BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee is made up of inspired professionals who love the Newark Schools.
Born and raised in the city of Newark, Marion A Bolden is a graduate of South Side/Malcolm X Shabazz HS and Montclair State University. Marion serves as a founding member and chairperson of the Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee.
Marion is a forty year educator, all with the Newark school district. She served the district as a teacher of mathematics for fourteen years at Barringer High School, administrator, and superintendent for nine years – retiring in 2008.
In addition to her advocacy for children, Marion is an active preservationist. She has an extensive collection of both Newark and black memorabilia.
Marion is a lifelong member of the national NAACP and the National Alliance of Black School Educators. She serves on the Boards of Newark Symphony Hall, the Newark Urban Debate League, the Newark Landmarks and Preservation Committee, the Newark History Society and the Greater Newark Conservancy.
Marion is the proud mother of two daughters and twin grandchildren.
Ray Lindgren is a product of the Newark Public Schools. Returning to the district in 1972, Ray spent the next 37 years as a teacher and school and central office administrator. After retiring from the Newark Public Schools he spent 3 years as the educational program director for the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, and currently serves as an educational specialist for the New Jersey Department of Education.
Khaatim Sherrer El
Khaatim Sherrer El
Khaatim returned to his native Newark to become responsible for a multi-million dollar philanthropic investment strategy, with specific responsibility for three of the six grant-making portfolios – Early Childhood Education, Community Engagement, and At-Risk & Out of School Youth. Since then, he has held leadership positions in the Central Office of the Newark Public Schools, managing special projects for the superintendent, including rewriting the district’s discipline policy, re-organizing the Student Support Services department and launching school-based initiatives to improve college and career readiness. He later went on to serve as Chief Innovation Officer for BRICK Academy, a local school management organization operating two elementary schools in Newark’s South Ward.
Khaatim is currently managing his own consulting firm, ResultsDriven Consulting, specializing in strategy design and implementation, cross-sector collaboration, and community development.
Phil was born and raised in Newark and attended the Newark Public Schools, including his beloved Weequahic High School. Early in his career Phil as served Executive Director of Independence High School, a nontraditional high school in Newark. He also served as the Founding Administrative Director of Spruce Hill Treatment Center and Executive Director of the Newark Literacy Campaign. Starting in 1997, Phil became executive director of the Weequahic High School Alumni Association, which he continues to work for as a consultant. He has had a vital role in mobilizing and energizing the alumni of Weequahic helping to create one of the largest and most successful alumni associations in the city of Newark.
Mary G. Bennett graduated from Fifteenth Avenue School and West Side High School in Newark. After graduating from Douglass College, she returned to Newark to teach English language Arts at Barringer High School. She earned her master’s degree and administrative certifications before being appointed vice principal, program director and principal in the Newark school system.
After retiring from the district, she served on two United States Department of Education projects, GEAR UP, a national initiative and, an international initiative, the iNdlovu Partnership for Lifelong Learning in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Her commitment to Newark brought her back to Newark to serve as the Executive Director of Project GRAD Newark (PGN), a non-profit educational support program that annually served 8,000+ students in 16 schools in the south and central ward. PGN focused on improving students’ mathematics and language arts skills, classroom management, stronger home-school relationships and increasing students and families’ college awareness. More than 960 Central and Shabazz graduates earned $6,000 scholarships as part of PGN.
Mary G. Bennett is in her forty-third year as a teacher, coach, advocate and activist for public education. Through her work with novice and veteran teachers and administrators, she emphasizes the importance using research and including all stakeholders in decision-making and resource allocations to provide equity and quality in the education all children need and deserve. Through her work as the chairperson of the Newark Education Success Board, a pathway for the return to local control of the Newark Public Schools was developed and published.
Richard was born, raised and remains a lifelong resident of Newark.
He specializes in initiatives in special projects focusing on resident organizing with the New Community Corporation (NCC) in Newark. In addition he oversees the NCC Federal Credit Union Youth and Adult Financial Literacy Training programs.
Richard currently serves as the Chairperson for the Newark Community Development Network and chairs the Master Plan Working Group Coalition. He is also an Executive Committee member of the Newark Branch NAACP and a Board member of the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District in Newark, the Jersey Urban Debate League and the Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark. Previous Board affiliations include chairperson of the Fair Lending Coalition of N.J. and founding Board member of the Community Loan Fund of N.J.
Richard is also a published poet and has had featured readings in Newark, surrounding towns and in various venues in New York City. He has performed with the Kimako’s Blues People Poetry and Jazz Collective, a group established by Amina and Amiri Baraka and he has served as the poetry editor for the Newark Arts Council Newsletter.
Beth Zak Cohen
Beth Zak Cohen
As the 5th generation of her family to live in Newark Beth is dedicated to preserving it's educational legacy She serves the city as a a librarian in the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Room at the Newark Public Library.
Beth attended Science Park High School, Princeton University and Rutgers University.
A Barringer High School graduate, Sal returned to teach art at the school for 45 years. After earning a master’s degree from NYU Sal enrolled in numerous computer courses to achieve a PHD equivalency in the Newark school district.
Sal always believed the school day does not have to end at the sound of the last bell, so he advised a variety of extra curricular activities including wrestling coach (2 years), school yearbook (41 years), school newspaper (22 years), theater sets design and construction club (6 years, photography club (41 years), computer graphics club (39 years), archive history club( 39 years) and he acted in numerous student faculty theater productions.
Although his expertise was in 3 dimensional art, Sal also taught Life Drawing, Commercial Art, Computer Graphics, Web Page Design and Photography. In 1969 he introduced a photography program in Barringer that included a darkroom that students helped him construct. With an emphasis on improving student writing skills Sal assigned daily homework that included drawing as well as writing components.
For many years Sal re-wrote curriculum for the Newark Public Schools Schools thereby updating most of the secondary school art courses. Each year his students placed first or second in local and statewide poster contests.
In his teaching career Sal received numerous grants to enhance his programs including the New Jersey Historical Commission for photocopying the Barringer Heritage collection of books dating back to 1850, and from the Dodge Foundation to visit and document art activity at 10 pueblos in New Mexico.
In her annual meeting with Newark Public School teachers, district Superindendent Marion Bolden selected Sal as one of three outstanding teachers in 2003.
After he retired from Barringer in 2010 Sal taught one year at Essex County College.
As a founder of the Barringer High School Alumni Association Sal initiated the alumni newsletter: The Acropolis Alumni News. He also researched and updated the history of Barringer High School that was published in the 1988 yearbook and is currently on the school’s STEAM academy web site.
Sal is also a potter and sculptor artist who had studios in Union and Upper Montclair N.J. He became a Dodge Foundation fellow in 2000.
Barbara J. Kukla is a renown author of five books about the people of Newark, including Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50, Defying the Odds: Triumphant Black Women of Newark and America's Music: Jazz in Newark. Before her retirement in 2004, Barbara spent 43 years in journalism, most of that time at The Star-Ledger, where she first served as a general assignment reporter and Sunday city editor and, in 1979, created Newark This Week, a section that focused solely on topics of interest to Newark residents.
The Friends of Barbara J. Kukla Scholarship Fund, a non-profit organization, has provided $50,000 in scholarship monies to Newark Public School students.
Della Moses Walker
Bill served the Newark Public Schools as a teacher and administrator, and retired as Director of Visual and Performing Arts. As Director, he was responsible for arts education and expanded dance and theater programs to the elementary school level, created artist-in-residence programs and started arts education programs with leading local and regional museums, orchestras and theaters. Bill's passion is documenting jazz musicians and his personal archives includes more than 500 photos, which he is curating for a series of books on prominent jazz musicians.
A life-long westward Newark resident and passionate advocate for her hometown, Krystle Whitlock has fully embraced the cause of building Newark’s identity and success as New Jersey’s premier destination city. She graduated from Newark’s University High School of the Humanities. To further her education, Krystle attended William Paterson University for her undergraduate studies in Business, Finance with a minor in Economics and also obtained her Masters of Business Administration from the university. Krystle is currently the Business Administrator at the Greater Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Prior to joining the GNCVB team, Krystle served as the Executive Assistance to the Chief Financial Officer at Newark Community Economic Development Corporation in Newark, NJ.