To the Editor:
It is my great pleasure to endorse, personally and professionally, Margaret (Peggy) Freedson, and the Pai Eastman Freedson team for Board of Education.
I have known Peggy Freedson her entire life, and for nearly my entire life. She’s my little sister, and it is with such pride that I write to endorse her, and to tell you what I know. Peggy moved here to South Orange 10 years ago for two reasons: my partner David and I had been in South Orange since 2000, and we all wanted our children to grow up together in these extraordinary towns. And at the time, Peggy had recently been hired by Montclair State University to prepare teachers at their College of Education, with a specialization in early literacy and curriculum development. I was grateful that her work brought her so close, and our two families have happily lived just down the street from each other since 2005. Her son Sammy is a sophomore at Columbia High School, her daughter Ava a third grader at South Mountain, and her husband Steve a local contractor.
Of course, any brother would be proud of his sister, but I have watched Peggy with such enormous pride the past 25 years, from her early days as an elementary school teacher with the Los Angeles Public Schools, teaching what was largely a newly immigrated and underserved population of first and second graders, where I witnessed her deep commitment to advocating for quality in their early school experience, and her work to ensure that the education they were receiving was on a par with children at LA’s more privileged elementary schools.
A desire to be able to do more in bringing excellence in teaching to public schools took Peggy to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she received her masters and doctoral degrees focusing on literacy and bilingual development. In the interim, she spent several years in rural Chiapas, Mexico working to elevate literacy standards there as a researcher for the Mexican government.