Meet the BOE Candidates: Maryalice Thomas
By Rebecca K. Abma
Four candidates are vying for three seats on the Midland Park Board of Education in the April 23 election. Midland Park Press is giving each candidate the opportunity to speak in their own words.
Incumbent Dr. Maryalice Thomas has served on the Board of Education for five years, completing an unexpired two-year term and a full three-year term. A native Midland Parker, she graduated Midland Park Junior-Senior High School Class of 1979. After living out-of-state during college a graduate school, she returned to Midland Park with her husband, Tom Hagerty, to raise their three children, Patrick (MPHS 2013), Tim (2016) and Maggie (2017).
A Student Assistance Counselor for the Randolph Township School District for 24 years, Dr. Thomas is a member of the Midland Park Municipal Alliance Committee, the Midland Park High School PTA, the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, the New Jersey Association for Student Assistance Professionals and the American Counseling Association.
As a member of the BOE, she has served as chair of the policy committee and personnel committee, and has been a member of the public relations committee and the curriculum committee. She has also served as board liaison to the Special Education Parent’s Advisory Committee, the Midland Park Performing Arts Parents, and the Midland Park Public Education Foundation.
Why are you running for the Board of Education? If re-elected, what do you hope to achieve?
I am seeking re-election to the Midland Park Board of Education because I believe I can serve the community of Midland Park as a Board Trustee. I have been fortunate enough to serve for the past five years and hope to continue to do so in a positive manner. I believe that the primary responsibility of a board member is to establish goals for the schools based on student educational needs, parent and community aspirations, state and federal standards and district financial resources.
This goal, however, can present many challenges for the Board of Education. These challenges include meeting the guidelines of the Federal Government for implementing the Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) Exams, instituting the new teacher and principal evaluation system, monitoring the achievement gap statistics and listening to the desires of the community. Funding for quality education continues to be a delicate balance. It is the responsibility of the board to institute policies that allow all students to reach his or her full potential while being sensitive to the stakeholders of Midland Park.
What do you see as the major issues facing the district and the community?
The community wants the best education for their children while remaining fiscally responsible. The theme for our district is “a small school with big opportunities.” We want our children to be college and career ready and competitive in the global economy. As a board member I believe finding that balance is the key.
What are your plans for addressing the facilities?
As part of the BOE, I would like us to ask the stakeholders to reconsider a referendum now that we have been matching funds provided by the state. These funds could update the facilities rather than continuing to redirect money from the annual budget to work on projects. Although we are pleased that the roofs of most buildings are complete, I believe most of the stakeholders would like all of the upgrades to be completed and the rest of the budget devoted to bringing quality educational programs to our students.
Why should I vote for you?
I have a passion for education and believe that the students of Midland Park have proven to be strong leaders in many facets of economy and will continue to do so in the future.
Polls will be open on Wednesday, April 23 from 2 to 9pm. This is the second of four articles in our Meet The Candidates series. Candidate responses are posted in the order they are received.