LETTER: Mila Jasey Endorses Sackett-Gable, Callahan & Meyer for BOE


3 of 9 seats on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Ed are up for a vote. Election Day is November 7.

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The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education election takes place on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Three of nine seats are up for election. Three candidates filed to run by the July deadline and appear on the ballot: Shayna Sackett-Gable, Liz Callahan and Will Meyer. Two candidates, Jeff Bennett and Anthony Mazzocchi, announced a write-in campaign on October 7. Village Green is posting letters of support for all candidates: Deadline for submission was October 31 at 5 p.m. Read our guidelines here. Read all our election coverage here


To South Orange-Maplewood Voters:

I am writing to urge you to vote in this year’s November election and to cast your three BOE votes for Shayna Sackett-Gable, Elizabeth Callahan and Will Meyer.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th. Polls are open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM at your regular polling places. You can find your polling place: https//voter.svrs.nj.gov/polling-place-search

This is the first time in many years that I have publicly endorsed local board candidates. Given these three exceptional people, I feel I must. My choices are informed by my service on our local Board from 1999-2007 and my knowledge of all the candidates- the three I’m supporting and the two who have launched a write-in campaign.

See the Sackett-Gable, Callahan and Meyer website for in-depth information on their views.


In a year when we may well have to recruit and appoint a new Superintendent, we need people on the Board with deep educational experience who know what to look for beyond buzzwords they hear in an interview, who can bring a fresh approach to Superintendent selection, who will ensure we get someone with a strong track record. I am confident that Shayna, Will and Liz are the people we need.

Shayna Sackett-Gable is a long time friend and was a close colleague of my daughter Rhena Jasey, when they both taught at Seth Boyden. Shayna is a master at her craft, especially in math education. More importantly, she understands the elusive combination of factors that can turn a school into a place where all children thrive.

Shayna understands the necessity of teachers struggling with one another as they challenge each others differing expectations about their students. She understands that a Board of Education cannot dictate change from the top down but must seek to enable it by hiring inspirational instructional leaders at the school level and then challenging and empowering teachers.

Shayna grew up here and graduated from Columbia, like my three kids. She understands the ways in which CHS served her and many students well – including many students of color-and the ways in which it has at the same time failed too many. She has also experienced our schools as the parent of her two children, who are now at CHS. Such an understanding, combining Board service and her personal experiences as a student and parent and her insight as a senior educator is rare. I am thrilled that she will bring that insight to our BOE at a critical time in our district’s history.

Will Meyer is running for the BOE for a second year in a row. That by itself is a solid indicator of his determination and commitment to address the many issues confronting our district.

He is a senior education attorney who represents special needs families in New York City. Locally, he has been an active volunteer in our schools as a leader in the Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) and the South Mountain PTA. He has two young children, a son at South Mountain Elementary and a daughter in preschool at Montrose.

Elizabeth (“Liz”) Callahan is a school based behavioral consultant with nearly 20 years of experience in education. Her son is a third grader at Tuscan Elementary where she has served as class parent. She also has a preschooler at Applecore.

Liz is “deeply committed to the students of our district” and driven by a “vision of emotionally safe schools that celebrate students’ diversity, develop their talents, support their growth and are responsive to the needs of our community and the world”. In brief, she and I share the belief that “one size does not fit all”.

Please cast your three votes for Sackett-Gable, Callahan and Meyer, the only three candidates listed on the ballot. I believe that their experience and judgement will help the Board address the district’s immediate challenges and achieve schools where all children will thrive.


Assemblywoman Mila Jasey


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