Letter to the Editor: Baker, Jones Best for ‘Time of Transition'

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As a parent of three children who are currently in the district and one who is a Columbia High School graduate, I write to urge all South Orange and Maplewood residents to vote for Maureen Jones and Elizabeth Baker in the Board of Education election on November 4.

This is a critical time for our school district and our children.  The Board members we elect this November will vote to choose the next superintendent and they will be responsible for ensuring that the new superintendent makes our community’s expectation of great teaching for every child, the reality in every classroom.  As parents of children in our schools and volunteers in our PTAs and our community, Maureen and Elizabeth bring the dedication and experience, as well as a commitment to dialogue, that we need on our Board during this time of transition.

Both Maureen and Elizabeth will also bring valuable professional experience to our district.   As a speech language pathologist and educator who has worked in public schools, Maureen knows the challenges of supporting and engaging every child, and she understands how teachers, parents, and administrators can work together to make this happen. Elizabeth’s work as an attorney, with experience in financial oversight, negotiations, and governance, will help our Board ensure that our budget and programs are aligned with our priorities, that we are maximizing the educational benefit of every dollar we spend, and that we are learning from feedback in real time. In addition, they will help to support and ensure that administrators as well as teachers alike are following the law to the letter, and that all our children are in a safe space while in school and that their health and well being is not compromised.

Our schools and our children need Maureen and Elizabeth’s commitment, openness, experience and leadership. They also need that unwavering attention.  And since both candidates have children in our district they are that much more committed to the cause. This is an important election and I urge everyone to turn out on November 4 and vote for Maureen Jones and Elizabeth Baker for the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education.

Ava Padmore

Maplewood, NJ

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