NOTE: In the Forum Outline below, links are provided to go directly to a specific section of the video.


John Westfall-Kwong, Moderator

Sherry Mahfouz •  Andrea Spaar • Kadie Desoe • Gwen Yones


 Candidates On the Ballot

Jennifer Bhathena • Kris Heinrichs • Viswabharath Reddy


Cynthia Longley Richards


Introductions: All candidates were asked to provide a 60-second opening statement. To go directly to this section click here.

Question 1:  In your own words, please share what you feel the role of a Board of Education member is and why you feel you are uniquely qualified for the role. What qualities will enable you to effectively work with other Board of Education members, the Superintendent and other District professionals? Also, name one board of education committee that you think your background would add value.  To go directly to this section click here.

Question 2: What are your thoughts regarding your role in implementing policies and regulations for classroom consistency, as it pertains to use of google classroom, homework, due dates, deadlines and assessments for students in the same grade in elementary school or in the same course in middle school and high school? How can we ensure some uniformity? Also, how can we support teachers in these basic functions? To go directly to this section click here.

Question 3: On some of the candidate Board of Ed profiles, there is mention of a need for additional transparency from the Board of Education. Do you feel that is indeed correct? Depending on your answer,  If yes, can you please please cite a specific example where the Board was transparent -- or not transparent -- and explain how you have handled the situation differently or the same. To go directly to this section click here.

Question 4: Please provide further information regarding your volunteer resumé. Specifically, what PTO positions have you held in the Millburn School District or in other districts -- or have you done other non-profit volunteer work that provides further expertise connected to this role? To go directly to this section click here.

Question 5: With the potential for significantly more households to be built due to Millburn’s Fair Share Housing settlement agreement, what do you feel could be done to make room for potentially hundreds of new students coming into the school district? What can the BoE do to continue to maintain the quality we have always experienced? To go directly to this section click here.

Question 6: It is rare, but sometimes teachers and staff do not follow the rules or guidelines that are set up by the district. For example, a teacher may not follow guidelines for no homework nights or delay handing assessments or quizzes back to students for so long that the next one comes before the students receive the last one. A teacher may occasionally post a homework assignment so late that a student is caught off guard in class the next day. These situations can add to student stress. Some parents and students are so worried about retaliation that they do not say anything and nothing is done to fix the problem. Most likely the teacher is misinterpreting the rule or guideline and not doing anything intentionally nefarious. Can you suggest a way that students and/or parents can share this feedback with the school or district anonymously or in some other manner?  How would you process this feedback? To go directly to this section click here.

Question 7: All students, regardless of their skill level, make mistakes. It is widely recognized that learning from these mistakes is an excellent way to learn. Many or some teachers at the Middle School and High School do not allow students to take their assessments home for a thorough review. Some teachers will give it back briefly in class and then collect it at the end of that class. Some teachers allow the student to review it quickly during office hours. Some teachers do allow a student to write down the question that they got wrong, but not all of them. How does this help a student learn and how can the student avoid making a similar error when the same material comes around again on their Midterm or Final? Although it is more work for the teachers, should the District put Policies and/or Regulations in place that require quizzes, assessments and writing assignments be returned to the students in a timely manner?  To go directly to this section click here.

Question 8: What are your thoughts on the Middle School's Block would you engage with the high school administration and teachers in order to ensure that the transition to the block schedule is managed most effectively for the students? To go directly to this section click here.

Closing Remarks: Provide a 60-second closing statement. To go directly to this section click here.