Gilman, Parlamas and Clayton: School Board Service deeply rooted in collaboration and service


Gilman, Parlamas and Clayton: School Board Service deeply rooted in collaboration and service

For Immediate Release: September 20, 2021

Ocean Township, Monmouth County A few years ago, one of us was part of a panel discussing what it was like being a school board member to a group of people interested in wanting to serve their communities. The crowd was told that serving on a board of education could be some of the most demanding yet rewarding public services one could do. It is rarely a stepping stone for higher office. Instead, it is a place where hard work can lead to concrete results.

The first school boards in our country date back to 1647 when the Massachusetts Bay Colony had each local jurisdiction establish its own school district, and committees were set up to help with instruction. Fast forward to the 1820s, and it modified so each town’s committee would be independent of local government, thus establishing the modern-day school boards.

Like everything, much has changed over the years. However, the core principles of accessibility of school boards to local residents, collaboration with the residents and with each other, and respect for differing perspectives remain as vibrant today as ever.

The Experience Matters ticket seeks to continue those proud attributes in their continued service to the Ocean Township School Board. We may come from different perspectives: Irene Gilman, has been a longtime educator in the district, Denise Parlamas has served our community for 19 years, serving numerous times as President of the Board of Education, and Steve Clayton served a term on the school board while also serving in state government.  Together with our different leadership experiences, we seek to adhere to one goal above all others, do what is best for Ocean’s students.

The Experience Matters ticket said the following on trying to follow the ideals that are centuries old: “Our different perspectives form our governing philosophy of collaboration over conflict, and of working together for the common good. There will always be things that divide people. We have and will continue to strive to bring all together and work to find solutions. The voters who elect those who represent Ocean Township on the Board of Education deserve nothing less.”

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