Hasani Council was born and raised in the South Ward of the City of Newark. Hasani attended George Washington Carver Elementary School and graduated from University High School in 2014. From a young age, Hasani has been active as a public servant and public education advocate fighting for the residents of the City of Newark. Hasani played and coached Pop Warner Football and Little League Baseball in the South Ward. He also served as a mentor and role model to others in his community.
As a student at University High School, Hasani was very active in the student walkouts and protests against an unyielding school administration. His strong belief in justice and his need to bring awareness to injustice drives his advocacy for equity and fairness.
After completing his years at University High School, Hasani began his studies at Montclair State University. Here, he became a student leader and served as a member of various organizations on campus. From the very first day that Hasani arrived on campus, he made sure that he got involved with the campus community and decided to help make positive changes that would benefit the student body.
At Montclair State, Hasani was elected as the Vice President of his Hall Council and then was elected as the Executive Vice President of the Residence Hall Association. Hasani also served as a member of the Student Government Association in the capacity of a legislator, as well as serving on three committees, one of which he served as the chairperson.
In 2016, Hasani was elected to the Montclair State University Board of Trustees where he served two years as a Student Trustee working closely with the president of the university. He was also inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as, the Red Hawk Pride Society. Hasani received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 2018 followed by his Master of Arts degree in Law and Governance in 2019.
He currently serves as Chief of Staff to South Ward Council Member Patrick Council. Hasani also serves as Democratic District Leader in the 36th District of the South Ward. Hasani formerly worked as a Legislative Aide for former South Ward Council Member John Sharpe James, the United Community Corporation as a Counselor and also worked in several internship positions with both the City of Newark and the Passaic County Democratic Committee.
Hasani is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated where he served as chapter president for his undergraduate chapter. He also served on the fraternity’s regional political and civic engagement committee. Hasani is currently a Jr. Deacon at St. John Baptist Church and is very active in the church community.
Hasani believes every student deserves great teachers and that great teachers deserve to get the opportunity to positively shape and change their students’ lives. To this end, he will work tirelessly to ensure more educational freedoms for all.
2023 Candidate Q&A
Q1: Why are you running for a seat on the Newark Board of Education?
Hello to the residents of the City of Newark. I would like to thank the Newark Trust for Education for allowing me this opportunity to share my ideas with the community. My name is Hasani Council, and I am a candidate on the Moving Newark Schools Forward Team, which is endorsed by Mayor Ras J. Baraka. I was born and raised in the South Ward of Newark. I am a shining example of Newark Public Schools commitment to excellence, having graduated from George Washington Carver Elementary and University High Schools. I attended Montclair State University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in political science as well as my master’s degree in law and governance. I currently serve as Chief of Staff to South Ward Councilman Patrick Council and serve as a district leader in the South Ward. I am running for re-election to continue serving and advocating for the best interest of our students, teachers and parents. Currently I am serving as the Personnel Chair, Vice Chair of the Finance committee and member of the operations committee for the district. I am also serving as the policy advisor and legislative committee member for our board to the New Jersey School Boards Association. I along with my fellow board colleagues and our superintendent have been able to accomplish a lot in my 3 years serving on the board. Expanding academic and co-curricular programs, upgrading and renovating facilities, upgrading technology district wide, opening new schools, and amending and creating new policies was a top priority in 2020 for me. We have accomplished all, and are still working to make sure that our students receive the best education. Three years does not give a board member enough time to get things done, especially being elected during a pandemic. I have a lot more work to accomplish in making sure that our students receive an equitable education, our teachers are provided with the necessary tools for our students and that our superintendent is held accountable to providing for our district. Please make sure that you Vote on April 25th for the Moving Newark Schools Forward Team, Josephine Garcia A-1, Hasani Council A-2, and Allison James-Frison A-3.
Q2: What is your vision for the public education sector in Newark, NJ, over the next three years?
My vision for the Newark Board of Education is to make sure that equity is in place district-wide, help close the learning loss gap, upgrade our facilities, expand programs and services for our students, teachers and staff, and to advocate for a fully funded district. Once re-elected, I will continue to create sound policies, make informed decisions based on data, collaborate with my board colleagues, and reaching out to the community and providing them with information about resources, advocating for students and the teachers who seek the best for their students, as well as supporting the superintendent and holding him accountable.
Q3: What are you planning to accomplish as a member of the board of education?
As a current member of the Newark Board of Education a lot has been accomplished in the past three years of my tenure on the board in moving the district forward, however there is still more work that needs to be done. My next priorities that I plan to accomplish that are aligned with the ten year strategic plan is making sure that our equity policy becomes effective, working alongside the superintendent to create an office of equity, diversity and inclusion in our district and making sure that we develop and implement a strong alternative education program. As a board member I want to continue to enhance all effective policies that assist in the growth and development of student achievement, parental involvement, and district efficiency. This would continue to help ensure transparency and flexibility to amend policies that are not in accordance with district and state standards as it relates to the educational development of both students and staff.
Q4: How will you define success as a board member after one year? Two years? Three years?
I define success as a board member as the ability to work closely with my board colleagues to ensure that we govern effectively. To understand the difference between running the district, the role of the superintendent, versus ensuring we employ good governance, which is the role of the board. It’s also actively participating in committee meetings where the work is done. Board member success is creating a positive impact for students, staff and community. Ultimately, I think success is the ability to remain objective and open to ideas that are different from my own and take the best of what everyone has to offer.