By ERIN ROLL
Laura Hertzog and Eve Robinson will be returning to the Montclair Board of Education, while Latifah Jannah will be joining as its newest member later this year.
Mayor Robert Jackson announced that Hertzog and Robinson were reappointed on Sunday, April 15.
Jannah will replace Jevon Caldwell-Gross, who will be departing the board at the end of the school year, Jackson said.
“Ms. Hertzog and Ms. Robinson have assured me that the excellence of the Montclair public schools – students, staff, facilities, management – is the singular focus of the board and they are committed to working collegially to ensure its attainment,” Jackson said in a statement released on Sunday.
Jannah has worked in the district as a student assistance counselor at Buzz Aldrin. Outside of her work in the schools, she is one of the founders and directors of Sister to Sister, a mentoring program for girls and young women of color. The program helps pair the participants with women in different professions, and has set up mentoring programs at Montclair High School and some of the elementary and middle schools.
“She is a volunteer extraordinaire, who has dedicated herself to working with single mothers and grandmothers with children in our schools and with the amazing Sister-to-Sister program. Ms. Jannah’s love for Montclair, its schools and particularly its children are unassailable and I am thrilled that she has agreed to serve,” Jackson said.
Jannah said she was honored by her appointment to the Montclair Board of Education.
“I appreciate the opportunity to work with board members, on the other side of the podium, and in collaboration with our great Montclair Public Schools staff, as we make Montclair the model of quality public school education,” Jannah said, adding she is excited about working with incoming superintendent Kendra Johnson: “I have witnessed Dr. Johnson’s advocacy for our students and their families, as well as her support of community programs. I know she will bring to the position of superintendent that same strength of commitment and purpose, and I look forward to working with her,” Jannah said.
Hertzog currently serves as the BOE president.
“I’m very excited to continue on the board and to continue the good work that we are doing, and I look forward to joining all my fellow board members in supporting our new superintendent as she starts work next month,” Hertzog said. “I appreciate Ms. Robinson’s dedication to early childhood education and I know that we will continue to benefit from her wisdom in this area.”
Robinson said she was happy to continue on the BOE. “I look forward to working with the board and the district on our future goals that look beyond today and well into tomorrow through an educational philosophy and practice that is progressive in every sense,” she said.
Jackson also announced that Priscilla Church, a Montclair resident and a former administrator in the Fort Lee school district, had been appointed to fill the next vacancy on the board when it arises.
“The Montclair schools have gone through some turbulent times in the recent past. But the past is just that. My prayer is that all of Montclair will embrace the daunting, yet exhilarating, work of making our schools a global model of excellence,” Jackson said.