This is the third in a series of profiles written by the candidates running for the Board of Education. TAPinto Elizabeth offered all 10 candidates an opportunity to present their qualifications and goals if elected. Nine responded, and they will be featured one each day.

Maria DaRassi, a Board of Education candidate, is profiled here.

My name is Maria  Medeiros DaRassi. I was born in New York and moved to Elizabeth at the age of two. Elizabeth NJ has been my home ever since. I am a mother of four and adopted 17 children. I am also a grandmother and great grandmother. My passion has always been children succeeding in life. I ran for the school board numerous times. I never was successful, but I never gave up. I continue to run until we get tired of the Politics in Our Schools and Vote in Independents for Education Only.

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What qualifies me as a board member: I have been an advocate for the children of Elizabeth in education for the past 28 years, advocating for the children, parents, administrators, and teachers for a better education. I have been the voice for many in the wrong doings in our school system and bringing accountability, holding our Commissioners responsible for not bringing our children’s education to the level it should be. I’ve been to every school board meeting, challenging the education of our students.

In this section, I would like to see an Independent such as myself to become a board member to stop the politics and nepotism that is plaguing our schools and concentrating on higher graduating classes and less dropout rates. I want to be the voice of reasoning, working with the community and parents. I want to let teachers be teachers and less testing and not use it to evaluate our teachers. How would I change it? Informing the community what is really going on in our schools, making sure our teachers have a contract. No one should feel their jobs are on the line. Issues that are important: I believe the lottery schools and gifted and talented should be in all our schools. Our children should be at the same level in education like the Upper Academy, and the old schools should be looking like the new ones with the same incentives.    

People should know that all my life I have worked for the children and the community. I have been a PTA president for three years, also an Elizabeth coach in Little League for the past two years. I was a member of the Peoples Organization for Progress. I have sponsored the Elizabeth Packers. I have two Organization Ecuatorianos en New Jersey and AHT Autism has Talent. The community and Elizabeth is my home. I have to give back to the community that has given me so much. I was instrumental in Trenton talking in front of the Higher Education Department for our children, and you can look me up in Google in press releases on education issues.

I am not here for a job. I don’t need anything from the City. I am not a politician. They cannot silence me from advocating for our children’s education. “Our Children with a Good Education Are Our Future and Children without a Good Education there will be NO FUTURE!” Vote #5 Maria DaRassi.