Education, believes her 22 years in elementary education can make the board stronger.
â€œWhat I would bring is a vast knowledge of elementary education and years of experience of dealing in the classrooms with initiatives that was sent down by boards that sometimes doesnâ€™t translate into the classroom. I have that perspective,â€ Valado explained in an interview with Hudson County View.
â€œElementary education is the foundation for every child,â€ according to the candidate with a masterâ€™s degree in urban education and experience in teaching in bilingual and inclusion classrooms.
Valado sees a major improvement on the current board since the first election in 35 years last year, but would like to see more transparency and inclusivity during board meetings, where â€œparents and taxpayers have a voice before the votes are taken.â€
One of the biggest problems facing the board is definitely the teachers contract, stated the candidate who would like to focus on negotiations if elected.
â€œIt is very important that our teachers have a strong contract so it shows how much we appreciate them in the City of Bayonne.â€
Valado, who is a teacher in Newark public schools, stated that the main reason great teachers are leaving Bayonne due to the contract struggle.
With the looming threat of cutting state funding for schools, another focus is the districtâ€™s school budget and reassuring that itâ€™s handled in the most effective way for student success.
Ultimately, Valadoâ€™s goal is to â€œprepare children to be problem solvers and thinkers of tomorrow.â€
There are three candidates vying for one, two-year term seat and nine for three, three-year term seats on November 8.