The Village Green has invited the candidates for the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education to submit statements for publication, which we will run as we receive them. Election day is November 6, 2018.
Maplewood/South Orange has been my home for the better part of my life. My education in the district began at Tuscan (K-1). I then went on to Montrose (2), was bused to Jefferson (3-5), then South Orange Middle School (6-8), and finally Columbia High School, graduating class of 1990. I created memories and lifelong friendships all while participating in a diverse education that prepared me to succeed in college. These experiences were a key reason I returned to Maplewood in 2003 with my wife Ann.
Having experienced the South Orange-Maplewood School District as a pupil and now as a parent of four children — Liam, 13, and Jake, 12 (both at SOMS), and Harry, 10, and Georgia, 6 (both at Clinton) — gives me a unique perspective. How we are as a district today, what we were in the past, and where we are heading in the future is very important to me. I am PROUD to have grown up and live in a town that is known as a welcoming, diverse community in close proximity to NYC; but I want more for our community. I want SOMSD to also be known as the PREMIER educational district in New Jersey for:
• Outstanding curriculum and facilities for learning and athletics
• Retaining and attracting innovative, engaging, dedicated and caring teachers and administrators to work with our diverse student population
• Bridging achievement gaps at the earliest stages of learning
This coming year, the BOE has to fulfill one of its most critical responsibilities. The BOE must recruit and hire a new superintendent. For the past 20 years, I have built a career in professional recruitment. I am eager to apply my recruitment expertise to helping the BOE select a superb superintendent who can fulfill our vision for educational excellence for all. To achieve this, we need members of the BOE who have experience with developing an ideal candidate profile that is consistent with the vision of our broader community. To accomplish this and our other goals, it is essential the BOE maintain consistent and clear communication with the community.
I am thrilled to be running with Narda Chisholm-Greene who shares my mission to achieve educational excellence for all. Over the next few months, I look forward to meeting residents, community organizations and township officials to learn more about why you love Maplewood/South Orange and what you would like to see improved in the coming years.