I was lucky enough to work with Sharon Tanenbaum Kraus for the better part of eight years, and I mean "better" in every sense of the word. Since we met in 2011, Sharon has become both a close friend and a trusted mentor. She's my first call when I need advice, an editor, a sounding board, or an understanding ear. She's also one of the smartest people I know, a great mom, and a natural leader: firm but fair, no-nonsense when it comes to getting things done, committed to good work, and an innovative, independent thinker.

What I respect most about her, though, is how much of herself she gives to other people, not just in terms of time, but also energy, effort, and emotional investment. She genuinely cares about her relationships — at work, with friends and family, in her community — and she goes out of her way to nurture them. I have no doubt that she'd dedicate herself similarly to the students and parents in Maplewood-South Orange.

Allison Takeda

Brooklyn, New York