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Margaret Simons: Full-Term Candidate for Rumson BOE

Simons is running for her first full three-year term on the board, after filling an unexpired term in 2011.

Margaret Simons: Full-Term Candidate for Rumson BOE

Name, age and address: Margaret Kaminski Simons, 42, 22 Hartshorne Lane

Occupation and educational background:

Currently, I stay at home with our three boys and work occasional projects, such as teaching the Introduction to Finance course at Rutgers and consulting on small business strategy. 

My prior experience includes working in sales and strategy positions at several financial institutions, most recently at Goldman Sachs’ Investment Management Division as a vice president.

NYU Stern School of Business, MBA in Finance

Villanova University, BSBA in Finance

Affiliations: Rumson PTO, Programming co-chair, school years 2008-11; Rumson PTO, treasurer, school year 2007-08; Rumson PTO, treasurer-elect, school year 2006-07; Books for Kids Foundation, NY, NY, 2004-2011; board member and treasurer                        

Have you ever held a position on a school board, here or elsewhere, and, if so, for how long and when?

I was elected to fill a vacant position on Rumson BOE in April 2011. I am running for my first full three-year term on Nov. 6.

How many years have you lived in Rumson and how many children, if any, (include ages) do you have in the district schools?

My husband Doug and I moved to Rumson in August 2004. Our sons, Douglas (12) and Colin (10), attend Forrestdale while our youngest, Brendan (7), attends Deane-Porter.

What was your impetus for running for a seat on the BOE?

I wish to assist in the community goal of delivering the optimal curriculum to our children while offering the proper support to our administrators and teachers to successfully accomplish learning at each child’s ability, all while remaining fiscally prudent with the residents of Rumson’s tax contributions.

What do you feel makes you uniquely qualified for this position?

Like many parents in our active community, my volunteer experience in this district has been built from the ground up, starting as a kindergarten class parent in 2005 and continuing through today. 

I hope the voters consider my candidacy knowing my heart is with our children while using my professional skill set to help achieve the best result possible.

What do you feel is the primary issue the board is faced with and how, specifically, would you address that issue should you be elected?

The budget cap (currently at 2 percent) serves as a constraint felt deeply on almost every board committee ranging from facilities operation management to negotiating teachers’ contracts. 

I have been impressed with the intelligence, reasonableness and creativity that has been brought to bear by the entire school community to maintain our best in class education as a J district.  This challenge continues into next year and beyond.

The board has been accused of not being transparent enough. Do you feel that is true or not? If so, why or why not and how would you remedy the complaint?

I harbor the same frustrations members of the community must feel when serious issues come up that require a level of confidentiality to protect the students and employees of the district. 

It is during those moments when as board members we fall back on the policies the district takes such deep care in writing and maintaining. 

That is why this election process is so important — citizens are placing their trust in their elected BOE members to use their best judgment to understand the facts as they are presented and to come to a decision. 

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