Amy M. Fankhauser

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Amy M. Fankhauser
Amy M. Fankhauser.jpg
Freehold Regional Board of Education, Howell
Term ends
November 2016
Years in position 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
J.D.Seton Hall University
Campaign website
Amy M. Fankhauser currently represents Howell Township on the Freehold Regional Board of Education. She defeated fellow challenger James T. Truszkowski on November 5, 2013.


Fankhauser earned her J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law. She has worked as an attorney for the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services as well as a lawyer for a local school board. Fankhauser has three children including one son who currently attends district schools.[1]



See also: Freehold Regional High School District elections (2013)


Fankhauser ran against fellow challenger James T. Truszkowski on November 5, 2013.


Freehold Regional High School District, Howell Township, Three-year term, November 5, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAmy M. Fankhauser 70.6% 192
     Nonpartisan James T. Truszkowski 29.4% 80
Total Votes 272
Source: Monmouth County Clerk, "Election Information," accessed January 29, 2014


Fankhauser reported no contributions or expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[2]


Fankhauser received no endorsements during this election.

Campaign themes


Fankhauser explained the major themes of her campaign on her website:[3]

Merit pay

I believe the majority of education professionals also support merit pay because they have nothing to fear from it. They are well-trained, eminently competent professionals who would welcome salary increases they have earned, as well as the incentives that a merit based salary system includes.

I believe in merit pay based on student growth, not mere student achievement. Marked growth for students is the goal of education and is an individual indicator of success. Just because a child has not reached proficient or advanced proficient on state assessments, does not mean he/she has not grown in conceptual knowledge. Mastery of a skill, not simply a number on an "achievement" test, is the test of a teacher who has achieved success with and for his/her students.

Seniority rights for staff

I believe in the preservation of reasonable seniority rights provided they are connected to staff performance and quality educational services.

I believe merely rewarding someone for their staying power and not their meritorious length of service is outmoded. Likewise, being forced to promote, retain or rehire someone of lesser qualifications merely because they have seniority over a more qualified candidate is not in our children's best interests.

School choice

I believe in educational choice, whether it is your district public school, private secular school, private religious school, another district's public school, charter schools, vouchers, or homeschooling. Our State Constitution and education laws support a parent's right to choose what educational setting is best for his/her children.

I believe that competition based on choice benefits students by keeping everyone on top of his/her game, with professional development, creative learning opportunities, and keeping abreast of technological advances.

Instructional autonomy

I believe in the instructional autonomy of our teachers and in giving staff the training, resources and support they need to give students the best educational advantage possible, within the confines of our taxpayers' ability to pay.

I believe in leadership that has the philosophical approach to its staff that says, "What can I do to help you help your students?"

I believe in establishing and supporting policies that foster that philosophical belief.

Standardized assessments

I do not believe in standardized assessments, but I understand that the State mandates them and I will support those mandates.

I believe there is too much of an emphasis on mastering the standards than on acquiring knowledge, and especially on acquiring the skill of learning how to acquire knowledge on your own - those critical thinking skills that are fundamental to college or career readiness, and that grow and evolve with use, unlike the standards themselves.

I believe young people today are in a different world than the one we grew up in. For us, there was a promise of a job waiting when we completed college or vocational training, and in some cases when we simply possessed a high school diploma. That promise does not exist for young people today. There is great uncertainty about the future and where the jobs will be. However, there will always be a job waiting for a student who possesses higher order thinking skills - logic and creativity - along with a solid academic background. We need to be educating our young people to be thinkers, getting to the answers themselves, even in different ways, not just getting to "the answer."

I believe we need to create an environment for staff that encourages that type of education, and not "clip their wings" in order to meet state imposed standards.

I believe we fail the students when we tell our staff to prepare young people for the 21st century, but tie them to 19th and 20th century techniques determined by "the test.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Incumbent Ronald Lawson did not file for re-election to the Howell Township seat in 2013. Fankhauser and James T. Truszkowski vied for Lawson's seat in the only competitive race in the district.[4]

About the district

See also: Freehold Regional High School District, New Jersey
Freehold Regional High School District is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey
Freehold Regional High School District is based in Englishtown in Ocean County, New Jersey. The district serves K-12 students in several communities including Colt Neck, Farmingdale and Howell. The population of Monmouth County was 630,380 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[5]


Monmouth County outperformed state rates for poverty, median income and higher education achievement in 2010. The county had a poverty rate of 6.5% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 9.4%. The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Monmouth County's median income at $83,842 while the state median income was $71,180. The percentage of county residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (39.6%) is below the state average (35%).[5]

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