LETTER: Jersey City freeholder, ex-BOE president Torres backs Walker for superintendent

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In a letter to the editor, Jersey City Freeholder (D-4) Joel Torres, a former board of education president, is backing Franklin Walker for superintendent.

Photo via http://www.joeltorresjc.com.

Dear Editor,

Our Jersey City Public School District is dealing with crippling external challenges that are impacting lives both inside and outside of the classroom.

Debates at the local and state level regarding school funding; impending and potential staffing cuts that affect lives of educators and staff members throughout our city; and, external social, economic, health, and safety challenges that impact the lives of children before they even get to the school building.

Our district needs the steady, strong, and proven leadership of Mr. Franklin Walker to guide us through these challenges while including all stakeholders together in the process to find solutions and ensure the best educational experience for the children of Jersey City.

Mr. Walker is an individual with over a generation of experience at all levels of our local school district. I am confident that he will use that experience and blend it with new, innovative experience of others in our district/city to move through the challenges to provide the best academic experience for our children.

There’s been enough discussions about the processes that led to our previous superintendent or the process that the current board is taking in selecting their next superintendent.

However, none of this should take away from the qualifications of Mr. Franklin Walker, his demeanor while serving the children of Jersey City, his attention to detail in all aspects of our school district, and his interaction with parents, staff members, and community stakeholders throughout our city.

I know this full well as I remember my first interaction with Mr. Walker over seven years ago as a parent of three young children attending one of our local public schools.

At the time, I was not an elected official, I did not have any letters or credentials after my name, and I did not know anyone in any level of government who could help make an introduction to him.

However, he accepted the invitation from me, an unknown parent, to the school’s Parent Teacher Association meeting and stayed the entire time, listening to our concerns and answering questions from parents and children.

That still occurs today, as I have witnessed Mr. Walker interacting with parents, children, and community members at school and community events.

Along with this, I’ve seen the dedication and intellect that Mr. Walker brought to his role when I served on the Board of Education. He was always prepared to address questions or concerns regarding items under his purview.

In fact, he did not wait for questions to come up and made sure to inform board members of any pertinent issues. His main concern was always, and continues to be, the success of every child within our city and school district.

Taking all this into consideration, I encourage the Jersey City Board of Education members to appoint Mr. Franklin Walker as the Superintendent of Schools.

His years of experience in our city and proven leadership will help guide our school district through the current challenges in order to provide the best academic experience for children in public school communities throughout our city.

Joel Torres
Jersey City Freeholder (D-4)