CAMDEN, NJ — Minister Wasim Muhammad, a board member with the district for the past six years, has officially taken over as the new Camden school board president following the death of Martha Wilson on April 17.

"It's bittersweet taking over the new role of the late and great Mrs. Martha Wilson, who I had so much admiration and respect for," Muhammad, who until Tuesday served as vice president, told TAPinto Camden.

Muhammad, a lifelong Camden resident, expressed condolences to Sheriff Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, and the rest of the late board president's family — saying he plans to continue in the legacy he's built throughout the city and set by Wilson to serve the district's children.

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"Mrs. Martha F. Wilson’s untimely passing has left a void that will never truly be filled," Superintendent Katrina McCombs said in a statement Thursday. "Although difficult, we must move forward in filling Mrs. Wilson's seat on the Advisory Board to ensure that her legacy will continue."

Camden City School District (CCSD) spokesperson Alisha Brown said that per NJ law, Wilson's seat will be filled by mayoral appointment — meaning Mayor Frank Moran is required to appoint a new board member between now and mid-May. 

The board will then elect a vice president during its May 26 school board meeting.

"While this process has been somber due to the unexpected loss of our Advisory Board President, Mrs. Wilson, I am certain that she would want the Advisory Board operating at full capacity to ensure that the district continues to push for equity by putting students first," added McCombs.

Muhammad said that high on the list of the district right now is helping to shepherd school children through the difficult times brought on by the pandemic.

"That's most important right now," he said. "I plan to work closely with Superintendent McCombs to make sure we get our children ready for college, their career, seeking ways to help our community, and of course get through COVID-19." 

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