To the Editors:
At a time when our District faces ever escalating fiscal and facility challenges, Donna Smith offers a steadfast, intelligent and cooperative voice on our Board of Education. At every opportunity, her passion and belief in our abilities and possibilities is on full display. What’s also always obvious is her patience as Donna is not one to get frustrated, talk over her colleagues or assume a position of hollow grandstanding. Her willingness to listen to and work with every member of the Board of Education and our school administration represents her core personal beliefs that contention and obstruction do not solve any issues facing South Orange and Maplewood.
Blessed with many strong assets needed to lead during great challenges, Donna understands we all share the reality of needing to do more with less. And, running as an independent allows her the freedom and flexibility to fully and completely represent all of our community taxpayers. When she joined the Board of Education, Donna brought a voice of reason, candor, openness, and passion for education that makes her a go-to-person who works across the artificial aisles of voting alliances to ensure our kids are considered first and foremost in all Board decisions.
A strong listener, Donna is among the most active and publicly accessible members of our Board of Education. Taking her role as ambassador to the Schools and from the Community, you can routinely find Donna at block parties, school plays, baseball games, PTA fundraisers and holiday celebrations through our two towns. Committed to openness and communication, Donna will routinely start up conversations at these events in order to introduce herself as a sitting Board of Education member. She wants people to know her and come to her with concerns, opportunities and insights that help her better serve the long-range vision of our District’s goals.
With great change on the horizon for our District, from a new Superintendent to be hired to facility expansions to be prioritized and more, we need experienced leadership who will protect our children with every decision while supporting the continuity of the high standards within our schools. It’s with this in mind that I wholeheartedly support Donna Smith continuing to serve on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education.
South Orange, NJ