NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Meet Judith Amorim Dias, a candidate running for West Essex Regional Board of Education in the upcoming election on Nov. 5.

Basic background:

Judith Amorim Dias is a current student at Caldwell University’s New Jersey Teacher Certification Program and in pursuit of master’s degree in special education. She is also a graduate of the Clifton Public School District and Montclair State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree is jurisprudence and political science. She is a current North Caldwell resident with five years of experience as a teacher.

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Her son, Elias, and daughter, Hannah, attended Grandview and Gould Schools in North Caldwell and went to West Essex Middle School. Hannah is currently a freshman at West Essex High School, and Elias is currently a freshman at the University of Alabama after graduating from West Essex in June.

Q: Why are you running for board of education? (Again, if incumbent?)



A: As a seventeen year homeowner and resident of our North Caldwell community, my family and I are truly blessed and vested to live in our very safe, academically enriched, fiscally prudent, civic, and socially engaged North Caldwell community. For the past six years, I graciously and respectfully thank our North Caldwell community for sharing their unified vision and expectations of the West Essex Regional School District Board of Education, grades 7-12 and entrusting me with your vote to represent our community. I humbly ask our registered voters to please re-elect me for a third term so I can continue to vote on your behalf as a non-conflicted North Caldwell board member to enhance the highest level of student achievement while preserving the North Caldwell tax allocation at the West Essex Regional School District to be less than 23% of every real estate tax dollar and not necessitate additional bond referendums in the future; maximize national and state rankings by offering the highest Advanced Placement (AP), dual college enrollment courses, high honors classes, career-focused learning opportunities, STEAM, technology, social emotional learning wellness initiatives, equitable, diverse and inclusive programs, safety and security.

I ethically and judiciously will continue to serve our community with tremendous trust, integrity, accountability, respect and transparency in support of our students, community stakeholders, teachers and administrators. As a mother and educator, I too am genuinely vested in the extraordinary future of all of our children and I will continue to consistently review and vote upon fiscally conservative and feasibly advantageous collaborative partnerships and strategic growth initiatives to advance the academic, civic, economic and healthy social-emotional learning environment for all students.

 

Q: Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?

A: Over the past six years, I respectfully and ethically have attended almost every board meeting and served as chairperson and or member on the following West Essex school board committees: Policy, Curriculum & Instruction, Negotiations and Personnel. As one of nine board members on our regional board of education, I am a non-conflicted board member who has voted in support of our students, community stake holders, teachers and administrators to promote the overall success of our district. I encourage fiscally prudent budgets without necessitating the need for bond referendums and supports internal facilities improvements at significant cost savings to the tax payers. For seventeen years, I’ve personally attended local North Caldwell town council meetings and school board meetings in proactive effort to understand the needs and challenges of our entire community.

Qualified in 2018, by the New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA) as a Certificated Board Leader, I achieved the highest level of board membership in New Jersey. In September of 2019, the West Essex Regional School District Board of Education became recognized as 1 of 40 certificated boards of education, out of a total of 580 school districts in New Jersey. I concurrently serve the NJSBA Board of Directors, County Association Leadership, Career Learner Task Force, Strategic Plan – Health & Wellness Committees. I am the 2019-2020 President of the Essex County School Board and from 2016 to 2019 was the Vice President for the Essex County School Board. From 2014 to 2018 I served on the NJSBA State Delegate Assembly and Legislative Committee on behalf of the West Essex School Board. Respective to the offerings of the NJSBA, I’ve transparently shared my qualified knowledge with our superintendent, fellow board members and community members. NJSBA forums include the best practices of innovative technology, safety, security, environmental sustainability, accolades of comparable high achieving school districts, strategic partnerships, enhanced student participation in extracurricular academic events such as summer courses, STEAM, Robotics, Medicine, Pharmaceutical, Bio-Pharma, Environmental, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurism, Finance, Business, Technology, etc. The NJSBA Code of Ethics governs my elected responsibilities as a board member to evaluate and support the planning, policy, student achievement, finance, board operations, board performance, superintendent, staff, and community relationships.

25 years of academic, professional, civic and volunteer experiences support my qualification as a board member to accountably demonstrate senior leadership responsibilities relative to education, law, human resources, health, technology, investor acquisitions & mergers, non-profits, philanthropy, and public policy. I managed hundreds of employees across the globe, governed budgets in excess of $100 million dollars and secured multimillion dollar federal, state, county, local and philanthropic grants. I’ve reported to public and non-profit Boards of Trustee’s, Chairman’s, CEO’s and CFO’s. I accountably demonstrate the genuine skills of leadership, teamwork and am a life-long learner. As a student at Caldwell University, NJ teacher certification program I currently observe in the Verona school district in pursuit of securing a master’s degree in special education. I additionally have five years of qualified teaching experience in Essex County; Fairfield, Nutley and Verona.

For seventeen years, I have volunteered in North Caldwell and at greater West Essex community functions. I am a “Protecting God’s Children” certified teacher of religious education, am the altar server coordinator at Notre Dame Parish in North Caldwell and a member of the Interfaith Hospitality Network. I volunteer at the Partnership for Children of Essex County and support school activities such as the Gould School organic garden, NCPE, North Caldwell Recreation Sports, Run4NC, West Essex middle and high school sports, music and dance booster clubs, STEAM, TREP$, DECA, FBLA, WEPTO, SEPAC, WEFE (West Essex Foundation for Education).

 

 

Q: are the strengths and weaknesses of the West Essex Regional Public Schools district?

A: Re-elected for a third term, I will continue to vote in support of our North Caldwell residents to prioritize student achievement, student and community stakeholder contributions, continuously assess our environment, our strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies, processes and tactics to address the identified problems of our district. I will support the assessed opportunities for policy and programmatic interventions, continuously foster healthy student growth, parental engagement, community stakeholder feedback, professional staff development, safety, security, transparency, continuity and sustainability of our district while simultaneously enhancing the delivery of academic, career, civic, social, emotional excellence. I will continue to support fiscally conservative initiatives that accountably support federal, state, county, regional and local district plans as well as support the strategically assessed feasibility, effectiveness, and scalability initiatives of our community and district to ethically evidence transparency and accountability of our district. I will continue to prioritize and measure the feasibility of our facilities and resources to secure the highest level of safety and security for our children, social emotional learning, career, arts education, finance, and Science Technology Engineering Arts Math STEAM cross-curriculum academic offerings.

My genuine transparent and cohesive approach to support the enhanced superior achievements of our district is supported by our students, our community stakeholders, West Essex employees and the fiscally conservative and sustainable expectations of our North Caldwell community. I am clearly focused to support the academic excellence of all of our students through quality educational experiences, an active and responsible partnership with the community, a visionary and innovative curriculum, technology and a dedicated and knowledgeable staff. I support our students and community to deliver West Essex’s mission to strategically foster an innovative growth mindset that intrinsically motivates each and every student to achieve their personal best and nurtures their social-emotional well being. Our students uniquely thrive upon the delivery of differentiated education, cross-curricular academic rigor, career focused curriculum, technology and extra-curricular clubs to advantageously continue on to institutions of higher learning while being actively engaged in the economic vitality of our 21st century workforce. West Essex Regional School District student achievement exceeds state and national rankings and is regarded as one of the top performing school districts in New Jersey.

Weaknesses and or opportunities for continuous growth are identified and assessed at every board meeting and are reported annually by means of the board self evaluation and superintendent evaluation. My elected responsibilities as a board member is to continuously evaluate and support the planning, policy, student achievement, finance, board operations, board performance, superintendent, staff, and community relationships with a constant goal to accountably enhance student achievement. The district is currently in support of formalizing a five to ten year strategic plan to include community stakeholders, students, teachers, administrators, board members, demographic, feasibility studies and other resources of measurement transparently available to our community.

 

Q: How optimistic are you that the new leadership at West Essex will continue to enhance and support the achievements of all students?

A: As a non-conflicted board member, I vote on all district contracts and attend almost every executive and public board meeting to best support the needs of our students. My vote on behalf of our North Caldwell community to hire Damion Macioci as superintendent, Gina Donlevie as middle school principal and Kimberly Westervelt as assistant principal in the high school, replacing Mr. Macioci was conducted with exceptional due diligence and in support of our strategic vision to prioritize student achievement, student and community stakeholder contributions, continuously assess our environment, our strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies, processes and tactics to address the identified problems of our district. I will continue to vote in support of assessed opportunities for policy and programmatic interventions, continuously foster healthy student growth, academic achievement, parental engagement, community stakeholder feedback, professional staff development, safety, security, transparency, continuity and sustainability of our district while simultaneously enhancing the delivery of academic, career, civic, social, emotional excellence. I will continue to vote in support of fiscally conservative initiatives that accountably support federal, state, county, regional and local district plans as well as support the strategically assessed feasibility, effectiveness, and scalability initiatives of our community and district to ethically evidence the transparency and accountability of our district.

 

Q: Do you believe the district currently provides equitable supports for all learners? If so, why? If not, what would you like to see enhanced or added?

A: Yes, I believe the West Essex Regional School District, grades 7-12 respectfully has invested the past six years to provide equitable supports to all learners. Our teachers, administrators and board members listen, value, and welcome student and community engagement which has critically fostered a transparent, collaborative, healthy and respectful school culture progressive of the district strategic plan to advance student achievement by invested dedication to enhance academic excellence and social responsibility. As a board member, I have supported the West Essex mission to provide quality educational experiences which promote the equitable, diverse and inclusive excellence of all of our students through an active and responsible partnership with our community, a visionary and innovative curriculum and a dedicated and knowledgeable staff. Our mission is to produce self-sufficient citizens who are adaptable to change and who possess the self-esteem, motivation and skills: 

To continue life-long learning and individual growth,

To meet the challenges of the future, both societal and technological

To think critically and creatively

To communicate effectively

To solve complex problems

To make responsible decisions, and

To respect cultural differences

As a non-conflicted board member, I have voted in support of West Essex policies and programs to offer the highest selection of Advanced Placement courses, concurrent enrollment, CPA, honors level courses, career-focused learning, technology, arts education, WEConnect, WERise, Pathways Program and many other supportive services to respectfully and inclusively meet the enhanced equitable and diverse needs of all of our students. School districts all throughout New Jersey visit both our middle and high school to gain a greater understanding and replicate our offerings.

 

Q: What should people know about you that they might not know already? West Essex Meet the Candidates Profiles 2019

A: I humbly and graciously thank you for reading my petition and encourage our community to contribute to the strategic vision for our West Essex Regional School District, grades 7-12. I look forward to continuing to represent our students and community for an additional three years as we enhance the academic achievements of our students, preserve the safety, security, fiscally conservative and feasibly appropriate strategic growth initiatives sustainable to our North Caldwell community.