Evan Murray - Scotch Plains
"I am the son and husband of strong women who have dedicated their lives to teaching in the public school system.
I want to ensure that the students of Scotch Plains-Fanwood continue to be adequately prepared to enter a competitive and diverse world by receiving unique, research-based educational experiences."
Current BOE Committees:
Mr. Murray is the current President of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education.
- Student Activities and Athletic
- Superintendent's Evaluation
ANSWERS TO OUR 2023 CANDIDATE INTERVIEW
1. What accomplishments in your current Board of Education role and/or in your personal/professional life demonstrate your commitment to the Scotch Plains-Fanwood school district community?
I have been a member of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education for the past 9 years.
In my tenure on the Board of Education, I have been the chairperson of the Facilities Committee as well as the Student Activities and Athletics Committee, member of the Finance Committee, member of the Policy Committee and Board liaison to NJ School Board Associations. I am currently serving as the President of the Board.
Some of the achievements during my tenure have been the appointment of a Student Assistance Specialist for Diversity and Equity, the implementation of full day kindergarten, resource officers in all of our school buildings, implementation of regularly scheduled partner meetings with the Mayors and CFO’s of both the Township of Scotch Plains and Borough of Fanwood and field lighting at the high school athletic fields.
In addition to my tenure on the Scotch Plains – Fanwood Board of Education, I have served on the Scotch Plains Library Board of Trustees for over 7 years. While on the Board, I served as both Vice President and President. While on the Board, we upgraded the technology offerings for library patrons.
As for my personal life, I am a lifelong resident of Union County, a resident of Scotch Plains for almost 13 years, the son and husband of dedicated public school teachers, who have seen the best that public education has to offer and a parent with two children currently enrolled in our school system.
I fully understand the needs of our two communities from the perspective of both parents and the school administration.
I have coached multiple youth sports in town, including football, basketball and soccer.
In my professional life, I have responsibility for managing a global team of operations associates from very diverse backgrounds. We have continued to implement a variety of DEI initiatives and trainings across the firm. These initiatives are aimed at strengthening more inclusive behaviors across the many teams.
I also support and participate in many events throughout the year for our employee affinity groups. These groups provide an opportunity for employees with similar backgrounds and interests to share about their specific group’s interests.
2. What is your vision for the future of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District?
My vision for the future of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District would be to ensure that all students continue to be adequately prepared to enter into the competitive and diverse world by receiving unique, research-based, educational experiences.
Ensuring that all students have the support they need in order to succeed by providing them with all available opportunities and resources.
3. The SPF School District’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan’s first goal is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to “increase opportunities to develop a district committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion through hiring practices of educational and support staff, curriculum development and student empowerment.”
How important is this goal to you?
What concrete actions will you take to actively help our district achieve these goals?
This goal is critical to the future success of our District and our communities as a whole. I want to ensure that our schools are a safe and secure learning environment including educational equity where every student has access to the resources regardless of their race, ethnicity or disability.
I have been and am committed to ensure that teachers are culturally responsive in the classroom and that the district continues to provide them with professional development that is specific to DEI both in-district as well as workshops offered by professional organizations.
With regards to the curriculum, we have continued to focus on ensuring that there is diversity of offerings available to our students. A couple of the most recent additions are Teaching Academy for Social Justice and AP African American Studies.
From a staffing perspective, we need to continue to prioritize this in our hiring practices to ensure we have diversity and it is fair and equitable across all district employees. Sourcing of candidates needs to be evaluated and accountability needs to be measurable.
We need to continue with the collaboration and engagement with Social Justice Matters and Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. The work that is being done on the Wellness and Equity Committee will need to continue to tap into existing and emerging community organizations that align with this work.
4. Which Representation, Equity, Anti-Racism and Literary diversity issues do you think are most pressing for SPF students?
If elected/re-elected, how do you think you could help improve those for our students?
All of these diversity issues are important, however I believe Equity and Anti-Racism are most pressing.
I want to ensure that our schools strive for full educational equity, where every student has access to all of our resources, regardless of his or her race, ethnicity, or disability. Only by providing students with every available opportunity can they be guaranteed the support they need in order to succeed as both students and citizens.
Affording students the ability to see themselves and learn about others through the curriculum is essential. More importantly, children need to see representation of themselves outside of traditional methods, such as textbooks.
Teachers need to be culturally responsive in the classroom and provided with professional development in-district as well as workshops offered by professional organizations in order to prepare our children for the world at large.
We need to provide students with the tools and resources to advocate for equality, recognize and stand up against racism and injustice.
5. For transparency purposes, we may share quotes of your partial or complete responses. Does R.E.A.L. Parents x SPF have your consent to publish your responses in the mediums we see fit?
Yes, the R.E.A.L. Parents X SPF have my consent to publish my responses in mediums that they see fit.
Learn more about Evan Murray:
"I have served as a Volunteer youth baseball, basketball, and soccer coach and has coached Pop Warner football for nearly two decades."
"I believe that the school board should run like a business and decisions should be well thought out, strategic and the most cost effective."
"We should continue to work to align priorities between the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School Board and Township of Scotch Plains and Borough of Fanwood for the best interests of our students."
From the SPF School District Website:
"Each candidate was asked to answer questions about themself for the public to learn more about them, their interest in volunteering for the Board and their plans for Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools."
Read Evan Murray's answers here.
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