Why This Hoboken Board of Education Vote Is a No-Brainer to Me

Dear Editor:

Hi, my name is Michele Daly. I’m a Hoboken resident and my children are proud to be two of around 3,000 pre-K -12th grade students within Hoboken Public School District (HPSD). It is the responsibility of the Board of Education (BOE) to best serve the needs and interests of these children. That’s the job.

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My vote confidently goes to the slate who has proven deep dedication, experience, responsibility and service to these students. Rather than the slate who has none of that – and is only this year showing any interest whatsoever.

I wouldn’t choose a doctor, with no medical background or experience, to treat my family. And I won’t choose BOE candidates, with no HPSD educational backgrounds or experience, to serve 3,000 HPSD students.

My vote is based on what’s best for these students. That’s what matters.

One slate has 15+ years of volunteer service directly supporting HPSD.
(Board, Hoboken Public Ed Foundation; Officer, Connors and HMS Parent-Teacher Org; Trustee, Board of Education)

The other slate has none.

One slate has a million accomplishments served on behalf of the students of HPSD.
(Seriously, like a million. See below for details)

The other slate has none.

One slate has a collective 40 valuable years of experience from within HPSD PreK-12.

The other slate has… two.


LEADERSHIP THAT LISTENS is the one slate who have earned my vote.
Norwood – Grana – De la Torre (2-3-4). I hope they’ll have your vote, too.

Our students deserve representation by those who have proven experience, commitment, and caring.

Michele Daly

PS: Details supporting the above:

Prior volunteer service to, and accomplishments for, Hoboken Public School District (HPSD):

Leadership That Listens:

Leslie Norwood: Board Member, Hoboken Public Education Foundation, 5 years: Helping to secure over 1 MM in private donations for HPSD. To date, these funds have been used for important initiatives such as 1:1 Chromebook for all K-12 students, field trips, classroom smart boards, teacher trainings, and much more. Leslie is also a parent of, and champion for, students with learning differences. She successfully advocated to train teachers in the Orton-Gillingham approach as a teaching tool to help students read.

Antonio Grana: PTO Officer Connors Elementary and Hoboken Middle School, 6 years: Helping to build an active parent-teacher organization focused on connecting parents with one another and administration, creating community events, raising money for activities, fostering school pride, and much more.

Alex De La Torre: Trustee, Hoboken Board of Education, 4 years: Helping to increase high school graduation rate to over 94%, expanding Passport to Learning offerings, bringing Pre-AP level classes to HMS, extending theater program to HMS, supporting Hudson Riverkeepers initiative at HMS & HHS, sponsoring Wee Passport program for toddlers, and much more.


Kids First:

Service to HDPS: None. Demonstrated results for HDPS: None.


History of Involvement, Learning and Understanding of HPSD PreK-12:

Leadership That Listens:

Having firsthand experience of and from within HPSD is hugely beneficial for BOE members. Teacher/admin engagement, attending school events, understanding of school curriculum and coursework, awareness of school policies, dynamics, etc. Together, this slate has the experience parenting 5 HDPS students who have completed 40 years, PreK-10, across all HPSD

Leslie Norwood’s experience as parent within HPSD: Children completed 10 years at Brandt.

Antonio Grana’s experience as parent within HPSD: Child completed 2 years at St Francis and 6 years at Connors.

Alex De La Torre’s experience as parent within HPSD: Children completed 22 years across Brandt, Wallace, HMS, HHS.


Kids First:

Nope. This slate does not have the firsthand experience of and from within HPSD. Being a parent is certainly not a pre-requisite. BOE candidates could still have gained some crucial learning, understanding and involvement through years of volunteering, attending, and caring in a variety of ways. But candidates within this slate have not shown effort nor interest prior to the HHS referendum and this campaign.

Pavel Sokolov: No experience within HPSD, and no prior demonstrated interest (campaigning against school expansion to avoid having to pay for it, notwithstanding!)

Cindy Wiegand: No experience within HPSD, and no prior demonstrated interest. (Children attend a charter school, which has its own BOE.)

Donna Magen: Parent to child who has completed 2 years of HPSD Pre-K at Brandt. (No K-12 HPSD experience.)

Michele Daly

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