Thursday, January 17, 2013

School Board Candidate Questionnaire - Diana Fajardo

DIANA FAJARDO seeking a 1-year term

What motivates you to seek this office?
As a parent of a child that attends one of our city schools, I am extremely motivated to become a member of the Board of Education because I enjoy having an active role in not just the education of my child, but of all the students of the city. Being able to actually make a difference in the way our children are educated by listening to the real concerns of fellow parents and residents prompts me to become more involved. 

What will be your top priorities as a member of the School Board? As a member of the school board, my top priorities would be the children and having more parent involvement. Our city schools currently have wonderful programs in place that help our students go far in their lives, but unfortunately there aren’t enough students and families that take advantage of the resources available to them. It is important that everyone be aware of all our city schools have to offer in order to get the full benefit of being a student in our district.

How will you seek to foster parent involvement? As the current PTO president at Lord Stirling Community School I can really appreciate when parents get involved in their children’s education. We as parents need to remember that we are our children’s first teachers and that letting them know we care about what they do and how they perform in school makes a big difference. I would encourage more participation by asking that PTO/PTA members attend board meetings and relay information to parents about activities both they and their children can get involved in.

How will you ensure that students who are immigrants themselves or whose parents are immigrants receive equal and high-quality educational opportunities? Given the demographic in New Brunswick, immigrant students and their parents have to be considered a strong focus. As a former ESL student in the New Brunswick public school system I can attest to the drive and determination of the teachers whose careers have been devoted to helping students not just learn the English language but also helping students and their families become more assimilated with the new culture. Supporting groups like the Bilingual Parent Council and Puerto Rican Action Board, two organizations that add to our school district in assisting Latino families by facilitating programs, providing informational workshops, and promoting overall awareness is of the utmost importance.
How will you support all students, from the gifted to those in need of extra help? Every student in our school district is important. Students that are classified as gifted need to be continually challenged, and ensuring we have current materials for them to thrive would be a priority. Likewise, for children that require extra help, ensuring that we have the staff to meet all of their needs is of major importance. And for all of the children that fall between that spectrum, I would look forward to establishing programs that assist every child so that they can achieve their goals.

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