SUMMIT, NJ - Speaking to Oak Knoll School eighth grade social studies students, Mayor Nora Radest -- Summit's highest elected official -- brought words of wisdom and inspiration, educating the students about the functions of municipal governance and motivating the girls to become female leaders.

“I think it’s pretty exciting how women are involved in politics in our country right now,” said Radest, pointing to 11,000 women nationwide who will be running in elections this November. “I don’t care what party you belong to, if you’re a woman and you want to stand up and say, ‘I want to do something in my community to make things better,’ then I’m all for it.”

The mayor spoke to students about issues facing Summit, including property taxes, housing affordability and transit issues.

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Nicole Johnston, Upper School history teacher, said her students benefited from the mayor’s remarks in several ways.

“We’ve studied national politics all year, so to get the local perspective is important because they’re completely different,” said Johnston. “But the biggest thing is to have a female leader. It’s inspiring to them. I think they need to see more of it.”

Johnston added that she felt it was important for her students to see that Radest was able to pursue her goals in addition to having a family.

Prior to her election, Radest, a mother of two, was a community volunteer since becoming involved in parent-teacher organizations in 1989. She also served on the Summit Board of Education from 1997 to 2002.