From the Board President
I am honored to assume the position of President of the Montclair Board of Education. I thank my colleagues on the board for this vote of confidence. I am moved by their trust in me, and will do my best to ensure that my efforts validate their support.
In particular, I want to pay Tribute to my predecessor, Shelly Lombard. Shelly has served the school community and the entire Montclair community for many years with wisdom, insight and commitment. Her term as president has witnessed many challenges. She confronts what comes before her unflinchingly, and I hope that I can reach the high bar she has set.
Public education today faces severe challenges. Perhaps it was always thus, but it feels especially so now. The public views all of us who are part of the education process critically. The notion of just what should constitute education is itself controversial. The diversity which we rightfully celebrate also brings with it different views on what we want to achieve and how we will reach our goals.
Yet I feel honored to assume this position because I cannot think of a more important way to serve the community in which I live, and which I think has given so much to my family. This is a time of challenge, but I publicly make the following promises.
- This administration will continue efforts to bring transparency to every aspect of school operations. The residents of Montclair give the public schools over $100 million each year. They deserve to know how that money is being spent. The PTAs and MFEE are invaluable collaborators as well — support of them is fundamental.
- I pledge to do everything possible to work with the Montclair Education Association, with the teachers, administrators and support staff, in a spirit of partnership. We have tough decisions ahead. None of us can achieve everything we want. But if we can collaborate without rancor, with a positive spirit, I believe we can come to agreements all consider a success.
- My fellow board members and I will advocate fiercely for the public schools. We will invest our time, our energy and our voices in ensuring that the Township recognizes the value and importance of the school, that all Township residents view the schools as the soul of our community.
- Most of all, I promise that everything I do, that everything we do, will have one supreme goal in mind: the best education possible for our children. Our schools must be places were our children feel safe, secure and cared for. Our classrooms must be places where great teachers engage our students in effective, inspiring learning. Our graduates, whether heading for the work force, the military, job training, or college, must be academically prepared for what faces them, as well as understand their civic responsibilities as adults in our society.
Our job, as a Board of Education, is to use all the energy, wisdom, insight and tenacity we can muster to provide the resources, the leadership, and the environment, that will enable these goals to be achieved. I look forward to the work ahead.
Page Updated: Feb 26, 2013