To the Editor,
I am thrilled to endorse Annemarie Maini and Chris Sabin as Board of Education candidates. Through their tireless volunteer efforts over many years they have both demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the children and families in Maplewood and South Orange. As active community members, Annemarie and Chris are listening to and will represent the concerns of an enormous cross-section of parents. Sometimes everything looks great from the vantage point of central office, even when parents in the schools are frustrated and upset. It is only when parents know and trust an individual Board member that they will pick up the phone and call.
I’ve known Annemarie for several years in her role as a consummate student advocate. As the immediate past-president of the South Orange Middle School Home and School Association, she has pushed for improvements that benefit all students. She has an intimate knowledge of what is working and what is not, and she readily offers constructive criticism where needed. And I emphasize the word constructive. It’s vitally important that new Board members bring a critical but respectful tone to the table to enhance the District’s ability to move forward.
Chris has demonstrated his passion and commitment to our children by holding numerous positions in the Maplewood Lacrosse Club, as well as serving as Team Commissioner for the South Orange-Maplewood Packers Football Team from 2009-2013. As with all massive youth sports organizations, the role of Commissioner requires impressive communication, management, and motivational skills, not to mention a bit of patience.
In this Board of Education race, Chris also has unparalleled historical community knowledge. He grew up in Maplewood, graduated from CHS, has been acutely aware of District-wide issues since his mother served as Board of Education President, and now is raising his own family here.
Professionally, Annemarie and Chris possess skills critical to governance. As an undergraduate and graduate student, Annemarie acquired valuable teaching experience at SUNY Geneseo and Syracuse University, then honed her analytical skills at Chase Manhattan Bank/JP Morgan Chase, and currently owns and operates the South Orange Country Day Preschool. Chris is an award-winning senior marketing and promotions executive with credits from a range of major Fortune 500 clients. Many of his awareness campaigns have focused on youth development and improving the lives of teenagers.
I’ve served on our Board of Education for nearly eight years and before that for over ten years as a PTA and HSA volunteer. Making our schools better is hard and frustrating work. It requires the ability to see the whole picture, to be aware of our district’s shortcomings and challenges even while celebrating its many successes. It requires a sense of urgency coupled with patience and sober judgment. It requires a Board of Education whose members wake up every day thinking about our district’s potential, knowing how far we’ve come, but painfully aware of how far we have to go and determined that we get there. Chris and Annemarie will be that sort of Board member. Over and above their community experience and professional qualifications, that is why we really need them on our Board of Education.
They will represent the community’s expectations, monitor progress, and ensure that the district is well run. I can’t stress enough how excited I am about the possibility of serving with them during my ninth year on our Board of Education! Please help make that happen by joining me in voting for them on November 3!
More information about Chris and Annemarie can be found in their press release https://villagegreennj.com/schools-kids/maini-sabin-declare-run-south-orange-maplewood-board-ed/ and on their website at https://maini-sabin-2015.com/
South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education member since 2007
The statements above are my own personal views and not meant to represent an endorsement by the Board of Education.