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Opening Message to Parents

Dear ETSD Parents,

I hope this message finds you and your families well and enjoying the summer. As I officially start today as Superintendent of Evesham Township School District (ETSD), I’d like to share a bit about who I am and what I believe. It wasn’t that long ago that my own kids graduated from ETSD. I am imagining what you may be wondering about this new person at the helm. Understanding each other better helps us work together better, as our families and our district truly do work together for our students. As a district, all we do should help students. 

I share words, keeping in mind that, more than what we say, we are what we do.

My family (my wife Elissa, my daughters Auralee and Annabelle, and I) moved to Marlton in 2011. While looking for our “forever home,” my wife and I realized it wasn’t about the house. South Jersey has lots of houses. We realized it was about the town, more precisely, the families. I would come home from work at Cherokee and tell my wife about the incredible students and say, “These are kids I wish our girls could grow up with.”

So the search became simple. The quality of Evesham’s families made our town the only choice. Our Evesham families make our town the amazing community it is. 

Our girls grew up through our school district and are now at Rutgers-New Brunswick and at Cherokee. They were helped by ETSD staff--teachers, administrators, support staff, and more--beyond the powers of a parent. As a parent, I experienced how the teamwork of our town, our district, and our families helps our children. That is ETSD.

I’ve been in education for 24 years. I taught English and German at Cherokee from 2002-10, was Assistant Principal/Supervisor there from 2010-15, next was Assessment, Accountability, and Planning Coordinator in the Lenape Regional High School District Office from 2015-18, and most recently was Assistant Superintendent in Cherry Hill Public Schools from 2018 until last week. Along the way, I got to work with and learn from many fantastic professionals, including Dr. Carol Birnbohm, Superintendent of Lenape Regional High School District, and Dr. Joseph Meloche, Superintendent of Cherry Hill Public Schools. Before Cherokee, among other teaching experiences, I taught middle school in Oregon (where my wife is from), taught undergrads while I was in grad school, and taught at a school (grades 5-12) on the Baltic Sea in Germany. All experiences craft my lens, as is true for each of us. Firstly, lastly, I am a teacher. 

I believe in genuine and real communication. Everyone’s voice is valuable. Please share thoughts, ideas, concerns, and more with your principal, with me.  I will be looking for ways to listen. Together, as a team of district, families, and town community, we will meet the challenges we are facing--how to continue to serve our students in the best way possible?--successfully.

Our Return to School committee has been working on our plan. I am grateful to them for that service. More information about that work will be shared soon, as it is eagerly anticipated. 

For now, I would just add that I believe in the power and importance of kindness. Kindness comes from love. During times of uncertainty, these values--kindness, love, listening, collaboration--are our anchor. We will need these values as we rise to the challenge, not just of returning to school amidst a pandemic, but also of working through the financial constraints our district is facing due to reduced state aid. 

A last belief--we will not just rise to these challenges, but become stronger and better because of them: more communicative and collaborative, more intentional in our decisions, all aligned to the goal of helping our children.

My deepest thanks to our Board of Education for this opportunity and support. 

Parents and families, I am honored to be with you now and moving forward.


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