Former Maplewood Mayor Davenport Endorses Maini, Sabin for Board of Ed

by The Village Green
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To the Editor:

I am writing to urge your consideration of two candidates in this year’s Board of Education election: Chris Sabin and Annemarie Maini. They offer a unique combination of skills, insight and energy that will serve us well in the years ahead.

Many of you have children or grandchildren in our schools. We all share a mutual interest in seeing that our schools become places where all children are consistently challenged and well served, where they look forward to going to school each day.

Because I am a former teacher, a part of the Maini-Sabin campaign message really resonates with me. I agree with their assertion that we need to “create a school system that fosters an inclusive culture, where every family feels welcomed, embraced, and respected.” They urge the district to “enable teachers to succeed in building relationships with, and fostering academic success for, all their students by providing the systemic supports they need to do so.”

As most of you know, I served on the Maplewood Township Committee from 1990 to 2002 and as Mayor from 1994 to 1997.

From that experience, I know that good governance takes more than inspiring vision. A governing body must understand its budget in detail, must be able to judge whether administrators’ recommendations are credible, and most importantly, by crafting an effective oversight process, must be able to judge independently whether outcomes match expectations.

A governing body needs members who will ask questions that are constructive, well-informed and to the point, who will not stop asking questions until they are satisfied with the accuracy and completeness of the answers. Most of all, a governing body needs members who are in regular contact with a large number of their constituents, who have their fingers on the pulse of the community.

Annemarie Maini and Chris Sabin are the candidates we can count on to do all of this and more. Ask anyone who knows them.

I have known Chris for decades — he was my CCD student at Our Lady of Sorrows in the 1970s. I know him to be a good and honest person. He attended district schools from second grade on and graduated from Columbia in 1983. His parents, Sabarah and Crawford, were both heavily involved in multiple volunteer roles. His commitment to community service is not an accident.

Annemarie Maini is a highly respected local educator who since 2008 has been the director of South Orange Country Day School, a Montessori pre-school in South Orange. She has a dozen years’ experience in banking and a BA and MA in Math Education. She is active as a volunteer in our local schools and in the South Orange community.

You can read their full bios, their campaign platform and more about them on their website:

Our schools play an essential part in maintaining the long-term vitality of our community. The challenges they face increase every year. We have a new Superintendent who needs guidance, support and oversight as he acclimates to our district. That’s what makes this election so critical to the future of our community and why I urge you to join me in voting for Chris Sabin and Annemarie Maini for the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education on November 3.

Ellen Davenport


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