Recently I had the opportunity to attend a presentation given by Pat Riccards. Pat highlighted his background in the field of education, as well as his experience on the Board of Education of a school district very much like WWPRSD. It was refreshing to have a candidate that actually has a background in both education and experience successfully overseeing a school district.

Unlike many of our school board members, Pat is a parent of children that attend WW-P schools, and has a true interest in the education of our children and well as the safety of our schools and the financial obligations of the district that we all are taxed for.

I would encourage everyone to look up Pat on Facebook at Pat Riccards for WW-P Board of Education, and find out more about Pat, his experience and his views on how we can more effectively run our school district.

— Linda Carlson, West Windsor

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Since Richard Kaye left the school board, we have not had an experienced educational leader serving our children and community. Pat Riccards has 20 years experience in public education. He is a former board chairperson of a top-performing school district. He has the drive and background to create an environment thatwill restore the high standards we have enjoyed in past years with our valued school district.

The current administration under David Aderhold has relied on gimmicks and profligate spending rather than transparency and accountability. It is time to ensure needed oversight, which the present board has failed to provide.

Pat’s energy and enthusiasm for public education, coupled with his depth of experience, will give our schools and, most importantly, our students, the leadership and integrity necessary to return to the high level of success we count upon for the next generation.

— Anthony DeCarlo, West Windsor

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Patrick Riccards has 20 years of experience working in public education. He is an educational policy expert and is consulted by school districts and universities across the nation. He has led improvement efforts in STEM, reading instruction, assessment, teacher education and family engagement. He was a former school board chairman of a top-performing school district in Virginia.

He helped conduct one of the most significant school improvement efforts in Connecticut history. He has been helping build two new graduate schools of education, one of which is in collaboration with MIT. He is a father of two Community Middle School students. We are very fortunate that he would like to be on our BOE and we should take advantage of this opportunity to have a seasoned and knowledgeable educational policy expert on our school board. You can read more about him at riccards4wwp.com

I also strongly support Prasannakumar Padinhareveetil for a Plainsboro seat on the board. Prasannakumar is an IT professional, but has a passion for teaching and advocates for students. He tutors students grades 4-12 in math and SAT, and is very familiar with some of the problems our kids face academically. One problem in math instruction that we hear from parents, teachers and students alike is the jump in difficulty from middle school to high school math.

Prasannakumar would like to make it a more uniform, gradual progression in math between the grades so that our kids are not suddenly overwhelmed in high school. He would also like to improve the communication between parents, students and the school board to promote more responsible spending and address fiscal policy issues in our school district and further social emotional learning efforts. You can read more about him at prasanna4boe.com

— Kani Ilangovan, West Windsor

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Patrick Riccards is a professional educator with rich experiences in all aspects of public education. He has championed literacy instruction, has led national efforts for effective reading instruction and has constructed meaningful STEM efforts.

Patrick was a board chairman for one of the top-performing school districts in Virginia. While there, he led efforts to expand the school system to meet expected student population growth, recruited, hired, evaluated and supported the new superintendent to lead the recognized school system. His profound knowledge and skills are extremely valuable to our school district.

After moving to West Windsor, Patrick has been a coach for his daughter’s cheerleading team. He has earned the respect from all the students, parents and the co-coaches. Patrick has won my vote for his experience, passion and talents in public education and his focus on all students and communities.

— Suzanne Huang, West Windsor

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Patrick Riccards brings a fresh perspective to our community, along with decades of experience at the national, state and local levels in education reform. His background would be invaluable to helping our schools continue to be world-class, while meeting our students’ needs and our families’ priorities.

As president of the school board in Falls Church, Virginia, Patrick had to navigate through a multimillion dollar referendum due to growth in that school district. Thus he has a unique set of skills that is invaluable to the community given that WW-P faces a similar situation.

It is important to bring transparency and accountability to the school board. Decisions about major budget expenditures should not be made behind closed doors by a handful of people, but should be open and inviting public discussion and engaged conversation. Our board of education should welcome comments and questions and respond to them.

Patrick cares about all students and is a firm believer that opportunities should be given to all. Whether it is math, science, special services, football or cheerleading, Patrick believes that all students should be challenged to their maximum potential.

— Prabhat Tomar, Deborah Marinsky, Zhigang Zhang, Suzanne Huang, Michael Grande, Alex Lau, Muna Tang, Lily Ling, Mark Pepper, Andy Bromberg, John Hinsdale

West Windsor