Norm Abrams is running in the Appoquinimink Board of Education.
How long have you lived in the Appoquinimink School District? I have lived in the Appoquinimink School District for 14 years.
Where do you live in the district? I live in Townsend.
Education: I graduated from John Dickinson High School in 1982, and Goldey Beacom College in 1984.
Career: I have worked for Delmarva Power for 19 years.
Family: I have a wife of 21 years, and three daughters, ages 9, 12 and 14.
Community involvement/activities: For the last nine years, I have served as president of Townsend Elementary PTA.
How many children do you have enrolled in Appoquinimink School District and what schools do they attend? All three of my children attend school in the Appoquinimink School District: Townsend Elementary, Meredith Middle and Middletown High.
Why do you want to be elected to the Appoquinimink Board of Education? As PTA president, I have spent the last nine years working with children, parents, teachers, the district, the state and others, to ensure that TES’s children receive the most rewarding educational experience possible. During this time, I have come to thoroughly learn how the behind-the-scenes process works, from the principal’s office to the teacher’s lounge to the janitor’s closet.
I want to join this tactical knowledge with a responsible strategic vision, and make decisions that will have the greatest positive impact on all of the district’s children, so that they do not suffer any unnecessary losses borne of poor planning, shortsightedness, or political gain.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in this position? The biggest challenge of this role will be striking the right balance when weighing the needs of the students. We live in a community that is passionate about its academics, its athletics and its arts. All of these passions must be supported in as perfect a measure as possible.
What are your thoughts on how to handle the area’s growth when it comes to the schools? Our response to our area’s growth must be handled in two key ways. First, it must be addressed proactively, not reactively, whenever possible. If we can better anticipate the district’s needs, we can better plan to meet those needs, eliminate unnecessary spending, and enjoy the growth of the community instead of worry about it.
Second, we need to think beyond next year. As we make decisions for the betterment of our children, we need to remember that those decisions not only provide immediate or short-term solutions, they also carry long-term consequences. We need to be mindful of what those consequences might be.
With projected reductions in state funding, how would you limit the effect on quality education for students in the district? To ensure that there is no negative effect on quality education, or even on the quality of the overall experience of attending school from kindergarten through 12th grade in this district, my priority will be to consider every conceivable option for expense reduction and dollar maximization.
As a board, we must work harder to find those areas where we can reduce expenses not through radical cuts to programs or jobs, but through smarter spending and better resource management.
What do you want the district to be like in five years when your term is completed? Five years from now, I want this district to be proud of what it accomplished in its previous five years, and confident about its direction in the coming five years.