Three candidates are running unopposed for township seats on the Bordentown Regional Board of Education: incumbent Howard Barman, incumbent Stephen Heberling and Erika Worthy. Each candidate was given the opportunity to outline their plans for the upcoming term.
Howard Barman, 67, has lived in Bordentown since 1989. He graduated from Springfield Gardens High School in Queens and attended SUNY-Binghamton, where he studied accounting. Barman, an attorney, attended law school at Rutgers-Camden. All of his children went through the Bordentown Regional School District.
“The school board has made strides in improving education. We added to the AP course list and will work to make scheduling of AP courses easier. This year, we have added supervisors for both language arts and math, which we expect will improve course study and test scores. My goal is to build upon this start and continue to improve the education of our children.”
Stephen Heberling, 53, has lived in Bordentown for 45 years. He graduated from the Peddie School and then the College of Insurance at Saint John’s School of Risk and Finance, where he studied property and casualty insurance and risk management. He is currently the majority owner of the R.H. Aaronson and Son insurance agency. Heberling has served on the school board since 2013, and both of his children went through the Bordentown school district.
“I learned during my first term, setting and publicizing individual goals and promoting personal self-interest is not conducive to being a good or an effective board member. If we are all trying to accomplish our own individual goals, we will accomplish nothing as a board. Obviously, I want to keep the budget under control and be vigilant for our tax payers. With our labor contracts under control for a few years, we can focus all our attention on enhancing our districts ability to serve our students in the best possible way. Our current president is doing a fantastic job leading this board and promoting a ‘team’ approach. I hope she continues in that role. Based on that, I will contribute however I am needed.”
Erika Worthy, 51, has lived in Bordentown for 13 years. She grew up in a military family and graduated from Seoul American High School in South Korea. She returned to the United States after high school and attended Columbia College in South Carolina. She also has an MBA in human resources from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She currently works as a director of human resources. Worthy’s children and grandchildren have gone through the Bordentown schools.
“I think it is important to attract and retain quality faculty and staff who are representative of the student body. To attract the best talent, we must ensure that faculty and staff salaries are competitive with the local market and other school districts. A positive work environment that increases engagement is essential to the retention of our faculty and staff. A sustainable budget is ultimately key to each of these strategies; obtaining the right level of support from the state and using the community dollars wisely. Student well-being is a topic that is of concern not only locally in our school district but also nationally. With the national gun control crisis and the continual attacks on schools, the safety of our children is imperative. We should have effective protocols in place for building security and should train our teachers to see the signs when a student is of danger to themselves and others.”