CAMDEN, NJ— Two newly appointed members to the Camden City School District [CCSD] Advisory Board were sworn in at the school board’s meeting on Tuesday night.
Carmen Otero and Andrew Toliver were appointed by City of Camden Mayor Frank Moran to fill the seats left vacant by the resignation of Felicia Reyes-Morton, who resigned in August to spend more time with her family, and Dorothy Burley, who died in April.
As a state-controlled school district, the CCSD is currently a Type I school district, where the mayor appoints members to the school board instead of the public electing them. Members are appointed to three-year terms.
Otero has lived in the Cramer Hill section of Camden for 34 years. Currently, she works as a legislative aide for state Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez. Otero has had two children graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School.
“I’ve always been concerned about the education of the kids,” Otero said. “My daughter is a product of Camden and she has been very successful, my son is also, so I think the kids just need a little help.
“To me, it doesn’t just rest only on the board of education, but it rests on the parents too.”
Toliver has lived in East Camden for 15 years and graduated from Montclair State University and Camden County College. He works for a telecommunications company and serves as the executive director of Amp Winterguard, a community-based arts program in Camden. Toliver said both his son and step-son went through the Camden school district.
He called being appointed to the school board one of the “biggest honors” he’s received.
“I will not take it lightly, and I will not take it for granted,” Toliver said, adding that he wants work toward making sure Camden students from all backgrounds and school types are equipped to make the best decisions for them in life.