Five community members are running for three seats on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education this year: Regina Eckert, Nubia Wilson, Bill Gifford, Ritu Pancholy and William Meyer. Eckert, Wilson and Gifford are running on the “Students Come First” ticket. Pancholy and Meyer are running on the “Doing Better, Together” ticket.
Read more about the candidates in Village Green’s “Ask the Candidates” series on busing/transportation, access & equity, the Superintendent and BOE functionality.
To the Editor:
I have known Will Meyer for almost two decades in a professional capacity and more recently on a more personal level. In my opinion, there is nobody running for a seat on the BOE that is more qualified for the job.
I am a 45-year resident of Maplewood. My daughter attended our school system, and my grandchildren are current students in the district. I have served on local committees which focused on educational issues such as leveling and the achievement gap, and I currently serve on the Maplewood Senior Advisory Committee. Professionally, I serve as an administrative law judge in NYC.
Will is an attorney who has chosen a career pursuing cases on behalf of parents of disabled children for all of the years that I have known him. All of these parents were seeking to obtain or restore special education services for their child. He first began as public interest lawyer. Now, due to his exceptionally calm and even demeanor, brilliant legal acumen, and litigation skills in this area of law, he works for a very prestigious special education law firm in NYC which serves a diverse community of families of all races and income levels.
In the numerous cases Will has tried in front of me, I have observed him to be respectful, very professional, very knowledgeable, and very thorough. Perhaps most importantly, I have observed that when dealing with frustrated parents and DOE representatives – difficult situations where tempers often flare – Will is able to remain even-tempered throughout. Given the current state of extreme disharmony on the BOE in our two towns, Will is exactly the person we desperately need to serve on the board.
Ritu Pancholy, Will’s running mate, is also highly qualified for the job. I have been very impressed as I’ve gotten to know her recently. She too has many years of experience working as an attorney for the NYC DOE and knows how to work within and help to fix an educational system which often seems to be a web of bureaucratic barriers.
Both Will and Ritu will work cooperatively together with other BOE members to strengthen our BOE and will do their best to help all children in our district to succeed in school. That is why I support them both and will vote for them on November 8, election day.
Judith T. Kramer