#2- David Rutherford
I was born and raised in Plainfield and attended Plainfield Public Schools. As a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, I began my career in architecture when I was twenty years old due to a unique accelerated program. After Philly, I lived in France for a year, where I taught English to middle school students in Elbeuf and later worked as an architect near Annecy in the Alps.
As a young man I’ve cultivated a passion for activism and community involvement that only grew stronger upon my return home to Plainfield. I am a member of the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission, the People’s Organization for Progress, and the Plainfield 5k Walk/Run team. I also write this blog, Plainfield View. As the author of Plainfield View I am a regular attendee at all sorts of meetings, including the BOE and the City Council, and numerous other community events. Through this blog I have the opportunity to highlight many positive groups, people, and happenings in our community as well as provide commentary on issues of concern.
Despite my unsuccessful run for the school board last year, I have continued to serve as a volunteer for Plainfield Public Schools whenever possible. I am only the fourth of 43 Board of Education candidates of the last ten elections who, after losing an election, have returned to run again the following year.
As I explained in my candidacy announcement, our schools have certainly improved over the last few years in many quantifiable ways, but I believe we have a lot more work to do. In addition to the national attacks that unfortunately threaten public school as an institution, Plainfield schools have their own local foes. Jerry Green’s political machine is not equipped to do the work needed to improve the Plainfield Board of Education, nor is it concerned with education or the well-being of our children. I am determined to be a positive force in improving our schools.
#3 – Carletta Jeffers
Carletta Denise Jeffers, a graduate of Plainfield High School, lives with her husband Kevin of 32 years. Together, they run Green Acres Properties, a local rental management company. Carletta also works in facilities management at Hewlett-Packard. She has a daughter, Tiffany, and a son, Sean. Her granddaughter, Kayla, attends Cedarbrook Elementary School.
When her youngest daughter Brittany became seriously ill eight years ago, the Plainfield School District was instrumental in providing her a quality home instructor. “She was wonderful. She even came on her off days,” recalls a grateful Carletta Jeffers.
The district’s support helped an overburdened Jeffers, who spent seven years in and out of hospitals, fighting and fundraising for her daughter, who succumbed to her illness in December of 2012.
Carletta’s experiences have given her a passion for the rights of children in all circumstances to a quality public education like the one afforded to Brittany.
“Our students deserve the best,” says Jeffers. “I’ll fight as hard for your children as I did for my own.”
#7 – Terrence Bellamy
Terrence Bellamy is a 40-plus year resident of this beautiful city, and a 1986 graduate of Plainfield High School. Now retired, Bellamy was employed by the State of New Jersey since 1983, while he was still in high school, and is a life time member of the New Jersey State Policeman Benevolent Association local 105.
Terrence and his wife Tara, of 17 years, have two children, Terrence Jr and Tiara, enrolled in Woodland School where Terrence once attended. He serves as the school’s PTO President.
Bellamy’s community involvement includes serving as the Plainfield Pop Warner flag football head coach and the Woodland School assistant basketball coach. He is a former Division of Recreation T-Ball coach. “I’ve been heavily involved with the youth in this city for quite a while,” says Bellamy, who also volunteers to feed the homeless at the YMCA.
You may assume that Bellamy intends to take a special interest in Cardinals sports, and you’d be right. “I feel that my running for the board will bring a voice for the students of this city that needs to be heard, academically as well as athletically,” explains Terrance, a self-proclaimed believer in public education.
As for the direction of the schools, Terrence cites “constructive changes” within the district. He remembers how it was in the not so distant past. “I can remember just 5 or 6 years ago, sitting in a board meeting on Myrtle Ave, saying to myself, ‘This is a three ring circus.'” He adds, “We can’t move in that direction.”