My name is Justin Annunziata, and I am running for the Vernon Township Board of Education. As a former VTHS Student Council President and a lifelong Vernon resident, I am passionate about the success of our school district. I have recently completed my undergraduate education at American University with a B.S. in Accounting and a Minor in Management, and I now work as the financial controller for a New York State auto group. I hope to combine my personal and professional experiences, to bring a well-rounded, distinct viewpoint to the Board of Education.

Having observed the events of the past few years first as a high school student, then as a college student, and now as a member of the workforce, I have been inspired to run for the Board of Education by the belief that we can do better. We can and must do better by the taxpayers, by the district employees, by the parents, and most importantly, by the students. The perpetual burden of political disruptions and front-page drama discredits our district and distracts us from our primary objective: the education of our students.

For years, our district has been subject to successive disarray and constant upheaval. Therefore, I will choose to optimistically focus on how we can better our district to the benefit of our students. It is not enough to bide our time or sweep our problems under the rug; it is necessary to comprehensively address systemic problems, with a fervent commitment to excellence and total quality management.

As someone with a background in organizational culture and human capital management, I would like to start a dialogue about the impact of an unhealthy organizational culture on the long-term success of our district. Low employee morale can keep us from reaching our greatest potential. Ineffective succession planning, an absence of clear two-way communication, and the lack of an atmosphere of respect should be cause for concern.

As a candidate and as a board member, my goal will be that our students receive a high-quality, well-rounded, growth-oriented education, and graduate ready to enter the world as productive members of society. I will advocate for programs and policies that support this mission. I will support and encourage experiential learning, in order to help students find their passion. I will champion extracurricular programs that empower students to accomplish more than they once thought possible.

Over the next few months I hope to take part in a spirited, respectful discourse about the future of our school district. Times are changing, and our district is at a crossroads. At critical moments like this there cannot be a lack of proactive leadership from our elected representatives. If elected, I will work with unwavering rigor for the betterment of our students. I look forward to getting to know you, the residents of Vernon, better over the next five months, and I hope to earn your vote for the Vernon Township Board of Education, this November.

Respectfully,

Justin Annunziata

Candidate

Vernon Township Board of Education