Unity Charter School in Morristown, NJ just announced that its Executive Director, Connie Sanchez, has been named to New Jersey Governor Elect Phil Murphy’s transition team as part of the Education, Access, and Opportunity Transition Advisory Committee.
The Morristown charter is a K-8 public school of choice that was established and chartered by the state of NJ in 1998, and is currently in its 20th year of operation.
Unity Charter School Board of Trustees President Robert Ghelli said, “I was thrilled to learn of Connie’s addition to Governor Elect Murphy’s transition team. Connie has done incredible work over her three years as Unity’s Executive Director. Her ideas, enthusiasm and leadership have provided an immense benefit to our students and our school. Connie’s commitment to education and to educating the whole child, witnessed by our community on a daily basis, will make Connie a tremendous asset to the committee.”
Commented Connie Sanchez, Executive Director, Unity Charter School:
While working at Smith Barney as the National Development Officer and National Training Officer, I was a volunteer for education in financial literacy, and then moved into volunteering in education for empowerment and advocacy. Through my workshops in the larger New Jersey community, I became known for my expertise in education. I went on to earn my EdM in Educational School Leadership from Columbia University Teachers College and work in the Elizabeth Public Schools as a Middle School science teacher, an Instructional Peer teacher, curriculum writer for science, and Department Chair of my school and Coordinator of gifted and talented programs. In my current position as the Executive Director of Unity Charter School in Morristown, NJ, I was honored to be invited to serve on Governor Elect Phil Murphy’s transition team as part of the Education, Access, and Opportunity Transition Advisory Committee.
As the Executive Director of a New Jersey public charter school of choice I am well aware of the charter school controversy that is going on at the local and national level, but New Jersey has done charter schools right: we have a long history of rigorous accountability measures and knowing what works. Charter schools in New Jersey ARE public schools, and this transition team understands that we have an opportunity end the us versus them mentality, and focus on what we all care about: making the New Jersey public school system number one in the country, for the sake of all public education students.
Our transition team has the insight and the opportunity to move the conversation about New Jersey education back to what really matters: to educate the whole child and to graduate well-prepared, productive global citizens. We are focused on ways to work together to turnkey our best practices and share them throughout the state. We want to ensure that all stakeholders—the teachers, parents, unions, and students—have a voice and feel supported. We are committed to the best education for every child in the State of New Jersey and we know that working together we can positively impact every child’s future and the future of our communities. We’ll do this by supporting all stakeholders.
Here’s the complete list of Governor-Elect Phil Murphy’s education transition team, which is chaired (perhaps in a nod to NJEA’s vendetta against Senate President Steve Sweeney) by Donna Chiera of the American Federation of Teachers. Others members who support parent choice and equity include Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, LEAP Academy; Nicole Cole, NJ Charter Schools Association; Janellen Duffy, JerseyCAN; Shavar Jeffries, Former Assistant Attorney General and current Executive Director of Democrats for Education Reform; and Tia Morris, Teach for America.