Prior to retiring two years ago, I worked as an educator in the New Brunswick School District, and worked with Clarissa Nolde for 10 years as a colleague and also during my tenure as head music teacher in the district. We often collaborated on aspects of the music program, particularly with respect to the winter and spring school concerts and the all-district concert program. During the early years of our working relationship, Clarissa and I collaborated quite often in the project to re-institute a music program in the district.
As a band teacher at New Brunswick Middle School, Clarissa developed the New Brunswick Middle School Music Program from a few students practicing in the hallways to a high-performing band of 65 musicians. For context, before Clarissa arrived at the Middle School, there was no band program at all. She built it from scratch. This is evidence of both Clarissa’s exceptional competence as an educator and also her extraordinary gifts as a transformational leader.
Clarissa has exceptional organizational abilities and has effectively collaborated with administration, teachers, staff, and community resources to achieve her vision of a Fine Visual and Performing Arts department that works together to give students an excellent and inspiring arts education. I have been very fortunate to have such an excellent partner in the many projects we have undertaken together. The Garwood Borough Council would be fortunate to have Clarissa’s energy and collaborative spirit at work for the benefit of the town.
Clarissa has developed a relationship with both the school and the community of New Brunswick. Her understanding of the needs of parents and the greater community of the city has helped students to thrive and meet their educational goals. In her role as band director, she has repeatedly demonstrated and consistently modeled the characteristics of effective educational leadership, and I have no doubt that she would bring her commitment to excellence to her work on the Garwood Borough Council.