Horacio “Ray” Carrera is excited about his role as a board member for the Passaic Board of Education. He realizes that many challenges lie ahead, yet this commissioner wants to make a difference. “I feel it’s very easy to sit back, criticize, complain and give opinions on how to better our schools. Real change,” he notes, “can only occur when people work together to identify problems, propose solutions, and implement them. I believe with my experience and willingness to work, I can help the Board improve the quality of education.”
By day, Ray Carrera is a loan originator, thereby supporting his interest in helping the Board’s Finance Committee. Additionally, he chairs the School Safety and Community Relations Committees. Carrera also sits on the Cafeteria, Community Relations, Technology and Curriculum and Education Committees. Carrera contends that parental involvement is so important because it improves not only student academics, but also school safety. “As parents learn to engage and interact more with their children, the children then become less susceptible to the allure of gangs, truancy and general delinquency,” he adds.
As a member of the Passaic Planning Board, Carrera was instrumental in the city’s soccer field at Dundee Island Park. He has been involved in city projects over the last 16 years. Through the years, he has acted as a mentor setting up after-school recreation programs, helping students with homework, and speaking to them about setting goals and a strong work ethic. Last year, Carrera met a student he mentored in the ‘90swho thanked him for caring about him. “This is something that makes you feel proud and that you don’t forget,”says Carrera.
Flexibility and solid time management skills allow for this neophyte board member to adapt to his many commitments as a father of three and community activist. Outside the board, Carrera also serves on the Board of Directors for Passaic’s Head Start, as well as an active member of the Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce and the School Leadership Council at School 9.