Meet Kent Diamond, Candidate for Westfield Board of Education | #Education

Name: Kent Diamond

Age: 51

How long have you lived in Westfield? 15 years

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What are your qualifications for office? As a current Board of Education member, I have gained valuable experience and knowledge on the workings of our school district and developed excellent working relationships with key people in the administration.

My education and work experience provide me with the necessary skills to be a productive team member on the BOE. I earned a BA in Economics from Rutgers and an MBA in Finance from Seton Hall. For over 23 years, I have worked at Dow Jones in a progression of finance- and operational-related roles. I have developed budgets and forecasts which come in under spent and have created detailed labor models used in various union negotiations.  

A key to success in my career is the ability to create productive working relationships with colleagues and clients. 

It is these skills which I continue to bring to the Westfield BOE.  An effective board member has the ability to work well within the Board to achieve our district’s goal of “educating all students to reach their highest potential.”

What would your top priorities be if elected to the school board?

My top priorities include:

-Health & safety of the students, teachers and administrators, including social & emotional well being

-Supporting students and teachers while teaching hybrid, or in an all remote environment

-School security

-Monitoring teacher-student ratio

For these and any issue, I believe in taking a methodical thoughtful approach. This is done by listening to those in the community, questioning the influential leadership, and keeping the needs of the students in the forefront as we also consider financial restraints.  

How would you work to promote diversity in Westfield public schools’ education? On this important topic, by following the community needs and priorities. By making myself available to listen to individuals and committees that are eager to promote diversity. By supporting programs that honor diversity in our schools. 

A recent example is the BOE recently approved a grant from the Westfield Educational Fund for an initiative to improve discussions on race at all grade levels  In addition, I also seek training on diversity. At work, I completed a class called “Practicing Allyship to Foster Inclusion.”

What are some of the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the district and how you would handle them? Some of the challenges are: staying healthy, effectively teaching the kids via hybrid or remote, the emotional and academic challenges on students and teachers, communications as conditions are ever changing.

Successfully operating a school district under COVID requires leaders who will respond to your needs carefully and not react with emotions. I’m a leader who will listen, gather the needed facts and make an informed decision about how best to move forward during COVID.

What else would you like the readers to know? Elected three years ago, I am a current member of the Board of Education, presently serving as the Finance committee chairman while also on both the Curriculum and Technology & Communications committees.  

This past summer, I was one of two Board members on the District Restart Committee, which planned for the reopening of schools this September.  In previous years, I’ve served on the committees for Facilities and Policies while also acting as the Board of Education liaison for the Westfield Memorial Library.

My wife is a teacher in another district and through my wife’s daily efforts, I know what it takes to be an effective and strong teacher. I understand how important it is to support the teachers as they instruct our children while preparing them for college and beyond.

I am a proponent of giving back to the community as I am part of the founding committee that recently held our 8th annual 5k Miracles for Myeloma walk/race in Clark, NJ. In seven years, we’ve raised over $500,000 that funded doctors’ cancer research. Recently, I spent three years serving on the Rutgers Big Data Advisory Board.

If re-elected to the Board of Education, I humbly offer you my experience, my leadership, my listening skills, and the best of my abilities to serve you.

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