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

I am a lifelong resident of Jersey City and attended PS 41, Henry Snyder High School and NJCU and had three children in the Jersey City Public Schools. As PS 41 Parents Council President, I advocated for school building repairs and was the Recording Secretary for the Citywide Parents Council. At Snyder, I was the Parents Council Secretary and have since been the current President since 2012 organizing monthly meetings, advocating for students and parents at School board meetings and education meetings across the state for over 30 years. In 2020, I was the Education Chair of the Jersey City NAACP and advocated to enforce the compliance of Amistad Curriculum in this district.

What inspired you to run for election?

I have been attending school board meetings for over 30 years. I attended a meeting before the state took over this school district and after the state gave back local control. I think that this district has gone back into doing things that brought the State to take over this district in the first place i.e. nepotism, cronyism and discrimination practices. Certain board members have been deflecting from Robert’s Rules of Order.

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

We need to put the district on a road of financial stability and help relieve some of the burden from taxpayers by controlling costs and improving test scores. Implement authentic parent involvement. To revise some of the current policies i.e. public participation in board Meetings policy and to change public comments back to 5 minutes for speakers. To create a policy to improve the hiring process.

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

Closely monitoring the budget by looking at itemized checks, vendor and consultant contracts, and salary caps for administrators. To apply for more grant initiatives for educational programs and sports.

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

Look for innovative ways to improve student outcomes by researching best practices and more authentic communication with parents and community. Implement a comprehensive Career and Technical Education programs and the Trade classes so students can compete with their peers to meet today’s life challenges.

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...