Christopher St. John

 

 

CHRISTOHER ST. JOHN

Candidate for Evesham Board of Education

 

  1.  As a lifelong Evesham resident, I take great pride in our community.  Having received the benefit of a solid education and the many opportunities that flow from such, I want to ensure the same for my children and other children of Evesham.  I chose to run in this particular election because of the recent division in this town.  While it is unrealistic to assume that these separate, autonomous  and independent bodies will agree on everything, it is not unreasonable to demand that they treat each other with respect.  I feel that Town Council and the School Board should work in harmony.  The bickering back and forth is unproductive.  More importantly, it sends the wrong message to our children.  I know with the increased usage of social media people love to jump down each other’s throats any chance they get to prove they are "right" and their opponent is "wrong," but that does not help bridge the gap between competing views.  Nor does it help in solving problems or finding common ground.  We should never lose sight of the fact that we are all neighbors and citizens of this community with the same goal of providing the best education possible for our children.  If given the opportunity to serve, I feel I can be a strong voice to help bring people together and focus on the education of all our children and not the politics or personal agendas of individuals.
  2. While I have not served on any boards, I have served the public in numerous capacities, which, I believe, makes me qualified to handle the responsibility of serving the citizens of Evesham as a school board member.  I served the citizens of New Jersey as a prosecutor with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.  I also currently serve as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Army as an attorney and legal advisor.  Through my experiences as a prosecutor and Judge Advocate General, I have learned to manage complex issues in an objective way.  Currently, I am an attorney with the firm of Malamut & Associates in Cherry Hill.
  3.  I believe the top issues facing the BOE in the coming years will be the following: Reduced aid from the State.  This will cause great strain on our community.  I think it’s vital to have creative ideas that can help generate revenue and efficiently manage tax dollars so they are spent wisely.  School security.  I also believe school security is an issue that is of concern to our town.  I always felt safe as a child and student in Evesham.  However, today our children do not enjoy that same luxury.  I will continue to support the school resource officer program and work closely with the Evesham Police Department to find other creative ways to ensure our children’s safety.  Test Scores.  I recognize that test scores do not tell the entire story, however, the test scores of Evesham’s students are declining as compared to other similarly situated school districts.  I would like to find ways to better gauge the progress of our teachers and children to ensure we are providing every child the best education possible.  As well as to provide the teachers the tools they need to provide that education.  Unity. Lastly, I do not subscribe to an “us” versus “them” mentality. The relationship between the BOE and Town Council is strained.  While they are two separate autonomous bodies, they answer to every Evesham resident with the same common goal.  I will work to help build a professional and respectful relationship with Council. 
  4. In my profession, I constantly experience situations dealing with conflicts or differing views.  As an attorney, I zealously advocate for my client’s position.  However, I pride myself on doing so respectfully.  I have found that how you approach a situation is crucial in determining an outcome.  As a Judge Advocate General, I have been a legal advisor to Commanders, who out-rank me.  Quite often, I was the lone dissenting voice on issues of extreme importance to the command.  Whatever the outcome, both sides maintained a mutual respect and every voice was heard.  I have never been shy to share my opinion.  I have also never been afraid to admit when I was wrong.  I encourage open and productive dialogue.  I believe that is vital to ensure that the decision-maker has all of the relevant information necessary to make a sound decision.  While it’s unlikely that I will agree with every person’s view all of the time, it is certain that I will treat everyone with respect. 
  5. My campaign will be funded by myself, a few co-workers and friends. 
  6. I encourage anyone who would like to know more about me or discuss any issues or concerns they have contact me at saint8418@hotmail.com.

 

Very Respectfully,

Christopher St. John

 

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