Jason Dotson built his knowledge base at William Paterson University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Communication. He went to Lincoln University, where he earned his Masters of Human Service, with a Concentration in Counseling.
Continuously applying theory to practice, in his position as a Program Co-Director at the Hispanic Multi-Purpose Youth Center, he serves sexual minority youth between the ages of 14 to 24 by providing them access to resources and knowledge which they need.
He has served as a state-wide crisis specialist for children whose behavioral disorders have compromised their ability to be assimilated either at home or at school.
Conjunctly, he has coached parents in the techniques that are necessary to deal successfully with undesirable behaviors in their children.
Mr. Dotson is regularly invited to participate in local and national conferences which provide key informants with strategies on how to not only provide services for their target population but to retain the desired target population and motivate the community.
Immediately following the success of his recent appearance as Keynote Speaker for Planned Parenthood and the Boys and Girls Club both located in New Jersey and Washington DC, he was invited not only to return but to participate in planning and programming for both community organizations.
As a father of a teenage son, Dotson recognizes the true realities of raising children in today’s world, and he intends to equip every parent with the knowledge and tools required to nurture our sons and daughters of tomorrow.
Based on your qualifications and experience, what makes you a suitable candidate to serve on the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board ?
Like many parents, I want to ensure that my children are receiving a quality education in a safe learning environment. I have earned many college degrees, I have over 10 years of experience working with youth and young adults in community based organizations, and I have years of experience mobilizing communities as a shop steward for Local CWA 1037. In my professional positions I have managed large budgets, sat on state-wide community meetings and creating policy and procedures for community based organizations and I believe that the voters want a candidate who is experienced and willing to get their hands dirty on their behalf.
What are your reasons for running?
My reasons for running is because there is no transparency. The parents deserve to be informed with decision being made regarding their child(ren). As a parent, I know the struggles of the One Newark Plan and how it worked against parents and students. I want to bring information back to the parent and keep them informed. I am running to be the public servant for my community. I want parents to have transparency.
Are you running with an organizational slate? If so, please provide information about your platform.
I am running with the Transparency Matters Team and we believe that there should be transparency so parents can make informed decisions. The Transparency Matters team believes:
- Newark Public Schools should be thriving and prioritizing safety and a friendly Learning Environment for our children.
- Demanding Arts & Recreation for our students by adding the letter “A” in STEM to create STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math).
- Advocating that Black History & Hispanic History is being taught in every classroom via Amistad Act (August 27, 2002).
- Holding the administration accountable by gaining local control
- Transparency! Parents and Students have the RIGHT to KNOW!
What are your priorities for the district in the coming year?
My priorities will include keeping parents informed and encouraging parents to have their child(ren) tested for lead poisoning considering 30 NPS have been reported having lead in their water. I strongly believe parents should be informed about their rights about PARCC standardized testing, bringing Transparency to the community.
What attributes and qualifications do you consider essential for effective school board members?
An effective school board member plays an important watchdog role in keeping our public schools on track, and setting policies that affect our children, our schools, and community. School board members set the vision and goals for the school district, and they are not afraid to hold the Superintendent accountable for his or her results. One school board member cannot do the job alone. Effective school board members contribute their unique talents while collaborating and working as a team with other board members.