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Commitment to Change

Posted by on in Education Leadership
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When I first decided to run for Congress, I remember who I went to for input. Surprisingly, it was not my friends and family (besides my wife!); instead, it was the educators that I have worked with over the last ten years. Not just those I have worked with in schools, but those in my personal learning network.  

Their overwhelming reaction to this new journey was positive, encouraging, and supportive.  They were real with me about the difficulties and realities of this endeavor, but they were also excited. They know the need to create change at a higher level, yet also felt confident in my ability and drive to accomplish our shared goals. They encouraged me not just to pursue this path, but to do everything in my power to make it happen.


That is what we do as teachers. We encourage. We motivate. We push. We influence. We nurture. We believe. We kindle the fire that fuels passion in the face of adversity.

Yes, we strive every day to shape the future of this world. We do everything in our power to ensure that our students are on the right path, their own unique path, and increase their chances of success in however they define success.

Now imagine if we started to do this on a different level, a higher level. Imagine what our world would look like if our support extended beyond the traditional walls of our classrooms and schools. Imagine the impact that we could have for the greater good of our cities, states, and nation.


I have always told my students and teachers that if something is wrong, we fix it. Why should we wait to create change if we know that change is needed now?

If a lesson isn't working, we adjust. If a school policy is not working, we question. If the educational system in our city, state, or nation is not benefiting our children, we stand up and speak out.


Our power and drive to create change are limitless. Sometimes that requires us to step outside of our comfort zones. Sometimes that requires broadening our knowledge and skill sets. Sometimes that requires us to do things that are not within the traditional “scope” of our roles.

We should expand our commitment to public service by running for public office. So many educators have recently decided to run for local, state, and federal office because they see the need to adapt. They are called to serve in a way that is outside of the school, but still in line with what we do as teachers.

And that's the thing. We can do this. We can run for public office. We can win. We can positively influence the direction of our communities. We can help shape our world to reflect what we know it needs - innovators and passion for evolution. We can create real change.

It is up to us, as a community and family of educators, to support each other in our quest to create change. It may be new or different to us, but that does not mean we should shy away. Now, more than ever, it is up to us to stand up and do what is best for our future.


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Born and raised in Cumberland County, New Jersey, Sean has grown his career and family from his native district. Sean again resides in the same county with his wife and their two young sons. He recently concluded his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for United States House of Representatives in New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District. Sean currently serves as an administrator at a school in Camden, NJ, where he focuses on the growth & development of teachers and building social & emotional skills with students. A Rutgers University graduate, Sean studied Communications. He later completed a graduate degree at the University of Scranton in Educational Administration and has spent almost a decade working in education.

As a result of connecting with people of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, and beliefs, Sean has learned how to listen and represent the interests of everyone. In order to help unite parents and educators, Sean is adept at innovating to solve problems.

Sean is an unwavering advocate for positive youth development and education. Growing up, Sean faced challenges financially and emotionally. The product of an unstable household and battling a significant learning disability, Sean has overcome many obstacles. School became both a place of refuge and a source of trouble for Sean. If not for certain extraordinary teachers and school faculty encouraging him, Sean would not have pursued higher education and would not have been able to impact his students the way he does today.

Throughout his career as an educator in New Jersey, Sean has based every decision solely on what is best for his students’ future. He has worked to create new, effective programs as well as supports for students and parents addressing social issues. Sean has demonstrated his student-first approach by never being afraid to privately and publicly question decisions that impact teachers, students, and the educational process. As a result, he has been able to create strong, lasting relationships across our state with the students, families, and communities that he has served.

In May of 2018, Sean and his community suffered the tremendous loss of a former student, Maurice Lewis, to senseless gun violence. After countless conversations with his friends, family members, and members of the community, they decided that they had to do something to honor his memory and the good that he did in his life. The idea of Reese's House, a whole-child youth center focused on the academic, physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being of kids with a strong emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship was born. To accomplish this, Sean created an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Our Future First. The goal of the organization is to offer affordable professional development and growth opportunities in schools for educators and students while putting all profits to the purpose of creating Reese's House in our hometown of Millville, New Jersey.

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Guest Thursday, 18 July 2019