To the Editor:
I write to express my strong support for Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, James Davis, and Susie Adamson in the November 8 election for the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education.
Since my election to the Board nearly two years ago and my election as Board President in January, I have worked closely with Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, who is currently the Board’s First Vice President. Stephanie is passionate about making our district a place that consistently serves all children well – from those who are thriving to those who are still struggling. Stephanie has proven herself to be a collaborative leader, and a thoughtful voice on a wide range of issues. She helped keep our District on track in 2014 and 2015 as we searched for a new superintendent. We need Stephanie’s experience and her perspective on the Board for another three years as we adopt a Strategic Plan to ensure that our schools are vibrant communities where EVERY student is respected, challenged and supported.
James Davis will bring to the Board a deep commitment to our children informed by his many hours of volunteer work with local youth sports teams. Beyond his insights about children, James also knows a thing or two about adults. In his professional life, he is corporate counsel for American Express and has a wealth of experience serving on and advising corporate and non-profit boards. He is a strong believer in Boards that fashion clear policies and effective oversight practices, but also knows that big organizational improvements only come from leadership at the ground level that motivates all members of an organization to recommit to its mission. He will be patient, but at the same time determined to see forward progress in the way that our district serves families and children.
As a leader of the Seth Boyden PTA and Presidents Council, Susie Adamson has proven herself not only a tireless leader but strong advocate for our schools and our most vulnerable students. In this work, Susie has been able to bring parents and stakeholders together and break out of the zero sum mindset that can easily result from tight budgets and the many needs that our schools strive to meet.
Please join with me to elect Stephanie, James and Susie to the SOMa Board of Education. Our schools need their rich experience, their leadership and their commitment to our children.
Elizabeth Baker is the current President of the Board of Education but the views expressed are her own and not a statement on behalf of the Board.