Nichelle Daniels, 43
School board president
My husband and I moved here 15 years ago because Garfield Heights City Schools were known for their special education programs. Our son has done fabulously here, and I have since become president of the school board. Although the school district is 70% Black, 2019 marked the first time in history that the city elected African Americans onto the school board.
As a mom of eight, including five adopted children, I like to say I am raising what our community looks like. Our diverse family resembles our community — Black, white and Native American — and Garfield Heights has been the perfect place to raise our kids.
But COVID highlighted social injustices in our urban school district, from technology gaps to a lack of funding. Now, our priority is diversity, equity and inclusion. We’re creating a culture that ensures that all students, no matter their race, gender or background, have the same access to education.
I created a nonprofit, Abundant Love Community Outreach, to support families in our inner-ring suburb. During the pandemic, we delivered lunch, books and art activities to help families build strong bonds and combat social isolation.