Clark Board Of Education Profile: Steven Donkersloot

CLARK, NJ — Clark School Board has three seats up for grab in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

Robert Brede, Steven Donkersloot, and Megan Harrison are running for the three, three-year seats on the board.

Are you running for office in Clark-Garwood? Contact Alexis Tarrazi at [email protected] for information on being featured in a candidate’s profile and submitting campaign announcements to Clark-Garwood Patch.

Steven Donkersloot

1. Why are running for Board of Education?

We need to continue the momentum. Unfortunately, the world was faced with a Global Pandemic and all school and academic projects were put on hold. Once we realize the impact of COVID-19 to the district, the Board needs to re-focus on getting back on track of implementing the projects and progress that has been made inside and outside the classrooms! The schools and the related programs, academic and non-academic, deserve attention and planning to best serve our current students. Our students need the opportunities to excel both in the class and out!

2. What are your qualifications for this position?

For the last 6 years, I have served on the Board of Education and have served various roles, previous Chair of Buildings and Grounds, member of Curriculum and Technology committee and also serving as part of the Personal Committee. Most recently I have served as the Board President for the last 2 years. Being a Board Member does not happen overnight, you need to listen, learn and apply. In addition to serving on the board, my 3 daughters are enrolled in the schools (Grades 9, 7, 6) and I have a vested interest in the policies and procedures that govern our schools. As a parent but also as a taxpayer, I want to see the best for the schools and the overall town! Decisions need to be made with the best interest of all the schools and the overall town.

3. The single most pressing issue facing our school district is ____ and this is what I intend to do about it:

Besides the effects of COVID such as hybrid classrooms, test scores are the most pressing issue! The district has seen a decline in test scores in certain content areas and this is unacceptable. The board must continue to push to investigate and correct the root cause of the issue of declining test scores. As part of the Curriculum Committee and working with our Content Supervisor and teachers, we have identified areas of improvement and have initiated the changes for this, 2020-2021, academic school year.

4. What are other issues you would like to see addressed in the school district?

While academics will always be the single most issue to ever be addressed, the district must continue to plan for updated infrastructure plans such as continued maintenance, capital improvements, building expansion and improved technology. A few years back the District was faced with a deficit and in a few short years, we were able to turn it around and make much-needed capital improvements to the buildings and grounds. The retaining wall at Valley Road school, for many years’ families, including my own, walked thru snow, water, mud and ice and now there is a retaining wall that helps keep families safe while on the sidewalk. New Lockers at Kumpf, it has been well overdue but this past summer, Kumpf received and installed a school full of new lockers, 2019 all freshman received a Chrome book to use throughout high school and now recently, the BOE approved a 1:1 district-wide device program for all students. None of this was possible 6 years ago when I first joined the Board, however working together and using our own unique skills and trades, the Board was able to help the district overcome a deficit to having a surplus. Not one person makes the Board of Education, it is a collaborative effort and we must continue to push for continuous improvement!

This article originally appeared on the Clark-Garwood Patch

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