Candidate Profile – Deborah Wright


The Atlantic Highlands Herald has invited each of the candidates for office on the school boards and governing bodies of the Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown and Sea Bright to respond to a series of questions pertaining to them in order to better inform our readers about their campaigns. . The deadline for submission is Friday, October 22. We will post their responses individually and make them available in our Policy section.


November 2, 2021 – General election

Profile date: October 17, 2021

Candidate Name: Deborah Wright

Age (on election day): 51

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Job sought (term): Re-election to the Middletown Township School Board

Party or banner affiliation: Non-partisan election

Family: I am married to James Marino and we have a nine year old son who is in the fourth grade at Bayview Elementary School.

Education: I graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers University and have a JD from New York Law School.

Occupation: Community action representative for United Auto Workers, compromised region 9A of the northeastern states.

Previous or current office elected or appointed: I was first elected to the Middletown Township Education Council in November 2018.

Campaign website or Facebook page: My Facebook page is at Vote4DeborahWright. I can also be reached at [email protected].

Why are you looking for an office?

It has been a privilege to serve our school district for the past three years. Helping students to facilitate their school career is what motivates me on a daily basis. I will continue to steer the conversation towards the real issues that require our attention. Aging and overcrowded schools, the highest standards for a quality curriculum, monitoring your tax dollars and keeping your children safe while preparing them for their future.

The two most important issues we face (council, district, council, committee, etc.) are continued cuts in our funding for education and aging and overcrowded schools.

I lobbied our lawmakers in Trenton on behalf of our school district, stressing the need to change the current school aid formula under Senate Bill S2, as well as the current formula used to determine the amount. of funding that districts will receive to cover the costs of special education. This year our district received an increase of $ 800,000 in extraordinary special education funding. Once re-elected, I will push for more funding for education in Middletown schools.

I was part of the board’s strategic planning committee which formulated an action plan to begin the strategic planning process with the community. We hired a consultant and demographer, organized eight community forums to listen to community priorities, interviewed the community, evaluated all the data we got with the consultant and demographer, and produced a study with the first set of proposals in December 2020 Then, this year, the new board leadership unilaterally halted progress on this project despite protests from board members and the community. All the while, our schools continue to age, as we just saw at the start of this school year when every school in our district was closed due to mold and students were forced to delay the start of their school year. school year, now having remedial days for the rest of the year. Overcrowding at several schools continues and is expected to worsen due to the two large residential developments that are currently under construction in the city. Upon re-election, I will push to complete the strategic planning process with the community to finally resolve this long-standing issue within Middletown.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

  • Make it safe for students to learn in person.
  • Advocate to bring Zoom back so that the community has the opportunity to attend meetings virtually and fully engage with the board. I want to do this policy.
  • Continue to be a champion of including our neurodiversified learners in general education and expanding educational opportunities for all students. I will continue to lobby for Wilson, and other multisensory reading platforms, for our growing number of students diagnosed with dyslexia.
  • Push for expanded career and technical alternatives for students so that they can fully prepare for a successful career after graduation.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as proof that you can handle this job??

For 21 years, I proudly served as a Public Advocate with the Legal Aid Society, specializing in mental health law. For twelve of those years I was elected president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, United Auto Workers Local 2325. Working in a traditionally underfunded and undervalued sector of society has really sharpened my skills in this area. advocacy. Being president of the local has given me valuable experience lobbying for funding and legislation at the federal, state and local levels, as well as testifying before legislative bodies. I have also gained extensive experience in understanding the operating budgets of non-profit organizations and negotiating collective agreements. I was responsible for 1,200 members, spread across various non-profit organizations, in addition to supervising the staff of the local.

What would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I am an active member of Bayview PTA and chair Cub Pack 141 committee.

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