The terms of two Montclair Board of Education members — Eve Robinson and Laura Hertzog — were up this month and Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson could have either reappointed one or both members or chose to appoint one or two new members.

Today, Mayor Jackson announced his decision regarding Robinson and Hertzog as well as his plans to fill the spot to be vacated by Rev. Caldwell-Gross upon his resignation. Mayor Jackson also made an announcement of future BOE member pick.

Here’s Mayor Jackson’s announcement:

Today I notified Board Secretary Emidio D’Andrea that I am reappointing Ms. Laura Hertzog and Ms. Eve Robinson to the Montclair Board of Education.

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.

A number of wonderful candidates spoke with me this year. I hope that they will consider the Board in the future. However, I can make the following announcements about future appointments.

First, I am pleased to announce that Ms. Latifah Jannah will replace Mr. Caldwell-Gross upon his resignation. Ms. Jannah, a Boston University and Montclair State graduate, served on the staff of our Public Schools, most recently as a SAC at the Buzz Aldrin School. 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.

Second, I plan to appoint Ms. Priscilla Church, a long-time Montclair resident, Montclair State graduate, former Principal of Fort Lee High School and Director of Special Services for the Fort Lee Board of Education, to fill the next vacancy on the Board. Ms. Church elevated Fort Lee High to one of the top schools in the country and achieved extraordinary success improving the performance of children with special needs in the district. I believe that this experienced, grounded leader will be an invaluable resource for the Board, Dr. Johnson, and the staff going forward.

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.

2 replies on “Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson Announces Decision on BOE Members”

  1. The Mayor’s approach is unfortunate and only ensures to the ongoing dysfunction of the BoE.

    I was hoping the Mayor would leverage his 6 years in the job and adopt a policy of not reappointing anyone.
    God knows Montclair has a deep & diverse bench.

    Oh well.

  2. The Mayor creates a different majority again. It’s hard to believe that Hertzog will stay on as President without the votes. The others have a history of non-action. You’re right Frank. The dysfunction will continue. Looks like those calling for an elected board might be on to something.

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