Name: Lise Chapman
Years lived in town: 23
Family info: Married to Andrew Chapman and parents of three children with one daughter who is a MHS graduate and son currently in the high school.
Educational background: Stanford University, BA; Yale School of Management MBA; and currently pursuing a Masters in Counseling Psychology at the College of St. Elizabeth.
Occupation: Full-time parent and active community member. Prior professional career includes Vice President in Mergers & Acquisitions at Merrill Lynch, Senior Account Manager at Citibank and Special Projects Officer at the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
Member of PTO Conference, 2007- present; President, MHS PTO, 2005-2007; Co-Founder, Advocates for Education and Open Forum, 2007; Chair, MHS Principal Parents' Search Committee, 2007; and Member, Assistant Superintendent's Vision Committee, 2006-2007.
As a Township resident for 23 years, I have been actively involved in leadership positions for community organizations: Township Historic Preservation Commission (10 years –present); Millburn United (grassroots community group vs. PetSmart - kennel zoning issue); Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society; Cora Hartshorn Arboretum; Millburn Soccer Club; President, Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills, and Summit Area YMCA.
What are your thoughts on the proposed 2010-11 school budget?
I support Dr. Brodow's budget. Given time constraints caused by the sudden $3 million state aid loss, this budget is a compromise. It meets the requests of district residents seeking a small tax increase of 1.2 percent and community members seeking limited expense reductions of $2 million. Dr. Brodow's original budget included teacher reductions, which I rejected with fellow board members. K-12 curriculum needs will be addressed effectively in the new structure.
What is your stance on redistricting for the elementary schools?
To have an effective plan, there must be a thorough process with analysis of current demographics and trends, review of each school's current and future capacity, consideration about special education children's placement, review of our prior redistricting work and timetable. A critical piece of the process is creation of a town-wide community task force with equal school representation. The plan implemented must consider natural boundaries and community impact, not just be the lowest cost solution.
How do you think the school district should tackle hazing/bullying issues?
We must start in elementary school to educate students about harmful effects of this behavior and stop it with age-appropriate strategies. As a member of the MHS Task Force, I have participated in developing a strategic plan to change this behavior, which includes creating new positive traditions for the first day/week of school, eighth graders half-day visit and pre-school orientation at MHS, junior class meetings on respect, and creation of a new (buddy) ambassador program.
What other issue do you think is a big one the school board needs to tackle? What is your stance?
The board needs better analytical information, including monthly expenditures compared to current budget, year-to-date and prior year's performance. We must understand what line items are over or under budget in an ongoing process, not just see a draft budget three months before the deadline. We need to change the board meeting structure to include working meetings; all discussion should be seen by the public, not limited to completed committee reports with final votes seen today.
What skills would you bring to the school board?
I see my role on the board being an independent voice and keeping a critical eye on all procedural and fiscal matters. I advocate for all residents and am an enthusiastic supporter of our schools. During my term, I have worked hard to improve the analytical work and accountability related to operations, strengthen K-12 curriculum, and enhance public communication. I am a team player and work with the Administration to make positive policy changes.
Why are you running?
I would like to continue work on tightening our fiscal controls to improve how we spend our tax dollars while maintaining our excellent school system. A thorough evaluation of possible major budget reductions for 2011-2012 needs to begin now. I will continue to work hard to ensure that ALL students in Millburn receive the best possible education. I care deeply about our community and want to continue to make a difference on the board.