Antoinette Richardson currently serves as the Chief of Staff to Essex County Board of Commissioners President, Wayne L. Richardson. Most recently, Antoinette served for 4 years as the Chief Education Officer for Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Office of Comprehensive Community Education, where she advised the mayor on education strategies and developed and lead collective impact initiatives, including the Newark Children’s Cabinet and the literacy coalition #NewarkReads.
As a career educator who taught English, Theater, and Creative Writing for the Newark Board of Education, Antoinette also served as a Legislative Representative and Vice President of the Newark Teachers Union. Prior to her retirement in July 2010, Antoinette served as Coordinator at the Newark Board of Education Marion A. Bolden Student Center, where she developed a core of after school classes and university partnerships for Newark’s high school students.
Antoinette was subsequently elected to the Newark Board of Education in 2011, where she served 2 terms, including 3 years as board president. Her work with Newark based stakeholders, state legislators, and Commissioners of Education placed her in the forefront of the efforts that ended 22 years of State control of the Newark school district and returned governance to the Newark Board of Education.
Antoinette is the Project Director for Stand & Deliver, a public speaking and leadership program that serves over 700 youth at over 20 sites. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Newark NAACP Freedom Fund Education Award, the New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, and Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver’s Shirley Chisholm Education Award. Antoinette serves on the Trustee Board of the Newark Public Library and the Board of the Newark Debate Society. She has served on the boards of the Newark Trust for Education, Newark City of Learning Collaborative, Newark Thrives, and ArtsEd Newark.
Antoinette’s life work has served to increase the capacity of unserved and underserved populations to achieve academic and economic parity. She says, “It’s important to create collaborative environments that enable seemingly diverse interests to focus, align resources, and meet clearly defined goals that empower our community.