Eric Scherzer

Term: 2021-2024
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Eric Scherzer is a long-time resident of Montclair and raised his two children
here. headshotHis children attended Nishuane, Hillside, Glenfield and MHS. Throughout their school years – starting at PreK – all the way through high school, he was actively involved in school issues. His first volunteer role was serving on the parents committee that helped interview prospective principal candidates for Nishuane in 1989-90. His involvement continued long after his children graduated.  For example, during the summer of 2020, he was responsible for leading a group of volunteers to organize and run a social justice internship program for MHS rising juniors and seniors and recent grads.  Although both he and his wife worked full time at public interest jobs – they always found time to participate in school events. They cooked for Nishuane pancake breakfasts, slept overnight in the Franklin Institute with their daughter’s fifth grade trip from Hillside, overnight chaperoned the Project Graduation trip, frequently hosted MFEE Toasts to Great Teachers and cheered on many sports teams – soccer, field hockey, baseball and softball. One particular highlight was accompanying the MHS, NJ State Championship Mock Trial Team to Omaha to a second place in the national tourney when their son was a senior at MHS. The experience that their son and daughter had at MHS prepared them well for college and careers and is the main reason why their son and daughter-in-law moved back to Montclair and why his 5-year-old twin grandsons are preparing to enter kindergarten in Montclair and start the journey over.

Eric graduated from Brown University in 1972. His career has largely been in the labor movement.  First as an elected leader of a local of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union and then as Executive Director of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), a national union representing a racially and ethnically diverse group of 17,000 resident physicians.

His role at CIR was as the manager/leader of a complex organization and included negotiations with CIR’s unionized staff and with health insurance providers. The hospital CEOs that he worked with noted his ability to bring people together to resolve difficult problems in a respectful and cooperative manner. While at CIR, he led scores of union-management meetings, and resolved issues which in many ways were similar to issues now faced in our schools.

Eric earned his Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis on industrial hygiene and community health education.  For a few years, he taught Occupational Health and Safety and Industrial Labor Relations at Rutgers University.

Eric has participated in numerous efforts locally and nationally to redress the racial disparities that continue to limit opportunities for students of color.  During his retirement, he has been a leader of the Montclair Sanctuary Alliance and a Senior Advisor to VOT-ER an organization dedicated to making sure that populations underserved by the health care system are encouraged to register to vote and are able to vote safely.

All of the above experiences have provided him with the background and temperament to help the BOE at this critical point build trust and support of the students, parents, teachers, staff and our community to move forward cooperatively to address the problems highlighted by the pandemic.

Being on the BOE is a hard job and he salutes his fellow members and those who have served in the past.  Being a teacher or an administrator in Montclair is a harder job. He knows many who are serving with distinction. He also admires the many parents who freely volunteer their time to make our schools the best possible educational environment for their children and for all children.

Eric believes that the overwhelming majority of administrators, teachers, staff, parents and yes BOE members want what is best for students.  He knows that if we keep that in mind, even if we have differing opinions about how to achieve that result, we and our children and grandchildren will be well served.Eric commits that he will always act in the best interests of all our students.
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