SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – South Brunswick resident Mike Mitchell has been an educator for the past 23 years. His experience has taught him to identify the educational gaps that exist in schools. Mitchell hopes to close this gap through dialogue and innovative ideas.
This election, Mitchell is running for a seat on the Board of Education. His platform is one of cooperation and communication. But most importantly, he hopes to put students first.
Read below to learn more about Mitchell and his platform for the upcoming elections in South Brunswick.
Name – Mike Mitchell
Age (as of Election Day) – 50
Position Sought – Board of Education member
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government? – No
Education – Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of South Carolina
Occupation – Paraeducator for 23 years
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office – No
Campaign website – https://m.facebook.com/Raja.Smitha.Mike/posts
Why are you seeking elective office?
I am seeking elective office because we need newer Board of Education members with strong educational backgrounds.
The single most pressing issue facing our community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
The single most pressing issue facing our community now is the current health crisis brought on by COVID-19 earlier this year. The best thing I could do as Board member is to support our central administration as they continue to guide our district through this situation. There are really no right or wrong answers other than to be on top of what the CDC publishes daily and what comes down from the Governor’s office. Acting accordingly based on that data. Understanding district needs.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
There are not many critical differences between me and the other candidates, however, I feel that what distinguishes me from them is my long career in education. We need more people on our Boards of Ed who will wholeheartedly look out for the interests of both students and staff and who understand both sides of the ‘coin’.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency).
I wouldn’t say the current Board has failed our community (district or constituency). However, I feel they can always do better. There is the need for more transparency and a willingness to answer the tough questions – to attack those issues no one else is willing to discuss in the open and come up with ways of dealing with each on a case-by-case basis.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
Certainly, I believe All Students Matter and the fact that there is and has been an educational gap (as great as our district is concerned). The need for more dialogue about this and the brainstorming of ideas about how we can continue to bring in innovative programs which would hopefully bridge this gap. Everyone has to be willing and open to this idea though. You always want to focus on building up your weaknesses as this can separate the good from the great!
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
Well the very fact that I’ve worked in an educational setting in almost four different decades speaks for itself. Coaching at the HS level for 16 years and organizing and founding the conference’s first (Greater Middlesex Conference) Tennis Coaches’ Association are certainly notable accomplishments which are evidence that I have the capability of handling the many challenges of being a board member in South Brunswick.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
The best advice ever shared with me was when you want change, you have to be that beacon of what you crave or long for and that’s what this election is about for me.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I would like to tell voters and members of the community that if elected, I will be a staunch support system for our staff and students. Visibility and open communication with our administrators, staff and students is what I intend on establishing in my first few months on the Board and of course maintaining that status throughout my time in office.
In anticipation of the upcoming election, Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns. We will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
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This article originally appeared on the South Brunswick Patch