Tell voters a little bit about your background and how it has prepared you to serve on the Board of Education.

My background is community relations and law enforcement. I have served as Chief of Staff to the following elected officials: Assemblywoman Angela V Mcknight, 31st District; Late Senator Glenn D. Cunningham, 31st District; Late Councilwoman At Large Willie L. Flood; Former County Commissioner Jeffery Dublin, 3 District.

I’m currently a 19-year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department working as a Detective. I worked with several youth youth groups that have dealt with misdirected youth in my occupation as Police Detective.

What inspired you to run for election?

I’m inspired by my community and making sure that people who are in need can be helped and making sure that others are comfortable with Jersey City. The position of Trustee with the Board of Education is a very important job since the board acts as an oversight to the school administration.

What would your priorities be during your term on the board?

My priorities are simple if granted the pleasure of being a board member. The children of the district deserve a board that they can trust and believe in to make common sense policies and procedures that will help in developing our young scholars to move to the next level. 

School taxes have gone up sharply over the last five years. What would you do to control school spending?

Taxes went up because the school district is  in need of money. Jersey City Schools district  receives the lowest amount of money from tax levies which is the amount of revenue raised through property taxes in the entire state.

I would, along with the rest of the board members, look into grants and budget fund balance to see what can be used from the surplus from previous years to attempt to balance the budget. 

The graduation rate is low. What do you think can be done to improve it?

Most students with academic struggles and financial concerns are significant factors for a low graduation rate in any district. I believe that we first must acknowledge what the issue is and then address it . This will take some time and dedication but I believe the students of Jersey City are worth it.

Ryan Kilkenny was born and raised in New York. He graduated with a BS from Tulane University and a JD from Rutgers Law School. Ryan worked as an attorney for almost two years before switching careers and...