Received from Deb McDermott, Sea Cliff
May 7, 2017
Joanna Commander has been an excellent school board member for the past three years and we are very fortunate that she is running for a second term on the North Shore Board of Education. Joanna has the rare quality of being able to see and meet people where they are and for who they are. She addresses people and issues plainly, clearly and honestly. She is able to get to the heart of the matter, quickly and her honesty and her ability to connect is the foundation for shared solutions and outcomes that are successful and fair.
The current Board went through a lengthy and rigorous process to select the new Superintendent. Upon announcing the new leader, several of the Board members felt the need to publicly comment on the process that they went through and how thorough and connecting it was. They commented that they enjoyed it the process and gained greater respect for each other in the process. I’m sure that every Board member contributed to the process, but the outcome has the hallmarks of the qualities that I admire most in Joanna Commander.
Joanna has taken on a leadership role in creating and directing North Shore Coalition Against Substance Abuse (NSCASA). We all want the problems and pain of drug and alcohol abuse in our community to go away. Joanna is looking it squarely in the eye and bringing together parents, teachers, business owners, law enforcement, religious leaders, coaches, and kids to save lives. The strength of Joanna’s approach is her remarkable ability to be with people so that they can be honest and direct with themselves and connect with others to gain the understanding and support needed to move a positive direction.
In Joanna’s three years on the North Shore Board of Education, the Board has completed several significant policy and program reviews and hired a new Superintendent, as the major accomplishments in addition to regular business and managing of a host of smaller, but important issues brought forward by the community. The skills and perspective that define Joanna – connecting and listening to others, directness and honesty, cultivating an environment of fairness and safety – have been foundational and critical to the high level of functioning of the Board over the past three years.
Joanna brings people together and brings out the best in others for the good of all. These are unique and important skills. I am grateful to Joanna for her service and will be enthusiastically voting for her on May 16 for North Shore Board of Education. I urge you to vote for Joanna Commander as well.
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