Former Student Organization president runs for Linden Board of Education
By Gail Fredricks | Published Nov. 3, 2016
Nigel Donald is applying his experience as Kean University’s former Student Organization president in his bid for a different type of public office: Linden’s Board of Education.
“I 100 percent believe that if it wasn’t for me both being in Student Government and at a time the president of it I wouldn’t have the idea of running even for public office,” Donald said in an email.
Donald, 22, earned his undergraduate degree in economics with a political science minor from Kean in May. He is continuing his education in the master’s program at Kean, and is pursuing a degree in public administration.
Donald announced he would serve as student trustee on Kean’s Board of Trustees at commencement last May. He gave up the position since he now works as an admissions counselor at Kean and thought it would be a conflict of interest to work in both roles.
A lifelong resident of Linden and a student of Linden public schools from pre-k to 12th grade, he now has his sights set on serving in his hometown.
Donald hopes to increase the involvement of parents within the district if he wins.
“There is quantitative data that supports when parents are involved in the schooling and educational process that the student has a greater educational performance,” said Donald.
Donald also plans to expand SAT/ACT preparation, create new academic courses to match the required skill set of modern day jobs and college success, expand the PTA programs in schools, and push for more studies of minority groups like Native Americans and African Americans in the district.
Donald has relied on family, friends, and volunteers to assist with his campaign. He and his running mate, Aaron Howard, have posted over 100 campaign signs throughout the city of Linden to get the word out.
Although Donald’s cousin is the mayor of Linden, he does not credit him in playing an influential hand in his decision to run. Instead, his motivation for running was to help the students of Linden, Donald said.
“The students of Linden high school and district are some of the greatest students I’ve ever met. They are hard-working, goal oriented, and passionate students you could come across so for me, I’m running to grow the opportunities my Linden students should have.”
Linden residents will vote for Board of Education members on Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 6 a.m to 8 p.m.