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Byrne: “I Would Like to See Our Schools Achieve Blue Ribbon Status”

Bob Jones

Saturday, November 23, 2013 • 4:00am

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – As she’s about to start her fifth term on the school board, Carol Byrne has some high ambitions:  She would like to see the district achieve blue-ribbon status.

The mother of two has been serving on and off as a board member since the 1970s, and during that time her daughters have graduated, gone off to college, and have started their own families and careers. In total, she has served 18 years on the board and has served on every possible board committee.  She’s also served stints as both president and vice president.

But Byrne still thinks she has a lot to offer as a board member.  “I believe I have knowledge to contribute, a point of view that is independent, and a desire to serve our children.”

When asked her top goals for the coming three years, Byrne said taking the school system to the next level was a priority.  “I would like to see our schools achieve blue-ribbon status,” she said, referring to the label given the top schools in the country by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Preserving and upgrading facilities is also on the top of her list, as is giving students more access to new and better technology. 

Byrne first ran for the board because she felt the members had become arrogant and were not being fair with the staff.  “I believed that, even though I had no experience as a seated board member, I had attended several years of meetings and budget hearings and could do a better job than they had done.”

Over the course of her career, Byrnes says three accomplishments stand out.  The first is creating the committee that put together the referendum to build Roosevelt School, and the second is supporting all-day kindergarten. 

She also believes that being part of the board that selected the new superintendent stands out among her achievements.  “Bringing Dr. Genco to South Plainfield may be the most important thing I’ve done as a board member.”

This is the second in a series of articles profiling South Plainfield’s winning candidates from the 2013 election.

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