Union City BOE President Jeanette Pena stepping down after 18 years of service

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Union City Board of Education President Jeanette Pena, who has been at the helm of the governing body since 2008, is stepping down today after 18 years of service at the volunteer post.

Outgoing Union City Board of Education President Jeanette Pena. Photo via ucboe.us.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my position as president and trustee of the Union City Board of Education effective March 31, 2021,” she wrote in a letter to state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack on Thursday.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the students and families of Union City for the past 18 years. This experience has afforded me a unique opportunity with an exemplary team of administrators, educators, and staff members that has contributed to my personal growth and understanding of what excellence in education embodies.”

She also recalled that in 2003, she was hesitant to be appointed to the BOE since she didn’t believe she had the skill set to make an impact, but is glad that Stack convinced her to reconsider.

An Emerson High School alumnus, Pena is a bilingual school psychologist with the Jersey City Board of Education Department of Special Services.

Furthermore, she taught as an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College and serves on their board of trustees – where she was first appointed in 2012.

While Pena did not give a specific reason or reasons for why she decided to move on to the next chapter at this time, she expressed thanks for all the progress she’s seen over the past two decades, where seven schools have been built and two books have been written about the district.

“The success of our schools is guaranteeing a bright future for Union City students, their families and our country. I am humbled to have played a small part in the growth and shaping of our Union City schools. Thank you for believing in me,” her letter concludes.