To the Editor:
I am writing to express my enthusiastic support for James Davis and Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad for the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education in this November’s election. Their commitment to equitable education for all children, their understanding of the problems our district is facing, and their desire to make the district more responsive to the needs of all students make them the best candidates for our BOE.
James is a dedicated father of four and a thoughtful, determined and informed advocate for the children of our community. He’s coached soccer teams and volunteered with the Achieve Foundation, helping to raise money for the district’s music programs. In his professional life, James is corporate counsel for American Express and has a wealth of experience advising both corporate and non-profit boards on governance issues.
As a prospective Board member, James has already demonstrated a commitment to understanding the law, policy and detail related to the most serious issues confronting our Board. He emphasizes the importance of the Board defining more effective measures of educational outcomes than the current approach focused mainly on test scores.
James is a natural leader with the ability to collaborate and negotiate among diverse interests. He is committed to helping our Board provide the leadership needed to ensure successful outcomes for all students.
Stephanie has a demonstrated commitment to moving the District forward in its mission to provide an excellent education for each and every student. In all three of her years on the Board, she has served on the Equity and Excellence Committee, offering a thoughtful voice in challenging discussions. She’s also served on the Community Engagement and Finance Committees. Her twelve years of experience in tutoring and educational enrichment make her uniquely positioned to understand the needs of educational programs. Stephanie is an active and engaged parent and community member.
If you haven’t already, please read James and Stephanie’s campaign declaration (https://www.boe2016.com/). I know you’ll be impressed with their qualifications and experience.
As the parent of two children in elementary school, I’ve witnessed some excellent teaching happening in our district. But I’ve also had discussions with parents who have grown frustrated when their students didn’t get the guidance they needed to overcome personal challenges. I know James and Stephanie will work hard to ensure that every student has the opportunity to take full advantage of all that our district has to offer. Please join me in voting for James Davis and Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad on November 8th.