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HyunJu Kwak for BOE : the Ridgewood Board of Education role has a profound personal meaning to me

HyunJu Kwak
“Every immigrant kid has that pivotal moment when she realizes what she’s up against: new culture, no friends, the feeling of awkwardness associated with growing pains exponentially magnified.
I was that kid at age ten when I came to America. My parents worked long hours to make ends meet. With no relatives nearby, for me, the school was an extension of home and teachers were more than just teachers – they were essential role models.”

“I am a product of the New Jersey public system. I first enrolled in the Palisades Park middle school, then Paramus High School. I had wonderful teachers who made me comfortable in their classes, and challenged me to get the most out of myself. I still remember Ms. Kratnoff who got me hooked on literature and reading, so much so that I later majored in English Literature. I still remember most of my classes, especially AP. Some I struggled with initially but teachers encouraged me not to give up and gave me positive support. All worked out for the best in the end, and I am grateful to my teachers.
I used to dream that one day I could come back to help the New Jersey public school system that has done so much for me. The system, particularly the teachers, gave me much needed support and guidance during a challenging time and gave me a boost that has changed my life for the better.”
“For this reason, the Ridgewood Board of Education role has a profound personal meaning to me. I am here to serve and do right by the students, the teachers and the system, and the community that generously supports it. The role is my opportunity to pay it forward.”
(That’s a photo of me with Ms. Kratnoff. Years later, Ms. Kratnoff wrote to me when I graduated from Brown hoping that “you’re not working too hard”)

13 thoughts on “HyunJu Kwak for BOE : the Ridgewood Board of Education role has a profound personal meaning to me

  1. Do your children attend Ridgewood public schools?

    1. we only ask this question of the non-white school board members ,the white ones get a pass

  2. Hyun Ju is the best candidate. Hands down

    Kaufmann is the WORST.

    The others are meh

    I already voted and I only voted for her. We must get her re-elected.

  3. “Do your children attend Ridgewood public schools?” Did Kaufman send his kid to Bergen Catholic to wrestle/bench warm?

  4. I really think Kwak is overplaying this whole immigrant/minority thing. I voted for her- not because of her immigration history but because she is doing a good job. She needs to tone it down and run on the issues that face our BoE.

  5. Kaufman is not the worst. Mahmoud is the worst. Mahmood said at the debate that he wants to change the curriculum. Earlier when he was active, he fought for the religious holiday. His motives are to divide the community. Kaufman is just a simple guy who doesn’t spend time to really understand the issues. He has good intentions, but he just doesn’t know enough details and starts fighting.

  6. Yes, I’m growing weary of the immigrant story too.

  7. All the incumbents running were totally out of touch all last year on what the school community needed and currently still are. They all mention Link It as a solution to remedy unfinished learning. If they were actually interested, they would see it was another colossal waste of time and money. Mahmoud never called in to one BOE meeting and runs a campaign based on irrelevant issues. Time to clean house.

  8. Kwak’s kids are Broadway performers and don’t attend Ridgewood schools because of practice and performance schedule. She still pays more than $50k in property taxes so your kids can attend RHS and pretend to be actors in the Little Theatre.

  9. “… so your kids can attend RHS and pretend to be actors in the Little Theatre…”

    This commenter resembles that remark.

    Regrettably, this commenter has further responded by embarking upon a period of bone-chilling uncertainty, including being struck with a strange fear that this commenter’s kid may not actually be this commenter’s kid, but is only pretending to be this commenter’s kid.

    Oh. The humanity.

  10. Where do they all stand on the two issues: 1 if they support teaching critical race theory or Not and 2 if they support teaching boys they can choose to switch to be a girl and girls can choose to switch to boys. Neither of these should be taught in our schools

  11. I agree that Kwak is going too far with her immigrant, minority, first woman etc. I don’t evaluate her based on that. And it is a turn off somehow but I can’t let someone so inept like you know who or scary like the other one who will probably strongly push CRT into school curriculum. And watch how they are trying to sell this duo , jewish + muslim. Diversity? Riiiiiight. The woke crowd will love the “good feeling” of such alliance no matter how incompetent or how little sense it makes for what really matters to our kids.

  12. We need competence above all else.

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