• Name, age and address: Alitia Faccone, 39 Lafayette St.
• Occupation and educational background:
I am a lawyer specializing in electronic discovery law and serve as the director of marketing at the law firm of McCarter & English, LLP.
I am well-versed in all aspects and forms of electronic data including social media, both from a litigation and business development perspective.
I am the co-chair of McCarter’s e-Discovery Committee and also serve as the chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Steering Committee.
I graduated from Monmouth University with a B.A. in Speech/Communications/Theatre, summa cum laude, and received my J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, summa cum laude.
I am an active member in the National Association of Women Lawyers and serve as a member of the advisory board of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.
• Have you ever held a position on a school board, here or elsewhere, and, if so, for how long and when?
I have been a member of the Rumson Board of Education since 2009, seeking re-election to my second three-year term, and currently serve as its vice president.
• How many years have you lived in Rumson and how many children, if any, (include ages) do you have in the district schools?
I was born and raised at the Jersey Shore, and after a brief stint in Los Angeles, I returned home to NJ in 1998 when my first child was born.
Soon thereafter, I made the best decision I believe anyone in NJ can choose to make — I moved to Rumson in 2003 primarily so that my two children, Rose and Jack, now in seventh and eighth and grades at Forrestdale, would receive the high quality education that Rumson schools have to offer.
• What was your impetus for running for a seat on the BOE?
As a busy attorney and single mom, I worked long hours and unfortunately found myself with little time to be physically present in the schools on a day-to-day basis.
However, I believed it was vitally important to participate in the education that my children received. I found that by becoming a member of the Board of Education, I could indeed participate and have a voice in the education received, not only by my children, but by all of our collective community’s children with the goal of effectuating positive change where needed and support the already high quality educational goals already put in place by others who have served before me.
I view my service as both a tremendous responsibility and privilege.
• What do you feel makes you uniquely qualified for this position?
First, as an experienced board member, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of board committees, learn about and contribute to, each aspect of the process.
What is also terrific about our current board is that we have a balanced mix of individuals with difference interests, experience and educational backgrounds, each of us bringing a unique perspective and skill set to bear on the issues we face as a Board.
We vet issues, we hear each other out, we come to consensus and we get things done. I believe that the Rumson board is unique in its ability to work together as well as we do.
In addition, as an attorney, I believe I am especially qualified to understand not only legal issues, but how critical it is to come together as a board unit, working with the teachers and administration and the community to get the job done for our schools in a way that, although often involves compromise, achieves the best possible outcome.
• What do you feel is the primary issue the board is faced with and how, specifically, would you address that issue should you be elected?
I believe that the primary issue facing the school district is one that we as a Board are already addressing, that is the improvement and advancement of the curriculum to ensure that our children, in every subject and at every grade level, receive the highest level of learning we are capable of providing in 2012 and into the future.
The first steps in that process which occurred over the last three years of my tenure, have been to put in place a solid, consistent administrative team that will work with the board to develop and carry out the educational goals of the district.
• The board has been accused of not being transparent enough. Do you feel that is true or not? If so, why or why not and how would you remedy the complaint?
As a board we often feel conflicted between our desire to provide the most thorough information we have at our disposal on all critical issues facing our district community and our responsibility to follow the often very restrictive confidentiality regulations that are imposed upon us by the state.
The rules are there to provide a structure within which the board must operate, but also, and sometimes more importantly, to protect individuals that are involved in a particular issue on a very personal level.
I can assure you that of paramount importance to everyone that has served or currently serves on the board since my involvement has always placed the best interests of the district first and foremost.
That is our job — to serve the interests of the district and the community at large as a cohesive unit — and we take that job very seriously.
What we all want, why we do this job, and why I am personally running for re-election, is because we believe in Rumson, we believe in our children and we believe that the education they receive in this community is one of the most important things we provide.