May 30, 2024
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Marty Ramirez Seeks Seat on Teaneck Board of Ed

 Who is the man behind the red-and-white signs scattered along many front lawns of your neighbors here in Teaneck? Martin “Marty” Ramirez and his family have been residents of Teaneck for the past nine years. They are active members of two synagogues, Congregations Arzei Darom and Netivot Shalom. Wife Laura Fein is the newly appointed director of the New Jersey Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council, which deals with public affairs and policy, community issues and outreach to government and elected officials. Their five daughters attend The Frisch School and Yeshivat Ben Porat Yosef.

Born in Los Angeles, Ramirez attended local public schools, from which he was selected to attend a private college-prep school in Andover, Massachusetts. Upon graduation, he attended Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

The four years following his graduation from Stanford, according to Ramirez, were perhaps the most pivotal in his decision to run for a seat on Teaneck’s Board of Education. “Teaching in the Los Angeles inner-city public schools gave me a real taste of and appreciation for public education that has remained with me these many years. Public education is a basic building block of our society. Also, excellent public schools affect the entire community, not only students. Improving the local schools would not only help graduating students pursue professions and vocations, but also enhance the desirability of the neighborhood.”

After four years of teaching elementary school, Marty decided to pursue a law degree. He was accepted into Columbia Law School where he met his wife, Laura. After graduation and getting married, they both pursued law careers in Washington, D.C. Ramirez was an attorney for the Department of Justice, went into private practice and then served with the Federal Energy Regulation Commission, which regulates the U.S. energy markets. “The years I spent in government practice opened my eyes to the impact federal regulation can have on businesses, even at the local level,” said Ramirez.

After his second stint in government practice, Ramirez was recruited to work in New York as a bank compliance officer, overseeing groups of energy traders. Moving from a small D.C. apartment, they sought out family-friendly communities in the metropolitan area and decided on Teaneck, where Lori’s sister and brother-in-law, the Blechs, live with their four children. Currently, Ramirez is working in the legal department at a small trading company in Stamford, Connecticut.

The Ramirez family is now happily situated in a section of Teaneck with neighbors of diverse religions, ethnic backgrounds and affiliations. “Several of our neighbors sent their children through Teaneck public schools. They were pleased with the level of instruction and opportunities for specialized programs through high school,” Ramirez reported.

He attended several school board meetings over the summer to assess how he can best contribute. As Ramirez explained, “I am an attorney who has a great deal of experience analyzing business transactions. Interpreting legislation and regulations also has been a big part of my career in the public and private sectors. I think these skills will be useful for serving on the Teaneck Board of Education.”

Additionally, Ramirez believes the board should represent the entire Teaneck community and should improve how it interfaces with families whose children attend charter and religious schools. “I am a parent of five yeshiva school students yet I feel strongly that we as an Orthodox Jewish community can benefit greatly from a local public school system, beyond busing our kids to their schools. An excellent public school system that expertly educates our neighbors’ children, as well as many of our own, should be able to find synergies with other local secular and religious educational institutions.”

“All the residents of Teaneck share the concerns of taxes, property values and quality of life. The school board, as representative of our whole community, deals with these issues that concern us all. That is why I feel that with a position on the board I can represent a broad base of interests. I hope to use my position to interface not only with board members but with teachers, students and, most importantly, parents. My door will be open to meeting people at all hours.”

“I hope to attend civic functions and make myself accessible to the community. As a board member, I feel it will be my job to listen to the people, not just about budget issues but about improving educational outcomes for our public as well as private school students to ensure a better future for us all. That is why my motto is ‘Excellence in Education for All.’”

By Pearl Markovitz

 

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