Patch asked Board of Education candidates to share their views on the issues. Vincent Rugnetta of Colts Neck presents his ideas.
|Updated Thu, Oct 26, 2023 at 8:17 pm ET
COLTS NECK, NJ — Vincent Rugnetta is one of six candidates for three full-term seats on the Colts Neck Board of Education in the Nov. 7 election.
Rugnetta, of Colts Neck, is seeking a three-year term. You can follow him on Colts Kids First on Facebook, Instagram, X, ColtsKidsFirst.org.
There are six candidates for three full-terms seats on the school board; two candidates for a two-year unexpired term. You can see all the candidates for the school board listed below.
In these profiles, candidates provide voters with background about themselves and their positions on the issues, as they see them.
Rugnetta is running on the Colts Kids First team and says he encourages additional focus on special needs education and initiatives to make up the learning gap post COVID.
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He says the school board should oversee curriculum development and he advocates age-appropriate civics education. He also favors an "opt-in" approach to the school health curriculum.
Read more from Vincent Rugnetta:
Candidates were asked to provide their professional or volunteer information, school board experience, campaign links, and personal background.
I have been a proud resident of Colts Neck for over 23 years when I moved here with my family in April of 2000. I have loved growing up in this town since I was a teenager playing recreational baseball on the fields of Laird Road with my dad. Now, I get to experience the fortune of continuing to live in Colts Neck as an adult with a family of my own.
I have coached my son’s baseball and flag football teams for the past several years. I love working with children and teaching them how to work as a team. Sports has taught my child the importance of discipline, work ethic, and support for your peers. Sports have taught the value of being humble in victory and grace in defeat, and in defeat the significance of getting back up and moving forward. These are incredible principles I believe are the backbone in raising a child.
Another reason I have always loved about Colts Neck and why I wanted to stay in this town when I came to have a family was the incredible school system.
However, as topics and policies have changed in our school system, I have felt the need to run for school board to make sure my children and every child gets the best education they deserve. Our students have encountered unprecedented challenges in recent years, and as a parent I empathize with the concerns regarding the loss of educational and developmental delays, especially post COVID.
If I am elected, I will be dedicated to targeting learning loss by working to provide intervention services and examining district and state data to identify strengths and weaknesses within our district, yet also focusing on the overall growth and well-being of our children.
My unwavering commitment involves diligently allocating resources for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, guaranteeing that our students and teachers are equipped with the necessary tools and support to succeed.
I will continue to be a strong advocate for our special education students, striving to improve their access to specialized services and tailored support that addresses their individual needs.
Inclusivity forms the bedrock of a robust educational system, and I will champion this principle throughout my tenure. I am here to represent the voices of Colts Neck families, always prioritizing parental choice in education while ensuring transparency in decision-making processes and respectful engagement between board members, community members, teachers, staff, and administration.
I will always advocate and vote for the best interests of our children and have an unwavering support of parental rights. I wish to be a vessel for parents' questions and concerns. I want all parents to know they can come to me with any issues they would like brought forth to the board, and vise versa.
I wish to make sure our board and schools are as transparent as possible. I can tell you that if a policy is going to benefit our children I will be in favor of it. Such is the case with the summer bridge program and extended school year in which my child, and children I personally know have benefited from greatly.
However, if an issue or policy is going to add more wasteful spending and taxes and not benefit our kids, either directly or indirectly, you can be sure I will vote against it. I hope to see and get to know many more parents and residents at town events and Colts Kids First meet-and-greets, or wherever we may unite in the coming weeks before the election.
Candidates were asked about the important issues in their district, and how the school board can address them.
They must consider modernizing educational content, incorporating technology effectively, creativity, innovation, and ensuring that the curriculum prepares students for higher education and their future careers. This includes advocating for what would be age-appropriate instruction in American Civics, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and U.S. history without bias for all students.
While these topics are included in the curriculum to some extent, I believe they should be taught in greater depth and with ongoing participation from elementary school through middle school.
Unfortunately, we currently dedicate insufficient time to these subjects. It is essential for our children to study these topics repeatedly because they constitute the bedrock of our nation. Our children are the future, and they must understand past mistakes so as to not repeat them.
Accordingly, they must understand our past successes as well so they don’t lose sight of what made our country great. Regrettably, many young adults today appear to have forgotten our core principles, becoming engrossed in contemporary distractions rather than embracing the values that shaped our nation.
Candidates were asked if they wanted to comment on state Policy 5756, which provides guidance regarding transgender students, including communication with parents. Some districts in the state are repealing or amending the policy.
As a parent and candidate I extend my gratitude to the current Colts Neck Board’s decision to abolish Policy 5756. However, it should be noted that without the current Colts Kids First members on the board consistently fighting for parents, it never would have happened.
It is a good first step in the right direction, but unfortunately does not implement parental notification or consent. There should be zero discretion when it comes to the board or school policies.
Nothing about a child should be kept from a parent, and as a board member I will do what I can to make sure rights are given back to the parents. I will support initiatives to create a policy that more accurately reflects our district’s values and one that reiterates my commitment to ensuring all students feel safe, comfortable and respected.
Colts Neck Board of Education (Full term; vote for three)
Colts Neck Board of Education (Two-year unexpired term; vote for one)
Freehold Regional High School District (Full term; vote for one)
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