EDISON, NJ — Clifton Prescod is a product of the Edison school system. An NJIT grad, Prescod is keen to serve on the Edison Board of Education to improve it for teachers and students.
Since the pandemic hit, Prescod has been hearing how difficult virtual learning is for teachers, students and parents. If elected, he wants to concentrate on making the virtual learning system better so that teachers and students are not hindered by “communication and limited interaction.”
Read below to learn more about Prescod and his platform for the upcoming elections in Edison.
Name – Clifton Prescod
Age (at the time of election) – 31
Position sought – Board of Education Member
Education – NJIT Grad Bus. Marketing
Previous or Current or Appointed Office – None
Why are you seeking elective office?
My father was a community leader. As I have matured, I’ve realized even more the importance of being a leader (in family, profession and community). I have many nieces and nephews who I witnessed navigate the past six to seven months of schooling while from home. My interest peaked in serving on the school board as I heard the concerns of parents, students and educators surrounding schools and COVID-19. I also had limited knowledge of the other pressing issues that have had an adverse effect on the Edison school district. Me being an NJIT grad and son of an engineer, I began thinking of solutions to these problems. I hope that as an elected leader serving on the Board of education that I can work with the other members to improve on a great education system in Edison and the well-being of the students and teachers that are a part of it.
The single most pressing issue facing our school system is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
The single most pressing issue facing our school system is managing the Education experience with the presence of COVID-19. What I intend to do to solve this is continue to explore our virtual resources to ensure that the teachers are able to deliver their well thought lesson plans effectively and efficiently, so that the students can learn and overcome the barriers COVID-19 has caused such as hindered communication and limited interaction. I’ve heard the cries of the parents who struggle balancing work and now also being a “teacher’s aide” for their children who are learning remotely. Yes, we have overcrowding. Yes, we need to have better oversight of funds. Yes, we need to have reviews of vendor contracts but right now, we need to focus on the students and the teachers who serve this community.
Edison has 13 candidates vying for three seats. What are the critical differences between you and the other candidate seeking this post?
Critical differences between myself and the candidates I’m running against is that I am a true product of Edison schools starting from John Marshall to T.J. (As real Edison natives call it) and finishing at Edison High School (go Eagles!). I’m a true ally for the teachers. Till this day, I keep in touch with the educators who have helped shape my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support throughout the years. Another critical difference is that I have no underlying influence from a political party. I’m a “newcomer”. I have a pure, unadulterated, genuine interest in this realm. And while some are pursuing a seat at this table for political gain, I’m here to do the right thing: supporting our students, educators and staff.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
Provide more resources to Students and Teachers, including mental health and wellness resources.
Annual reviews of vendor contracts over $25k.
Increase transparency and accountability over budget.
Start the path towards solving the issue of overcrowding.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
As a self-employed entrepreneur I’d say the success of my business is evidence I can do this job. There are some that think my “newness” to this realm causes me to be unqualified. I’m a professional photographer. I’ve been shooting for over 11 years. At one point, I had very limited knowledge on photography. But it was my interest that drove me to learn more about the craft, the tools, and the business. And now Fortune 500 companies hire me for my vision and artistic approach. So much like my humble start with photography, I foresee doing the same as an elected board member of the EBOE.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
This might not be the best, but I think it’s the most appropriate at the moment:
“Keep your eyes on your own paper”
-An Edison Teacher
We all need to stay focused. As a newcomer I see and hear a lot of “chattiness” and people trying to “figure” other people out. Just focus on the job. When we lose sight of the goal, the mission, the purpose, that’s when error slips in.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
What voters should know about me is that I’m a man of faith and also a “no nonsense” type of guy. I speak up and stand up for the voiceless and oppressed. I strive for harmony and I absolutely love Zia Lisa’s Grandma’s Pizza.
In anticipation of the upcoming election, Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns. We will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
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This article originally appeared on the Edison-Metuchen Patch