Kelly Mitchell

| 24 Oct 2019 | 03:26

Office Sought: Vernon Township Board of Education

Age: 55

Political History: Current Member of Vernon Township Board of Education (Chairman of Student Life/Anti-Bullying Committee, Chairman of Building and Grounds Committee, Member of Special Services Committee, Member of Community Relations Committee), Member of Vernon Township Land Use Board, Board of Directors on New Jersey Planning Officials representing Sussex County

Occupation: Licensed NJ Realtor/Broker Sales Associate at Weichert Realtors Vernon Office

Education: Vernon Township K-12, County College of Morris, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Family: Lifelong Vernon resident. Married and three children, all graduates of Vernon Township High School.

Top three issues: 1. Fiscal Responsibility/Budget- I was the only member to vote “no” for the current budget. I stated “we can do more to cut spending without impacting the students and faculty.” There are many ways to overcome the loss of state aid that I have personally worked on. Increased enrollment is paramount to stop the issue of lost tuition funds; retention of current students and other various ways. As Chairman of Buildings and Grounds, we are investigating room usage in district buildings to become more financially prudent. Examining and dissecting the purchase orders before ordering to stop overspending was my suggestion which changed the previous procedure. 2. Student Life/Anti-Bullying- As Chairman, I have had numerous public meetings to discuss and share my vision for new programs such as PAVE (Peers Assisting Vikings Equally) and to hear the students and parents share their concerns and experiences. I also have put a strong focus on climate and culture in the district as a response to the feedback. Our new “Welcome Home” project will help with retention, bridging the gap between schools, and with the goal of having all students feel valued, heard, and included. 3. Community Relations- I have started an open house program at VTHS to invite residents and future residents to see what Vernon has to offer. I recently attended a Sussex County Board of Education workshop; the speaker stated how impressed he was with our CTE program. The open house program will help explain our programs, facilities, and assist with enrollment.