To the Editor of the AH Herald and all my friends and neighbors,

I am writing to introduce myself as a candidate for Henry Hudson’s Board of Education.  I am running for office because I have a deeply vested interest in ensuring that HHRS offers the very best education for my children and all the children of this community.

My wife Trizia and I have 3 children - Cole, Reed and Talia.  My son Reed is currently attending HHRS in 7th grade and my daughter Talia is in 4th grade at Atlantic Highlands Elementary.  My son Cole attended the middle school at HHRS for the past two years and is now a freshman at High Technology High School in Lincroft.  We also had a foster child live with us last year and attended HHRS as a sophomore.  I grew up in a family with two parents that were teachers here on the Jersey Shore and after attending college at Notre Dame, my wife and I moved back to Atlantic Highlands to put down our roots and raise our family; now it’s time for me to give back and help our school become the very best it can be.  As a software business development executive and co-founder of a successful technology startup, I have experience working creatively to solve problems, nurturing collaboration, and drive improvements as a leader with 20 years of work experience.

Based on my existing experiences as an HHRS parent, I know what an outstanding education HHRS can provide and I have seen tremendous improvements in the past few years.  It truly is “a private school in a public setting”.  It is my goal to continue this momentum to expand opportunities for students; this includes enhanced academic rigor through programs such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Athletics and Mathematics) in a fiscally sound way.  I also want to work to expand extracurricular opportunities and sports to give our students the very best opportunities to grow and prosper.  I have experience of both high achieving kids as well as those needing more specialized attention though an IEP and 504 plan.  The work is not done until HHRS is recognized as one of the top high schools in Monmouth County and I believe this is possible with the right focus and planning.

I believe it is very important to highlight to the voters a few major difference between myself and the other candidate, Mr. Hayden;  First, I am a parent that has children that have recently attended HHRS, is currently going to HHRS, and will be a student at HHRS in the near future; this is more recent and relevant experience with HHRS; my reasons for wanting to engage and give back to HHRS are genuine.  And unlike the other candidate, I do not work for or have any ties to the New Jersey Teacher’s Union and will be able to server as a fully functioning board member.  Mr. Hayden works directly, as a full time employee, for the NJEA as a union representative and this means his duties as a board member are likely to be heavily restricted as clearly stated in prior legal opinions by the NJ State of Education Ethics Committee.  I encourage all voters to visit the links below and learn more about why this conflict of interest with Mr. Hayden’s current employer will be extremely troubling for HHRS if he is elected.  

18A:12-24.1 Code of Ethics for School Board Members
http://www.nj.gov/education/legal/ethics/advisory/cat1/A13-13.pdf
http://www.state.nj.us/education/ethics/coe.htm

Here are some quotes from the NJ State Ethics Committee legal opinion with the exact same situation back in 2013 where an NJEA union representative ran for BOE position in another district;  “After a review of your request, the Commission is concerned that the relationships these Board members enjoy with their employers will, at a minimum, create in the public a perception that these members and the Board at large might be compromised and their judgment or objectivity impaired. Moreover, the new members’ employment positions may severely diminish the Board’s ability to conduct much of its business. In many ways, we cannot now know all of the conflicts the Board may confront. For the present, however, the new Board members’ involvement in these ongoing negotiations while still employed by the NJEA and CSS, respectively, violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(a), (c), (d), and has the potential to violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24 (b), (g), (h), (i), and (k).

Even if the new Board members were to resign from their positions and divest themselves of all connection with their employers, they would still be prohibited from involvement in the instant negotiations and a great deal of future activity. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, labor relations issues with the LEA, grievances, teacher contracts, salary guides, and development. Moreover, they would not be able to give technical advice or be privy to any discussions in closed session.”

It’s a critical time for Henry Hudson and I will do my best to serve our community, and most importantly, represent the students and families of HHRS with integrity and proper purpose.  Please visit my Facebook page or give me a call to learn more about my goals to improve HHRS and represent the community as the best choice for BOE.   The board and the school deserves a person who can meet the full obligation of the seat and I am the only one of the two candidates that can do that.   https://www.facebook.com/TuckerSnedekerforHHRSBOE


Kind regards and Go Admirals,

Tucker Snedeker

 

Mr. Snedeker is a candidate for the Henry Hudson Regional School Board of Education.