Phaedra Dunn and Melanie Deysher are both engaged and committed members of our school communities. They are regular attendees and speakers at Board of Education meetings, as well as other committees focused on improving our schools. As such, their ideas, energy, and dedication would be great assets as new members of the Montclair Board of Education.

I voted in favor of an elected board and I am invested in finding the best candidates to do the work required for our students, staff and community. I believe that Phaedra Dunn and Melanie Deysher are the candidates our district needs. I first met Phaedra Dunn while participating on few different NAACP committees. She co-chairs the PTA Council’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, of which I am also a member. What struck me about Phaedra was her kind, supportive nature, her dedication to our community and her ability to see things from many perspectives. I’ve participated in community groups that were very good at discussing issues, but not so good at producing results. What I appreciate about Phaedra is her focus and ability to move these discussions into actionable work. I know that as a member of the Board of Education, she can provide further guidance for organizing initiatives with achievable results. Phaedra is a “people” person, and as a psychotherapist, she has dedicated her professional life to improving the personal interaction and increased happiness between various persons. This training will be very important as she will work with people of varying ideas and backgrounds. I believe her when she stresses the importance of listening to all stakeholders and working together. Phaedra Dunn is what this district needs.

Three years ago, I started attending Board of Education meetings. During this time, Melanie Deysher was in regular attendance. Using her allotted three minutes for public comment, she advocated tirelessly at subsequent bimonthly BOE meetings for children with dyslexia, presenting supporting data calling for additional school staff training and the implementation of the Orton-Gillingham program. After several months, the interim superintendent announced that the district was planning to implement this program to address the needs of Montclair students. Melanie became my de facto expert, to whom I could direct other parents who had children struggling with reading. I knew that she would be a wealth of knowledge and help the parents navigate the system. Melanie was always eager and willing to help. This spirit of kindness, willingness to do the work and do everything she can do to effect change is what this district needs. Let’s give Melanie the chance to do what she does best.

Vote for Melanie Deysher and Phaedra Dunn. They have what it takes to move us in the right direction.

Obie Miranda-Woodley


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