PLAINFIELD, NJ - Families, community leaders and key stakeholders turned out to the meet and greet reception on Wednesday, hosted by the Board of Education, to welcome Dr. Diana Mitchell, Plainfield’s new superintendent for the public school district. On July 9 the board announced that the search was over; out of a pool of 48 applicants Dr. Mitchell was selected to fill the seat that has been without a permanent superintendent since 2017.
The cafeteria at Plainfield High School was filled with over 200 attendees who stopped by tables manned with representatives from both schools in the district and after school programs. They feasted on light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres passed by students, and enjoyed background music courtesy of the talented P.A.A.A.S. jazz band.
A video presentation kicked off the agenda, and featured many district employees echoing the slogan “Champions for Students.” Board Vice President Cameron Cox welcomed dignitaries and invited guests, and Board President Richard Wyatt gave remarks. Dr. Mike Rush and Dr. Larry Leverett, former superintendents for the district who were in attendance, drew loud applause from the audience.
Wyatt described the past few years of a revolving door of superintendents as an airplane encountering turbulence that has split the aircraft down the middle. “Politics will not come before our students,” he said. According to Wyatt, Dr. Mitchell comes from the Prince Georges school district in Maryland that shares demographics, population and challenges similar to Plainfield.
“I am where I need to be,” Dr. Mitchell began. She urged parents to partner with the district to make sure students are sent to school every day. An April 4 Board of Ed presentation highlighted the high levels of absenteeism at schools across the district.
“We all have a role to play in the success of our public schools. We are going to become a high performing district. Please be a positive part of the solution.”
Dr. Mitchell, whose background includes a doctorate degree in educational leadership with a minor in technology, wrapped up her comments with a video about two tools she plans to implement to improve communications and accountability throughout the district: BoardDocs and Let’s Talk! by K12 Insight.
According to its website, BoardDocs is a powerful, paperless meeting software designed exclusively for the needs of county governments, municipalities and school districts.
The Let’s Talk! by K12 Insight tool was introduced at the August 20 board meeting.
Dr. Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree in business education from St. Augustine’s University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Iowa State University, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership with a minor in technology from Bowie State University. Dr. Mitchell holds superintendent certification in the following states: New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Virginia. Additional details on Dr. Mitchell’s background can be found in this Board of Ed press release.
“I look forward to working with students, parents and business partners to improve our School District” Dr. Mitchell told TAPinto Plainfield.
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