Lion’s Roar BOE Candidacy Interview – Carol Matlack

Lion’s Roar BOE Candidacy Interview - Carol Matlack

Ashraf Essa '21, Staff Writer

Carol Matlack has been a part of the Board of Education since 2010, and was president of Chapter W of the PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization). Ms. Matlack was president of the Board of Education for two years, and served as vice president for the same amount of time. This year, Ms. Matlack is running for Board of Education in 2020 and has agreed to answer a few questions about Cherry Hill Public Schools.

Lion’s Roar BOE Candidacy Interview

Carol Matlack

October 15, 2020

AE: What is your assessment of the current state of Cherry Hill Public Schools?

CM: Cherry Hill Schools have long held a reputation of excellence. This reputation of excellence holds true today more than ever. People still move to Cherry Hill because of our schools. Our school buildings however are in much need of upgrades and repair. With 19 schools to maintain and upgrade, all of them 50-60+ years old, it is a monumental task but one that I believe we can accomplish in a fiscally responsible manner.


AE: What would you do to improve the curriculum?

CM: I am currently the chair of the Board Curriculum & Instruction committee. Each month the district administration gives the board updates and informational summaries of the curriculum work in the district. Our administrators are constantly evaluating, re-evaluating, and making adjustments as needed to the curriculum. Consistency in the curriculum across the district, along with relevancy to student needs and outcomes is the focus. Student voice is an important contributor as well, especially at the high school level. Last spring some high school students met with the superintendent to discuss adding a required African American History course at the high school level. Their thoughtful, reasoned concerns and suggestions have led to the creation of the District Social Justice Curriculum Committee that is evaluating our K-12 curriculum from a social justice perspective to see where changes need to be made. The African American History course they proposed is in the early stages of development. I would encourage all students to share their thoughts and experiences regarding our curriculum content or offerings with Dr. Morton who can then guide you on how best to bring them to the district level.


AE: Some buildings within the school system face some neglect and damages. What would you do to solve this?

CM: I am currently a member of the Board Strategic Planning Committee and we are discussing this topic right now. It was on our October agenda and will be for the next few months.  We are discussing and considering a variety of options to finance building improvement projects along with a discussion at our November meeting regarding building new versus remodeling/repairing existing buildings. We are considering and evaluating all options. One solution might not fit all our building issues. But I do firmly believe that we must move forward with improving our facilities. 


AE: What would you do to ensure equitable education for all students in the district?

CM: Equitable education for all students must always be driving the choices we make for the district. Our district serves a large number of students with a wide range of needs, experiences and backgrounds. The district has embarked on a path to cultural proficiency in order to provide each of our students the greatest opportunity to learn and grow. The District Cultural Proficiency/Equity/Character Education committee is comprised of administrators, board members, teachers, parents, community members, and students. The committee has developed a 5-year plan under the guidance of an expert consultant in this work. This summer we began looking at our work through an antiracism lens in order to systemically make changes in our district that will give all our students an equitable education.


AE: What does the transparency between administration and the stakeholders mean to you? Do you think it is important to the district to uphold a standard of transparency?

CM: Upholding a standard of transparency, between administration (and the Board) and our stakeholders, is a critical component to the district’s work and the Board oversight of that work. We (the Board of Education) do all our work in public. The public is invited to attend our meetings and share their thoughts with us.