LETTER: Kaitlin Wittleder Will Push for a Return to Civility in Board Deliberations

by Fred R. Profeta, Jr.
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Five candidates are vying for three seats on the 9-member South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education on November 2, 2021: Shannon Cuttle (incumbent), William RodriguezQawi TelesfordArun Vadlamani and Kaitlin Wittleder. Terms are for three years. 

Kaitlin Wittleder and Fred Profeta

Dear Editor:

I firmly believe that Kaitlin Wittleder is the best candidate in the current race for the Board of Education. She is special. I could base this assessment entirely on the changes she wishes to bring to the District. These include an updated curriculum, more transparency and public involvement in decision making, a return to civility in Board deliberations, a full blown assault on the racial achievement gap, and enhanced security and safety for our children so that a tragedy like the one at Underhill never happens again. 

But Kaitlin’s excellent proposals are not the primary reason for my endorsement of her. Simply put, I have rarely met a candidate for any local office who has the drive, the passion, and the work ethic that Kaitlin possesses. It is not an accident that you see her all around our community meeting voter after voter – and listening to all of them. Kaitlin takes no special pride in her ideas. She will back the ideas of whomever is making the most sense. 

When all of this energy and collegiality and honesty is combined with her impressive intelligence, you know you are witnessing a candidate who will carry these same qualities to her work on the Board. Kaitlin will listen, but she will not remain silent when policies do not make sense. Kaitlin will steep herself in all of the relevant data before making a decision, and not simply repeat the mantra that her decisions will be “data driven.” And Kaitlin will attend all of the meetings of all of the committees of which she is a member. 

As I have heard from so many of you while campaigning with Kaitlin, the present Board is not functioning as well as it could. We must bring back civility. We must eliminate “bloc thinking” and bring back independent thinking. The children of Maplewood and South Orange deserve the best. Kaitlin is the best. Let’s all work to get her a seat on the Board. 

Sincerely,

Fred R. Profeta, Jr.
Maplewood, NJ

Editor’s note: Profeta is former Mayor of Maplewood.

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