MOORESTOWN, NJ — When voters cast their ballots in the Nov. 3 elections, they will be asked to choose three people from a field of six to serve on the Moorestown Public School District’s Board of Education.
Patch asked each candidate to answer questions to give voters information about who they are and their stances on various issues. We are printing their responses in full, unedited except for spelling or punctuation. Below are the responses from incumbent Board Member Mick Weeks.
Previous elective office, if any
Served one term on Moorestown BOE from 2017-19.
Does anyone in your family work for the school district or in politics?
BA — Seton Hall University — Communications & Anthropology, 1992
MPA — University of Kentucky — Master of Public Administration, 1996
Technology Sales — Northeast Strategic Account Executive for Higher Education at Jamf, LLC — In my current role at Jamf, LLC I advise colleges and universities on purchasing and implementing remote enterprise management solutions for teaching, learning, and administration.
Why are you seeking a seat on the school board?
During these unprecedented times, our schools and community need experienced and thoughtful leadership that fully understands the role of individual Board of Education Members and how to operate effectively within the mandated structure. My background in K-20 Education, previous BOE experience, and strong ties to our community uniquely qualify me to fill that role successfully.
The single most pressing issue facing our school district is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
The single most pressing issue facing our school district is how to continue improving learning opportunities for all students. Moorestown schools have historically done a wonderful job of preparing students for success after graduation. However, the definition of success and what it takes to achieve it has evolved in many ways. Our world values and rewards those who can create, inspire, and lead. The opportunity to think critically, synthesize information, and develop new solutions to challenges should be emphasized and incorporated across the learning experience.
Additionally, our understanding of the learning environments that can best serve all learners has also grown. I will continue to encourage our administration, faculty, and staff to consistently challenge themselves to provide the best opportunities for all of our students to become the best versions of themselves. I believe this focus is essential — whether we are in a pandemic or not. We will eventually return to school full time once it is safe to do so; however, whether we are in school or learning remotely, these issues of equity, access, and opportunity need to be at the forefront.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking to serve on the school board seat?
I would first note the similarities we share. We are all parents of current MTPS students and obviously care deeply about supporting learning and teaching. Additionally, we are all seeking to play a role in the administration of the resources necessary to provide an exemplary educational experience for all the students of Moorestown.
That said, I would note that I differ from some of my opponents due to my deep experience in education and particularly in the intersection of pedagogy, technology, and innovation. I spent nearly 19 years in my previous role as a K-12 Technology Sales Specialist with Apple, working with innovative schools in the Philadelphia region and around the country. I have seen countless examples of the efficient and effective delivery of quality instruction and can share that experience with an understanding of how to achieve it.
During my time at Apple, I learned how to work and thrive in a culture of innovation with strong professionals from varied backgrounds and experiences. My current company Jamf is one of the fastest growing companies in its sector and recently had a successful initial public offering. My professional roles have prepared me with valuable experiences that I will bring to collaboration with the other members of the board and the district administration.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
- I believe all children are entitled to an educational structure that provides the best opportunity to fulfill their individual potential.
- I believe all children should have a safe and nurturing learning environment based upon mutual respect that celebrates their differences and strives for inclusion.
- I believe a strong educational environment should help children harness their innate creativity and curiosity and develop it into a lifelong passion for learning.
- I believe our community should be active participants in positively supporting and inspiring our students, teachers, and administrators to help fulfill the promise of an exceptional educational experience that empowers all involved and strengthens our bonds.
- I believe in positively supporting the partnership that exists between the community, the board of education, the administration, and staff in the responsibility to operate a fiscally sound and well-managed school district.
- I believe that board of education members should endeavor to be thoughtful, honest, and respectful in their deliberations and communications with fellow board members, administration, staff, students, and the community.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you will be effective on the school board?
During my previous term (2017-19), our district made great progress in what I feel are critical areas. I was very vocal about our need to broaden our definition of success in our ever-changing world. As the chair of the Communications Committee I developed and helped lead the Community Engagement Forum Series — a series of meetings that fostered a new level of conversation with parents, teachers, students, and general members of the community. I enjoyed leading conversations about how we could incorporate an understanding of social and emotional learning and achievement. We also explored how as a community we could better support our students and have a more holistic approach to what success means for each individual learner. The Community Engagement Series was the forum that introduced the strategic planning process. That process lead to improved mission and vision statements that incorporated our World Class Learner approach and goals. I also served as board liaison to the working group that secured our first certification as a Future Ready School. These are just some accomplishments during my first term and I look to build on them during the next term.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I am a lifelong resident of Moorestown and an MHS graduate. My wife Julie and I have a daughter who is a junior at the high school and a son in third grade at South Valley. I have coached in many of the Moorestown Rec leagues and for the Moorestown Soccer Club, where I am currently coaching a 2012 boys’ team. I served for 13 years on the Board of the YMCA of the Pines in Medford, one year as Co-Chief Volunteer Officer and ten as Vice President.
I believe I bring many desirable qualities to the role of Board of Education Member and am eager to serve my community again. If you value the experience, integrity, and values that I would bring to the role I would appreciate your vote this November.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
Steve Jobs once said, “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is — everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use … I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
This idea drives me to participate in the process of improving situations and institutions in our community. I also think it’s a great lesson to help inspire our children and give them the agency to know that they can put a dent in the universe and change their lives and the world for the better. To me this is the paramount goal of a quality educational experience and one I am looking forward to continuing to help build for our students and community here in Moorestown.