Closing Speech – 2015

Once again I would like to thank the Metuchen Parent Teacher Council for organizing and all that have participated in this event. Most of all I would like to thank the people here and those tuned in for taking the time to listen and learn.

In 2005, I sought this same office and I lost by less than 10 votes. On the walk from Borough Hall to the Metuchen Inn for a drink I called my father to let him know the results and he reminded me that Abraham Lincoln had lost 4 elections before the people elected him President. It was actually one of the very last conversations I had with my Dad and it has stuck with me and reminded me to never give up in the years since he passed.

Lincoln once said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today”. Great things are happening in Metuchen. Our future and our children are bright. We have a responsibility to those children, to our future, to ensure that we are good stewards today and prepare them for life beyond this Borough tomorrow.

I want to state the 3 fundamental things I believe our Board needs to focus on:

1. Space and facility plans that not only accommodate community growth but also programs, that we fundamentally believe should be offered all while keeping class room sizes as small as reasonably possible.

2. Investing in and ensuring a positive and attractive work environment for our teachers. The greatest influence on your child’s education is not the elected board or the administrators they hire. It is unequivocally the teachers. We must create an environment that rewards innovation in modern learning and attracts the best talent to stay with us and to join our team.

3. Investments in advanced science and technology programs and assets that are on par with our first class music, arts and language programs. As a CIO I am qualified to help facilitate ensuring our children are prepared to excel not only their secondary education but in the job market that exists beyond the university.

While I do not pretend these 3 items are “all the answers”, they are the things I commit to you that I would work on. The Board is made of 9 members each with unique and distinct backgrounds, skills and interests. I have shown through many years of involvement in the community that I love to lead and participate in the growth of our youth. I ask you to consider my offering and cast a vote for me, Justin Manley, on your ballot on November 3rd. You’ll find my name in the 4th position. Thank you.