Election Maplewood Opinion Schools / Kids South Orange Towns

LETTER: Freedson, Eastman & Pai Bring Expertise, Commitment to Excellence for All Students

To the Editor:

I am writing to share my unequivocal enthusiasm and support for Madhu Pai, Wayne Eastman and Margaret (Peggy) Freedson for South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education. Our community is fortunate to have candidates of their expertise and commitment.

Margaret (Peggy) Freedson, a seasoned educator, has been a friend and colleague for the past 12 years. Peggy’s expertise in language arts literacy instruction and educational equity, along with her strong vision for educational excellence is reflected in her work with teaching candidates at Montclair State University and with practicing teachers in many of our surrounding communities, including Newark, Paterson, and Orange. A curriculum and instruction specialist, she is committed to ensuring that effective teaching is in place for all students from early childhood through high school. She knows what to look for in curriculum and how to support teachers to reach higher levels of teaching excellence. As a new member of the Pai-Eastman-Freedson team, Peggy is poised to bring this expertise to the SOMA school board.

I have had the good fortune to be a neighbor of Wayne Eastman for the past 20 years and have always known him to be a knowledgeable and passionate community servant who continues to be at the fore of community leadership, equity and activism. His recent leadership in rallying the community around our new Superintendent John Ramos is laudable and speaks volumes about his willingness and capacity to work with people of diverse opinions.

Madhu has been an advocate for ALL children, raising awareness about the need to do more to close the racial achievement gap but also to raise awareness of the Special Education achievement gap and gender achievement gaps. We’re blessed to have her boundless energy and intellect focused on taking our schools from good to great.

As current members of the school board and current and former parents of our school district, Madhu and Wayne have strong commitments to schools that serve every child of every family, no matter what their racial or economic background. They, along with Peggy, care deeply about the quality of education for all students and are deeply sensitive to issues of equity, justice and educational excellence. In my view, based on my three decades of experience as an African American educator focused on issues of literacy and diversity, this team is uniquely qualified to implement the district’s recently adopted Access and Equity Policy.

On Tuesday, November 3, please join me in voting lines 5D, 7D and 9D for the experience and expertise of the Pai-Eastman-Freedson team.

Dr. Linda Wise
South Orange

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