School Board Candidates Talk Issues

School Board Candidates Talk Issues

1401
SHARE
Ocean City High School

By MADDY VITALE

There are 11 Ocean City Board of Education candidates running in the Nov. 2 election. They are vying for three, three-year seats.

Following is a list of questions asked of the candidates by OCNJDaily.com. The candidates are being profiled in a series of articles focusing on school district issues.

Catherine Panico, Dale Braun, Chris Halliday, Jacqueline McAlister, Suzanne Morgan, Robin Shaffer, Ryan Leonard, Liz Nicoletti and Henry Disston Vanderslice were profiled in previous articles. Jim Bauer and Conor Fleming are profiled in this story, the last article in the series.

Jim Bauer (Photo courtesy of JASM Consulting)

Jim Bauer

What is your occupation?

I am a retired school teacher. I taught for 40 years. I taught eighth grade math in Delran, N.J.

I retired in 2002 and I have been on the Ocean City Board of Education for 20 years. I was the Ocean City Little League umpire for 20 years

Do you have children in the district or were they in the district?

I am married to Ann Bauer, who taught in Upper Township. I have three grown boys, Chris, 43, Jared, 42, and David who is 40.

My children went through the Ocean City School District.

Why are you running for School Board?

I ran years ago and I have been on the board since. I was on there when we were voting on and arguing over the new school.

What do you hope to do if elected and what do you think is working/not working currently on the board?

As a board member, you sit as one of several members. If you have a comment or a suggestion to make, good, but you aren’t running the show. You have to run it like a business and keep the children as the top priority. We have an excellent school system.

This is a highly thought of school because we have people who are knowledgeable in charge and we listen to the community. Their voices are heard.

What would you like to change/achieve, new programs, different way of handling the COVID pandemic?

I think we handled the pandemic well and according to the mandates we had from the state. As far as our administration, we brought the kids in when we could and when we couldn’t they did some of their work on computers at home. The doors were never really totally locked.

Have you held office before or do you have anything else in your background that you believe lends itself to being a board member? Do you work or have you worked in the education field?

I am a retired teacher with 40 years of teaching experience that I bring to the table and I have been on the School Board for over 20 years.

Conor Fleming and his family. (Photo courtesy of Conor Fleming)

Conor Fleming

How long have you lived in Ocean City?

I grew up in Ocean City and am a product of Ocean City High School.  After college I moved to San Diego to begin my professional career in the medical device industry.  In 2014 my wife, who is also an Ocean City native, and I moved back with our two young daughters as we wanted to provide them the education, experiences and opportunities that this town has to offer.

What is your occupation?

I am a marketing manager for a building materials company as well as a realtor here in town.

Do you have children in the district or were they in the district?

My oldest daughter is a freshman at OCHS and my youngest daughter is in third grade at OCPS. Both of my children are also involved in athletics and other extracurricular activities offered through the school and community.

Why are you running for School Board?

During this term, the board will decide on quite a few issues that will have lasting impacts on our school district. I feel that my diverse professional background has provided me the requisite skills to work in conjunction with other school board members towards the common goals of providing the utmost educational and developmental opportunities for our children with the resources and information we are provided.

What do you hope to do if elected and what do you think is working/not working currently on the board?

I understand that not all issues can be resolved to the satisfaction all parties, but as a parent and community member who is on the other side of the table, it feels at times that communication can be more consistent and transparent.

What would you like to change/achieve, new programs, different way of handling the COVID pandemic?

I can attest that working from home while my children were learning virtually in the beginning of the pandemic was a trying time. While it is nice to have the technology and wherewithal to go virtual when needed, the education and structure the children receive via in-person learning cannot be replicated online.

The OCSD staff did an amazing job of pivoting at a moment’s notice and I commended them. I hope that we are in the waning stages of COVID and that as more time passes, the more it will not dominate every aspect of our lives.

That being said, these last 19 months have been unpredictable, and we need to be ready to handle whatever curveball is thrown our way and make informed decisions that will ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.

Have you held office before or do you have anything else in your background that you believe lends itself to being a board member? Do you work or have you worked in the education field?

The majority of my professional career I have been the project leader of multifaceted teams consisting of surgeons, FDA regulatory representatives, mechanical engineers, and sales reps.

Under my direction we were successful in working towards common goals and objectives with each team member providing their unique expertise.

I would like to use the same collaborative approach to work with the other board members to make the best decisions we can while keeping the needs of the students and staff of paramount importance.

Meet the candidates at a public Q&A session on Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ocean City Free Public Library’s Chris Maloney Lecture Hall (1735 Simpson Avenue). The forum will be moderated by radio personality Maryann McElroy. Candidates will have an opportunity to share their platform and answer vetted questions from the community.

Community members may submit questions to ocnjpta1@gmail.com. 

Here is the full list of candidates:

James Bauer, incumbent

Dale F. Braun Jr.

Chris Halliday

Ryan Leonard

Jacqueline McAlister, incumbent

Suzanne Morgan, incumbent

Catherine Panico

Robin Shaffer

Conor Fleming

Liz Nicoletti

Henry Disston Vanderslice