I am running for a seat on the Montclair Board of Education because I believe education is the heart of democracy. The creative energy of democracy has an opportunity to flourish when given a seat at the table. A democratic community thinks: We and why, not me, myself and I. 

When I taught Response to Intervention, applying to reading, I truly began to ask the “why” questions. What resources did I have at my disposal? I had earned two master's degrees, the first in early childhood, the second in guidance counseling, both at Kean University. 

I began my Wilson Reading System Certificate training in Massachusetts, working directly with co-founder Barbara Wilson. I was awarded a 32nd-degree Mason Learning Centers for Children Inc. Scholarship for Orton Gillingham Training. I earned the CERI (Center for Effective Reading Instruction) Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist Certificate. I completed CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Rainbows for All Children (counseling), and Lincoln Center Institute Teacher training. Pooling these skills enabled me to make careful, sequential behavioral observations, participate in teacher/parent conversations and share my data.

I understand the needs and advantages of our diverse community — socially, economically, historically and educationally. I understand how it feels to work full time as a career educator, supplementing that income with employment part time at a department store for 15 years, and raising two children.

I have been: teacher consultant - co-grant writer for (Wellesley College) Stone Center; Reach Out to Schools Competency Program; advisory board member - STARS Montclair Board of Education; coordinator - the Montclair BOE’s Cooperative Teacher Program for Montclair State University teachers in training; trainer and presenter for parents - MEGA Skills and PUPS (Primary Unit Parents), and substitute teachers and co-coordinator - Montclair district mentoring. 

I have appeared as a panelist on the television show “Caucus: New Jersey” with Steve Adubato, on the topic of excellence in education and interviewed on “Classroom Close-up,” with highlights of award-winning projects in N.J. schools. I have also been the recipient of discretionary grants from MFEE (Montclair Fund for Excellence in Education).

My recognitions include The N.J. Governor’s Teacher Recognition for Excellence in Teaching and the Delta Rho chapter of Kean University 50th Award for Achievement as president.

I am a judge with the NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-Academic Cultural Technological & Science Olympics), committee member, PPRR Awards (Princeton University’s Prize in Race Relations), and NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center) volunteer with the arts education and community engagement programs.

My road map is the plan I envision as a member of the Montclair Board of Education. I will advocate for all stakeholders to have a voice that is heard in our democracy, offering my time, talent and tenacity. Vote 3A.    

Jennette L. Williams


Montclair Local's Opinion section is an open forum for civil discussion in which we invite readers to discuss town matters, articles published in Montclair, or previously published letters. Views expressed and published in this section are solely those of the writers, and do not represent the views of Montclair Local.

Letters to the editor: To submit a letter to the editor, email letters@montclairlocal.news, or mail "Letters to the Editor," PO Box 752, Montclair, NJ, 07042 (email is preferred). Submissions must include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification. Only the writer's name and town of residence will be published. Montclair Local does not publish anonymous opinion pieces.

Letters must be no more than 500 words in length, and must be received by the Sunday prior to publication to be eligible for use in any Thursday print issue. Letters may be edited by Montclair Local for grammar and style. While our goal is to publish most letters we receive, Montclair Local reserves the right to decline publication of a letter for any reason, including but not limited to concerns about unproven or defamatory statements, inappropriate language, topic matter far afield of the particular interests of Montclair residents, or available space.

Town Square: Montclair Local also accepts longer-form opinion essays from residents aiming to generate discussion on topics specific to the community, under our "Town Square" banner. "Town Square" essays should be no more than 750 words in length, and topics should be submitted to letters@montclairlocal.news at leas