Shelley Skinner had a life changing realization that reset the course of her personal and professional life 10 years ago. Her daughter Ella was about 3 (she is now 14 going on 25) and Shelley started looking into the local public school options for her education. Her research left her enraged, as most of local Jersey City Pubic Schools were failing despite being funded over 20K per student annually.
She only knew one politician, former Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop.
Figuring as an elected he must have some responsibility in school quality, Shelley took matters into her own hands, copying over 70 of her nearest and dearest parents and community members demanding to know what he was going to do about it. She found that Jersey City Public Schools were under state control and as a city councilman, the governance of schools were way outside of Fulop's set of responsibilities. Instead of putting Shelley in her place, Steve encouraged her to organize parents, get involved politically if she wanted to effect change.
She took on this challenge and, with his mentorship, organized hundreds of parents to get involved in board of education elections. This eventually led to Shelley managing Steve's 2nd council race in 2009, as well as making a professional change and working in Education Advocacy. Today she is the Executive Director of Better Education for Kids, an education advocacy organization focused on advocating for policy to improve educational outcomes for low income and minority children. Shelley is also proud to be the President of the Learning Community Charter (LCCS) School Board and to be named in the top 100 most Influential Policy Makers in NJ.
We love you and are so so proud of you, @shelskinner. Thanks for showing us what its like to kick ass and take names. She sure #JaneDID it.