One full-term seat is open on the Red Bank Regional High School Board of Education, with Board President John Garofalo and newcomer Stephanie Albanese competing for the position.
Current board member Eugene J. Koster, Jr. is running for reelection in the full-term race to represent Little Silver, while newcomer John Venino will be challenging the incumbent for the spot.
Venino is a school counselor and a proud resident of Little Silver for over seven years. He has three children who attend Red Bank Regional High School in grades 9, 10 and 12.
“I am seeking a seat so that Little Silver has a true advocate on the board of education,” Venino told Patch.
Venino holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Health teaching K-12 from Kean University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from New Jersey City University.
Read below to learn more about the Red Bank Regional High School District Board of Education candidate:
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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 school district is COVID/remote learning. I will continue to address the issue with the superintendent, and if elected, with board members, advocate for more student contact time and the highest quality education possible.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
Of the 9 Red Bank Regional Board Of Education members, neither of the 2 from Little Silver have children at RBR. I have 3 children in grades 9,10, and 12 at RBR. I have been employed for 25 years in public education. Neither of the 2 RBR board members from Little Silver, nor the 2 RBR board members from Shrewsbury are educators. One of the 5 board members from Red Bank is a retired educator. My knowledge of remote learning will be firsthand. My knowledge of education will be firsthand. I will not rely solely on information disseminated to me from the superintendent. I will be an independent voice for Little Silver, which will benefit all students.
Some of the other issues that will define my campaign platform are:
- The re-establishment of real Honors Level courses in 9th grade. Providing opportunities to qualified students should be the priority of any school, not taking them away. Currently there is no Honors English, Honors History, or Honors Science in 9th grade.
- Establishing minimum criteria so that no qualified student from Red Bank, Little Silver, or Shrewsbury is passed over for a spot in one of the academies, in lieu of a student from any other town. Tuition revenue is no reason to block a qualified resident student from an academy, for a student living outside Little Silver, Red Bank and Shrewsbury.
- Removing Global Citizenship as a required elective only at RBR. Children and their parents should choose what elective classes they want to take, not the RBR Board of Education. This class is not required by the state of NJ. RBR requires it only for students from Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury. RBR students from other towns are not required to take it.
- Hiring the most qualified applicants. Period. Ensure that only school leadership are involved in hiring decisions at RBR.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence that you will be effective on the school board?
Accomplishments from my past that are evidence of my effectiveness on a future position on a school board are my 25 years employed in public education. My knowledge of school operations eclipses that of any board member not working in education. I will not need to rely on information provided by the RBR Board Office to know this. During my 25 years as an educator, I have collaborated on many different teams and committees. This skill will be necessary to work with fellow board members. My history of volunteering in Little Silver is also evidence. I have done everything I could to see that individual athletes, and teams as a whole could try to reach their maximum potential, and enjoy themselves as best as possible. I am known to go above and beyond the scope of routine recreational and travel coaching. I established the Little Silver Summer Recreation Basketball League for boys, and Little Silver Summer Recreation Basketball clinic for girls, in concert with the Little Silver Recreation Committee. I established Little Silver Sports Night at Monmouth University (Basketball and Soccer). I established Little Silver Sports Night at the Annual RBR varsity basketball game. These are evidence of my guiding philosophy: It’s all about providing opportunities for the children.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
The best advice ever shared with me was to pick a career that I’d enjoy, and I’ll never work a day in my life.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
Little Silver is allocated 2 out of 9 board of education seats. Shrewsbury receives 2, and Red Bank receives 5. The Little Silver Board members must be loyal advocates. A fair policy for Little Silver residents and students is a fair policy for all of the students and residents.
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