Candidate Statement: Andrew Choffo

Candidate for Parsippany Board of Education

Board of Education Candidate Andrew Choffo

PARSIPPANY —  This is my 10th year as a Board of Education Member.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve the community.  First, if I may, tell you a little about my family and myself:  My daughter, Stephanie, is a graduate of CCM. She is working full-time and pursuing her bachelor’s degree.  My son, AJ, is a senior at PHHS. His passion is music and he will be pursuing music as his career. I am very proud of both of them.  My wife Nancy is a Paraprofessional at Intervale School. I am Human Resources Director for an international shipping company. We have lived in Parsippany for almost 20 years.

Why Am I Running for Re-Election?

During my 10 years on the Board of Education, the school district has made tremendous progress in student achievement, district operations, technology and the security of our children. I believe that I have the necessary experience to continue to improve and enhance the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District for the benefit of all who live and attend school here.

We must ensure we are educating students who can be successful after they graduate and go on to college or enter the workforce. This must be our focus and I commit to you it will be mine. We continue to see improvements in most academic areas. Our students are learning and this is validated by various measurement tools. I would encourage you to visit the district website and view the Student Achievement Results presentation and to also review the district’s goals as presented by Superintendent Dr. Barbara Sargent.

One way to ensure we achieve our goals is to have a plan. This Board did create a strategic plan to help us envision what the future should be for our children. We created that strategic plan, are finalizing it and are implementing it now. We have specific district goals that you can find on the district website to support the strategic plan. We also created a new district mission statement that is forward thinking and inclusive. It’s hard to get where you want to go without a plan. I am proud that this Board had the vision and courage to think strategically. We are now looking ahead to the year 2023 to ensure we have the resources today and in the future so that are children continue to excel.

Technology is an important area that can enhance student achievement. We continue to review which educational software and hardware are appropriate; our buildings are connected with upgraded Wi-Fi; teachers have the latest educational technology at their disposal; and district administration can evaluate academic programs. We now have the appropriate technology to improve the student learning experience.

When thinking about school finances, I am so grateful that our community is supportive and generous. I take very seriously the trust that the community puts in me to ensure our tax dollars are spent wisely. Unfortunately, a former superintendent’s aggressive expansion of staff and unwise decisions regarding the financing of major projects left our district in a difficult financial position. It took hard work and some tough decisions to ensure that we put the district back on sound financial footing. We have taken the necessary steps and have returned to financial stability. I will continue to ensure that sound financial decisions are made so we keep money in the classroom.

What Can You Expect of Me?

Reflecting back on my 10 years of service on the Board, I asked myself: Did I get every decision I made right? The answer is:  Absolutely not. However, every decision I made was made with the best interests of students, taxpayers, and staff in mind. Some accomplishments I am proud of include:

  • Creating a Strategic Plan;
  • Entering into an innovative shared services agreement with the township to provide resources that improve school security; and
  • Balancing the needs of the students with fiscal responsibility by developing a sustainable budget.

I am not only proud of my work, but those of my Board colleagues. Together, in a friendly and collaborative way, we continue to enhance and improve our school district. The trust we have in each other to have honest discussions about the district is astounding.

I am delighted to say that our student achievement continues to excel to the extent that Parsippany ranks in the top 20% of New Jersey school districts in test scores. Parsippany was just ranked as THE best place to live in NJ by Time Magazine. Additionally, Parsippany was just listed in the Top 50 Best Places to Live in the US by Money Magazine. Money Magazine went on the say that, “Parsippany schools had “among the highest scoring of any New Jersey locale we evaluated.”

I want to continue this success:

  • To see that every student is successful.
  • To ensure we are financially stable.
  • To listen to you. To our administrators. To our faculty and staff.
  • And to ensure we have polices designed to achieve our collective goals.

I respectfully ask for your support by voting for me on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th.