Name: A.J. Baker
Municipality: Marple Township
Running For: Marple Newtown School Director
Positions Held Previously/Years in Office:
- Marple Newtown School Director
- Marple Newtown School Director Committees: CIT, Facilities and Transportation
- Marple Township Zoning Hearing Board (member 2012 and 2013)
- Radnor-Haverford-Marple Sewer Authority (member 2010 and 2011)
- Paxon Hollow Middle School parent, two children in Autistic Support, Devereux C.A.R.E.S.
What are the larger issues facing the district and how would you like to see them resolved?
Larger issues facing our district right now are the necessary capital projects in our lower schools and middle school and balancing them while keeping our taxes low and affordable. Also, we need to ensure that our facilities measure up to the standards we all have for our kids. I believe in community pride, that it’s necessary for each student to have the best learning environment possible, that it be safe, and for our kids to be proud of their own district.
How would you create a balance between spending taxpayer dollars and quality education?
I think our district, as a whole, does an efficient job of reviewing expenses through administrative or outside audits that are conducted to ensure our tax dollars are being spent efficiently. Hearing feedback from parents at school events, board or committee meetings and also feedback from our teachers and administrators is a big help when deciding on the constitution of our district programs and the quality of education we offer.
How can you improve school district and board transparency with residents?
I think the creation of community committees would help bridge the gap between parents, administrators, and the Marple Newtown School Board Directors. It would also foster inclusion and parent involvement that would help guide programs and the direction of our district.
Why should residents give you their vote?My wife, Julie, and I have been married for 17 years and lived in Marple for 14 years, raising our three children. As a parent, I bring a unique experience for students with various educational abilities, I will fight to ensure that students of all abilities are equally represented. I feel a strong connection when I interact with other district parents. I like to get to the bottom of things, and as a school director there is always something going on in the district that I can help sort out and resolve for our kids and their families.