Meet the Saddle River Board of Education President
Learn more about the Trustee and new in 2017 the President of the Board of Education. Thomas spent some time talking about his background and his views on the Saddle River School district.
Thomas Weng and his wife Jean moved to Saddle River in 2005 from Manhattan, where they are raising their three children, Katie (11) who attends Smith Middle School, and Tommy (9) and Jamie (7), who both attend at Wandell. Thomas is a 2nd generation Saddle River family. His parents, Mary and Jimmy Weng, and his sister’s family, Doug and Jean Holden and their children, all reside in Saddle River.
Thomas has spent most of his professional career in Investment Banking focused on Mergers & Acquisitions and Equity Capital Markets at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. Four years ago, he stepped away from Wall Street and now sits on the Board of Directors of several public and private companies in the Biotechnology, Consumer Products, and Natural Resources sectors.
Current Issues the Saddle River School District Faces
Since the 2011/2012 school year, Wandell Elementary School’s enrollment has declined approximately 35% from 230 students to 150 students today. This is despite the fact that:
- overall public school enrollment in both New jersey and Bergen County has been flat over the same time period according to the NJ Department of Education, and
- according to the US Census bureau, the population of Saddle River has grown faster than New Jersey’s population during a similar time period. It should be noted that Saddle River, like Alpine, NJ has one of the more mature populations in the state.
Improving our Financial Condition
Most school districts throughout the country are facing budgetary constraints. The Saddle River District is no different facing challenges that are similar to our fellow districts and challenges that are unique to us. Despite declining enrollment, the district has had budgetary difficulties over the past several years and has been forced to make cuts, especially to its staff. If enrollment returns to normalized levels, the district would be placed in a challenging situation.
Consistency of our Results
Thanks to the hard work and effort of our students and teachers and greatly supported by parents, our standardized test results for 2015 and 2016 have improved significantly, placing us in the 97th and 98th percentile, respectively. This means that only 2% to 3% of the 1,300 public elementary schools have outperformed Wandell. This is a tremendous achievement that is something to be proud of. Now the goal is to maintain our performance within the 90th percentile range on a consistent basis.