LETTER: Sackett-Gable, Callahan & Meyer Will Bring Meaningful Change to SOMSD


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

0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

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 is October 31 at 5 p.m. Read our guidelines here. Read all our election coverage here

As a resident of Maplewood and South Orange for the past 10 years combined, and as parent of two students in the district since kindergarten, who are now at SOMS and CHS, I have closely followed our district and the BOE. This is probably said every year, but this year’s election is an especially critical one. It’s a chance for our BOE to reconcile differences, have different perspectives represented, and come together to effectively collaborate to push SOMSD to produce actual and meaningful change with 3 new board members. I have never felt more confident than ever that Shayna Sackett-Gable, Liz Callahan, and Will Meyer are the right people to help move the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education in the right direction.

I came to know Shayna first as a fellow parent and a teacher at Seth Boyden where our children attended, and has become a dear friend since. Shayna possesses the qualities I have desired to see on the board- when considering an issue, she will have thoughtful discussion, ask important questions, will listen to all perspectives no matter who they are coming from, and consider the nuances. She will come to the board with a collaborative, even-tempered spirit that we so desperately need to end the current dysfunction.

I also know Shayna shares my value around approaching issues through an equity lens to identify and eliminate systemic barriers impacting our most marginalized students. Not just to push initiatives to pat ourselves on the back, but to also push for better planning, implementation, oversight and accountability to actually achieve better outcomes, which I know Shayna cares deeply about for all students. She has a unique perspective in having been through the district herself as a student, with children in the current system, and having taught at the elementary school that saw the biggest impact of systemic barriers for students and teachers. This perspective will bring great value to the board.

Based on what I’ve read and heard from Liz and Will, I can tell they possess the same qualities as Shayna and share the same values that are important to consider for our district as a whole to be successful, to be supportive of teachers, and to work for all families. I’m grateful Shayna, Liz and Will stepped up to run for BOE to serve our community and collaboratively represent our diverse voices. I encourage everyone to join me next Tuesday in voting for Shayna Sackett-Gable, Liz Callahan, and Will Meyer in the South Orange-Maplewood School Board of Education election.

Stacy Merriweather Fontil
South Orange, NJ


Related Articles