(Editor's Note: Candidates for local elections are allowed to submit statements and information about their candidacy on the Alternative Press. We will be presenting information on this year's three candidates for the West Orange Board of Education. These statements come directly from the candidates themselves and are published verbatim.)
Dear West Orange:
November 5 is a very important day throughout our state. Our community will be asked to cast their ballots for our state government and for our WO Board of Education. First, I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to have served your children and our community these past 3 years on the Board of Education. I hold a Bachelors of Science degree in Management from Rutgers University and a Paralegal Degree from Upsala College. In July 2013, I became a Certified Board Member.
I have lived in West Orange for almost 20 years and have raised and educated my 2 sons in our West Orange schools. As an active informed parent, I, like so many of you, have been an active PTA member at the Washington, Pleasantdale, Edison and West Orange High schools and as a member of Parents Advocating for Special Services in Education (PASSE). Volunteering and working on project graduation gave me an opportunity to work side by side with many other parents.
Currently, I volunteer with the West Orange Public Relations Commission; have been a former West Orange Human Relations Commissioner, and co-chair of the Membership Committee of the West Orange African Heritage Organization. I am also a Board Member of the Essex County Chapter of the Jamaican Organization of New Jersey and a long-time member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
I have played a very active role on the West Orange Board of Education and am one of the liaisons to the West Orange Township/Board of Education Committee, a Delegate to the Essex County School Boards Association, and the Legislative Chairperson of the Board. I serve on the District’s Sustainability Committee, which includes some members of the West Orange Energy Commission, the Smaller Learning Communities Professional Development and the Diversity Committee. Each of these has allowed me to understand and truly focus on the needs of our community.
Effective leadership: I have committed myself to improving student achievement, accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility. I understand our needs and the community’s concerns and determination to focus on finding ways to achieve savings through a line by line review of the budget and lessening the tax burden on stakeholders.
A thoughtful collaboration and partnerships with local organizations such as the West Orange African Heritage Organization for elementary school tutoring and other professionals in our community may increase resources in our school district. A follow through for other sources of revenue through grant opportunities, shared services and partnering with corporations and universities may enhance our bottom line. Looking to the wealth of knowledge that our community members possess, some working in the finance industry, we would be well suited to reach out and perhaps form a Citizens Budget Advisory to assist when determining budgetary needs.
As knowledgeable and understanding of what we want and need our schools to accomplish, I look forward to continuing the work I have done these past 3 years and so, I ask that you cast your VOTE for me, and re-elect Sandra Mordecai on ELECTION DAY, November 5, 2013.
In Your Service ,
Sandra M. Mordecai
West Orange, New Jersey