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School Board Candidate Michael Rec: More Shared Services Needed

Current school board president seeks one-year term.

Washington Township Schools Board of Education President Michael Rec, 48, will be seeking a one-year term on the board. Rec and his family have lived in Long Valley for the past 16 years. For more information on the election, see . The following are Rec’s answers to questions asked by Long Valley Patch.

Long Valley Patch: How many of your children are going through / have gone through the school district?
Micheal Rec:
We have three children. Christopher is a college freshman, Brigitte a high school sophomore, and Abigail is in 7th grade. All have been through (or are now going through) our K-8 and WMRHS district schools.

LVP: What is your educational background?
MR:
I earned a BS degree in computer engineering from Northeastern University, Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University, and MBA from Columbia University.

LVP: What is your current occupation?
MR:
I currently serve as global business development vice president for Alcatel-Lucent’s managed services business.

LVP: Do you have any past political experience?
MR:
I have no political experience.

LVP: What volunteer activities have you been involved in?
MR:
Most recently, I was treasurer for Boy Scout Troop 236 and continue as an active member and merit badge counselor. I am currently a coach for the St. Mark’s CYO basketball program, served as co-president for the Long Valley Soccer Association, and have coached a number of our childrens’ soccer, basketball, and ice hockey teams.

LVP: Why should voters feel comfortable with you representing the board of education?
MR:
In addition to my five years of experience on the K-8 BoE with roles of finance chair, vice president, and president, I am hopeful that my integrity and straightforward, collaborative, business-like approach is what has made the biggest difference and helped to make our great district even better from an educational and fiscal perspective.

LVP: In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the district, and what do you intend to do to fix them?
MR:
There are three key areas that will require our attention in the upcoming year:
1.) More aggressive attention to shared services with our township and across neighboring districts. While good progress has been made over the past year, I believe we have barely scratched the surface of opportunity.
2.) Negotiation and settlement of a fair and balanced teachers contract that is adequately competitive and reflective of current and forecasted market conditions.
3.) Continued and balanced focus on educational excellence and fiscal restraint. While this is not an issue per-se, it is a culture that we need to continue evangelizing.

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