Meet More of Our New Administrators

Meet More of Our New Administrators
Posted on 11/14/2022

This is the second installment of our profiles of the district's newest administrators so our families and community members can get to know them better. Below are each of their bios. We warmly welcome them to Montclair!

Edwin Brown
Assistant Business Administrator

Edwin M. Brown was born and raised in Newark, NJ. He matriculated through the Newark school system where he attended Arts High School, a performing arts school. He majored in both art and music vocals. He then attended Seton Hall University where he received an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the Paul Stillman School of Business. He graduated Cum Laude. He has a Masters of Divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Mr. Brown worked 22 years as a trader, financial analyst and auditor with Merrill Lynch, a brokerage firm, (12 yrs.) and JP Morgan Chase, an international banking institution (10 yrs.). He was also employed as the Director of Youth Services of Brand New Day, an affordable housing company. He was mainly responsible for the day-to-day program management of YouthBuild Elizabeth, an organization that was a part of the youth services division of Brand New Day. YouthBuild Elizabeth helped at-risk youth obtain their GED/high school equivalency diploma along with a nationally recognized certification in construction. The program also assisted young adults with goal setting, developing life skills, career development and/or applying to college.

Mr. Brown was employed as a Financial Fiscal Specialist for the Irvington Board of Education for five years and as the Comptroller for the East Orange School District for two years.

David Cantor
Executive Director of Communications and Community Engagement

David Cantor has held senior communications and policy roles for more than 20 years. He has consulted or worked for several large city school districts, including five years as chief spokesman for the New York City Department of Education. He also served as Executive Editor for The 74, an education news agency, and led education-focused teams at New York City PR firms. He moved to Montclair in the fall of 2021.

Jeffrey Gannon
Montclair High School Assistant Principal

I am thrilled to return to a place that feels so much like home. I began my career in education at Montclair High School as an English teacher more than 24 years ago. In that role, I assumed various responsibilities in and out of the classroom, such as leading student clubs, serving on, and chairing, various student support committees, and coaching on the staff of several athletic programs for 14 years. After my years as a teacher, I moved into the role of Assistant Principal for Athletics and Student Activities for four years. In that role, I refocused the school’s attention on the health of our athletes, on and off the field, and celebrated the value of engaging in the experiences of students and the impact that it could have on their social, emotional, and academic successes.

For the past five years, I have been an English teacher at Buzz Aldrin Middle School and have, for the past four years, served as the Co-Lead Teacher of the English Language Arts department and the Co-House Leader of House 4. I reveled in the opportunity to be in these positions as I found myself able to work closely with students, staff members, and parents on a regular basis. More than that, I valued the warmth and fellowship of the Buzz Aldrin staff.

I now embrace the opportunity to have a positive impact on the students and faculty of MHS and the larger Montclair community. My wife is a Mountie (MHS ’94) and my daughters are students in the Montclair School District. They are valuable reminders of both the rich history of the Montclair Public Schools and the bright future that I hope to help cultivate for all students.

Tina La Gala
District Nursing Supervisor

Tina La Gala joined the Montclair Public Schools in February 2022. She is a New York native but for the last 10+ years has called Montclair home. Her 20+ year career as a Registered Nurse includes experiences in diverse healthcare settings such as medical-surgical, labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care, cardiac/telemetry, rehabilitation/orthopedic, intensive care unit, post-anesthesia care and emergency room. These experiences provided a solid foundation upon which she continued to build her career. Ms. La Gala has served public schools in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years as a Certified Instructional School Nurse. She also held several per diem positions as a home care nurse specializing in teaching medication administration for individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Ms. La Gala has always maintained a commitment as a lifelong learner in order to stay current on health and wellness trends that could be transmitted to staff in support of improved student learning. She earned her Master’s Degree in School Health Education and Certifications in Instructional School Nursing and Supervision at Montclair State University.

Ms. La Gala believes that our youth's health reflects our society's health and that every child deserves equal access to resources. Her goal is to support maximal student success, achievement, and wellbeing by promoting and maintaining optimal student health. Her mission is to accomplish this through direct care, evidenced-based education, referrals, health counseling, and medical case management as needed to support the students.

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