Kristin Martin: Hillsdale
(Editor’s Note: Some responses are edited for clarity, but no response has been condensed or added upon.)
Job Location: Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, NJ
Hobbies: “In my free time, I enjoy watching my daughter compete with her cheerleading team, True All-Stars, and my son play with his baseball team, Surge Supercharged 2020, and on the Pascack Valley High School team. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and neighbors. I am very lucky to be surrounded by wonderful people, especially during this pandemic. The last six months have given me a higher level of appreciation of the importance of community and friendship. Over the last year, I have enjoyed looking at colleges with my son. Pascack Valley High School gave him the tools that he will need to be successful in the future and I am very grateful for that.”
Reason to Run: “I have been teaching for almost 25 years and I have always had a great deal of respect for the volunteers who step up and assumed positions on the Board of Education. Being that both of my children are currently in [Pascack Valley] high school, and there were positions open this year, I felt that this was a time for me to run.
I am very appreciative of all the opportunities that the district has provided for my children and I feel that it is now time for me to back to the district. With my teaching experience, living in this town for over 20 years, and having two children currently attending Pascack Valley, I have a very unique perspective on what needs our school system may have.
My ultimate goal for serving on the Regional Board of Education is to provide our students with a well-rounded education and as many opportunities as possible. I feel that collaboration and a solid working relationship between our two high schools will provide our students with a diversity of opportunities and can allow us to find creative ways to give our students even more. Exploring relationships with surrounding districts may also allow for greater academic experiences for our students.”
What do you hope to accomplish if you win?: “As a board member, I believe it is extremely important to focus on the wellness of our students, provide a well-rounded education, and seek diversity in teaching strategies.
I would work with Dr. Gunderson and the other board members to find creative ways to increase educational opportunities, to improve the family-school connection, and to support positive change and dialogue during this time challenging time in history.
In the future, I would expect more transparency from our board and more inclusion of our students during important decision-making situations. As educators, we need to always provide our students with opportunities to defend their opinion in a respectful way and encourage and promote independent thought.[I would] Find new ways to engage students in non-academic experiences helps to foster a connection to the school. I would like to promote all of the clubs, sports, and activities that our district already has to offer. We also should encourage our students to make suggestions for new programs in hopes that each student makes a special connection to PVHS and PHHS.
And most importantly, as we reintroduce our students, and staff, back into the school we need to continue to evaluate the access that everyone has to counselors and social workers. The most important factor we need to consider at this point is the wellness of our students and staff.”