Welcome to a conversation with Steve Rogers. Many know the School Board trustee from his many years as a Nutley police officer, but Patch sat down with Rogers recently and asked him to reflect on his three years at the school board.
Rogers, speaking on behalf of himself and not the entire board, is finishing a term on the board and reflected back over the last three years. He said completing school construction, raising standardized test scores, and improving technology as three of the major projects tackled by the Board of Education.
Upgrades have been completed to all of the elementary schools, Rogers said. He pointed to the new gymnasium at Spring Garden School as one example and said it was done “in a satisfactory manner.”
Walker Middle School and Nutley High School had new heating and air conditioning/ventilation systems installed, Rogers said, naming some of the other major construction projects finished.
Rogers was an officer in the Nutley Police Department, from 1976 through 2011, where he retired as a lieutenant. He is running for a Nutley Board of Commissioners slot in May, and was unsuccessful in a bid for Essex County Freeholder in 2011.
He also listed a host of goals the school board has for the future.
Improving test scores is one area that spans both the last three years, and it will also be as important in the next term, Rogers said. He credited school officials for revising curriculum, and predicted a brighter future for standardized testing results, “I really foresee some great things.”
The importance of giving students “a world-class education” will only become more important moving forward, he said, “Academics are especially important. Our students will not only be competing with American students, but those from China, Russia and elsewhere.”
He said improved technology will continue to be a focus in the future. “We (the board of education) have worked hard, as a team, to keep the schools moving into the 21st Century,” Rogers said. “All nine of us are working together as a team.”
He added that the board will have to be mindful of cutting costs during tough economic times, but also pointed out that the board of commissioners is working in partnership to add solar energy technology to the district – a way to team up with businesses while cutting costs.