Letter: Adamson, Davis & Lawson-Muhammad Are Visionary and Practical

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To the Editor:

Susie Adamson, James Davis II and Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad

Susie Adamson, James Davis III and Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad

I am writing to enthusiastically endorse Susie Adamson, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad and James Davis III as candidates for the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education in this November’s upcoming election.

As a district parent and community educator I am looking for School Board members who are committed to educational excellence for every child in our district. I believe that to navigate the twin challenges of state funding cuts and federal and state testing mandates and to maximize the positive impact of our current Strategic Planning process we must be able to rely on our Board members to be skilled communicators, critical thinkers and collaborative problem solvers. Adamson, Lawson-Muhammad and Davis are all three.

I had the privilege of working with Susie Adamson during her tenure as President of the Seth Boyden School PTA. She and I worked closely for many years to design and fund the Seth Boyden Outdoor Learning Classroom. I found Susie to be a rare public servant in her ability to be both visionary and practical. She is an extraordinary listener and gifted communicator.  She has the capacity to dream big, build collaborative teams, inspire participation and, perhaps most important, get the job done.

Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad is a problem solver. As a management consultant she is tasked daily with figuring out how to help organizational systems articulate and meet goals.  She asks questions and gathers data. She analyzes and synthesizes.  She collaborates. While serving her first term on the Board Stephanie contributed to the development of our community’s extraordinary new Access and Equity Policy that provides for equal and barrier-free access for students to classes at all levels. Ms. Lawson-Muhammad is committed to reducing the achievement gap while insuring the highest level of rigor throughout our district.

James Davis III is an attorney with a lifetime commitment to the arts and professional experience with institutional change.  As an advisor to both corporate and non-profit boards Mr. Davis knows what it takes to move institutions through successful and high quality processes to achieve meaningful goals. He will be an ideal leader as our district actualizes the dreams inherent in our Strategic Planning process.

Three open seats. Three informed, skilled and prepared leaders who stand ready to bring our school district into the 21st century with a commitment to excellence for every single student in our district.

Adamson. Lawson-Muhammad. Davis. They have my vote. I hope they have yours.


Peri Smilow
South Orange, NJ

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