MARK A. ROBERTSON
DEDICATED TO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION:
Mark A. Robertson’s service as a Member of the West Orange Board of Education began on January 6, 2014, while his dedication to serving youth and families has been lifelong. For over 30 years, Mark has supported youth development and family services through counseling, tutoring in English and Math, athletics coaching, leadership training for youth and adults, and outreach to underserved communities through community-based organizations like the Urban League, NAACP, UNCF, INROADS, and the Boy Scouts of America.
A 15-year NJ resident and 10-year West Orange home owner, Mark has two children in the WO Public Schools and is one of only 2 board members with kids currently in the District. Mark and his wife, Donna, a professional educator and Director of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Career Center, have been active in several WOPTA and community organizations.
Since 2006, Mark has been a grassroots community and education leader in West Orange:
- Boy Scouts Leader: Member of the Board of Directors for the Northern NJ Council, Boy Scouts of America since 2013; WO Scout Leader since 2006, winning a District Leader of Merit Award and Pack Committee Chair of the Year in 2011
- Served on 3 WO Public Schools PTA’s: Mt. Pleasant Elementary, Edison Middle School (EMS) and Liberty Middle School. As a member of the EMS PTA Board, Mark launched the first PTA Curriculum Committee in the WO District, and led a “Parents Coalition” of over 300 parents that included some elementary school parents. The Parents Coalition’s activism sparked changes in middle school Math management, and improvements in curricula for Math, English Language Arts and standardized test prep. The Coalition’s efforts led to increased parental involvement, and a stronger partnership between parents and both administrators and teachers, helping EMS to achieve significant score improvements. In 2014, for the first time in EMS’s history, Math and English Scores for 6th graders showed an increase over the 5th grade scores for the same cohort of students.
- Mountain Top League: volunteer coach since 2007 (2 years for In-House Soccer and 7 years for Basketball). Member of the Board of Directors 2013 - 2016;
Mark has advocated vigorously for curricula and program improvements including but not limited to: Increased “guided reading,” greater English and Math rigor, expansion of Honors and HAP, expansion of computer science education along with technology upgrades, fund development and strategic partnership support for academic program growth (lessening the taxpayer burden), more teacher professional development, and greater administrative accountability for curricula, mirroring best practices used by top ranked schools and districts, et al.
MARK’S EARLY LIFE, Education & Career:
Mark Andrew Robertson was born and raised in Washington, DC, the youngest of 3 brothers, and a first generation American, “JAmerican,” whose parents were Jamaican immigrants, and became citizens of the USA with illustrious careers in the CIA, and the National Security Council at The White House.
A graduate of Yale University with a BA in history, and laboratory research and course work in the sciences, Mark entered a training program to launch his first career in social work. Mark provided counseling, case management and socialization program management at Anchor Mental Health Association, a former treatment facility for schizophrenics, and at Crossing Place, a residential crisis center, both in Washington, DC. Endowed with skills as a writer and illustrator, after 4 years in social work, Mark chose to fuse his psych insights, analytical abilities and creative talents to launch a career in non-profit, healthcare marketing and fund development with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
25+ Years of Strategic Planning, Marketing, & Business Development:
In managing national campaigns and local initiatives in 65 markets, Mark has led efforts in strategic planning, marketing, communications, partnerships, business development, and nonprofit fund development. His career has included work for radio networks, major ad agencies such as Arnold and UniWorld, and for his own consulting firms, Ad IMPACT Marketing (AIM) and currently for i-MAPP Marketing Consultants. In the process, Mark has served over 40 megabrands including AstraZeneca, Bank of America, Burger King, Ernst & Young, Ford, GSK, HSBC, Jaguar, Kraft, Land Rover, McDonald’s, Merck, MetLife, PepsiCo, Pfizer, P&G, Quest Diagnostics, Royal Caribbean International, SONY, TARGET, The Hospital for Sick Children, Time Warner Cable, UnitedHealthcare and United Technologies. As part of integrated marketing campaigns, high-profile alliances with influencers such as Magic Johnson, Queen Latifah, Sam Jackson, Wyclef Jean and others, played an integral function in driving awareness and affinity among certain segments.
Mark’s career has encompassed digital content development and web development for many of the clients mentioned above. Among his digital work, as president/publisher of LatinosPost.com, and later as consultant to LatinosHealth.com, both part of the Latinos Media Group, Mark led the development of bilingual, digital news publications providing U.S. and global breaking news, feature stories, and original content, relevant to the Latino experience. His editorial teams generated over 6,000 articles on topics ranging from immigration to interviews and feature stories with Hispanic influencers in politics, sports, and entertainment including Guillermo del Toro, John Leguizamo, and Jorge Luis Pila.
Currently, Mark is the owner of OPTICS Segment Marketing Group and its subsidiary, i-MAPP Marketing Consultants, and he is currently developing a new entity, Competitive Education Corp. to launch in the coming year.
Service to Nonprofit Education Organizations: Through his consultancy of i-MAPP Marketing, Mark has served 2 major education and career development clients, UNCF and INROADS, providing services in branding, marketing, communications, strategic partnerships, fund development support, digital and social media, and branded entertainment consultation.
MARK’S Philosophy for Education & CAREER DEVELOPMENT woboe policy:
Our paramount objective must be to maximize student academic performance, competitive achievements, and early career development. My “A-B-C” tenets to achieve these objectives are:
- Accountability: Curriculum standards and rigor; budget control; new revenue creation through fund development; use of quantitative and qualitative data to drive decisions; the parent/teacher and parent/administrator partnerships; and WOBOE engagement with our community and stakeholders (research, town halls, etc.)
- Best Practices in Education: Explore and adopt the practices of top performing schools in the U.S. (public and private)
- Competitive Education: Endow our children with the knowledge, skills and experiences to be compete and succeed in a global marketplace. Be on par with the best schools and give our children a competitive advantage. Teach 21st-century skills in technology including computer languages starting before high school and funded by partnerships. Become a STEM leader and beacon for NJ. Endow our children with greater opportunities through early career development (mentoring and internships) in partnership with corporations and foundations. Be proactive in outreach and relationship building with the top universities in the NE and Mid-Atlantic Region to avail our children of the strongest consideration and broadest range of opportunities for college. Finally, we must attract the most qualified and accomplished teachers to realize a world-class, competitive education system.
BOARD APPOINTMENTS, COMMITTEES & ADVOCACY:
- Vice President October 2015 to present
- Delegate to the NJ School Board Association 2014 to present
- Legislative Representative – Alternate
- Public Relations Committee
Initiatives 2014 – Present Span:
- Curriculum & Instruction (C&I): Continuous improvement and competitive excellence
- Fund Development and Strategic Partnerships: Corporate and Foundation grants, donations, sponsorship and strategic partnerships
- Technology Infrastructure, Resources and Equipment
- Change Management
- Teacher/Administrator Professional Development and Support
- Parent Involvement and Empowerment