b'And it just sort of hit me: Wow, youpoint forward, I really kept out of local know, thats a really good story. Thatsorganizing and local politics, she says. anationalstorywhatsgoingonI feel like, Better for me to just not here. And so I resigned from the com- really be involved in anything. So I mittee, pulled away from the coalitionjust do my job. However, that doesnt and pitched the story to NPR. mean she completely removes her own Initially, Solomon wanted to keepopinions from her reporting. Ive al-her distance from her own school dis- ways been antagonistic to the idea of trict. I didnt want to do it in our lo- objectivity, she says. I dont believe in cal schools because I have a son who atit. I dont believe anybodys objective. the time was in [Maplewood MiddleI feel like its just always been impor-School], she says. I felt it would betant throughout my entire career as a too close to home. So, I tried to focusjournalist to just think about what my on similar districts. own biases are and try to be as fair as Although she reached out to schoolpossible.districts in Montclair and Teaneck, sheBut while she keeps a low profile in came up short. None of those schooltown,sheembracesherMaplewood districtswantedtohaveanythingtohome and communityespecially inThinking of selling?do with me, says Solomon.the face of a pandemic. I have a love-She reached out to then SOMSDly view from my window, and I haveLet us tell the story of Superintendent Brian Osborne alongamazingbirdsthatvisitandIhave withthenColumbiaHighSchoolnever been so thankful and grateful foryour home.principalLovieLilly.Solomonwashaving a house, and a yard, and trees, granted access to CHS to conduct herandSouthMountainReservation, research. I was able to spend so muchand a bicycle to ride aroundits just timeinclassesobserving,recording,been a wonderful lifesaver, she says. goingtothecafeteriaatlunchtime,I spent all those years commuting ev-talkingwithstudents,interviewingery day and feeling a certain amount them,meetingtheirparents,inter- of New-York-and-Brooklyn envy and viewingtheirparents,interviewingwishing that I could walk to work. So teachers. So it was just an incrediblenow its like the tables have turned. I experiencetotakesuchadeepdivefeel really grateful to be in such a nice into all of that. Her research led toplace as Maplewood. herseriesMindtheGap: WhyGoodDonny Levit is a writer and MaplewoodOur design and staging skills will bring out the Schools are Failing Black Students. resident. He first became an NPR listenernatural beauty of your home and our specializedSincebeinghiredfull-timeatin New Orleans and considers WWNOmarketing strategy will tell its unique story,WNYC, Solomon has chosen to try tohis gateway to public radio. Follow himhelping it to sell faster and for more money.fly beneath the radar when it comes toonInstagram@undertheinfluenceradio community involvement. From thatand @kindofpoolradio.#Designed #Staged #SoldDouglas HuebnerRealtor | Sales AssociateKeller Williams MTD181 Maplewood Ave.Maplewood, NJ 07040(973) 762-5400(917) 676-2000Becky Rosenfeld and Nancy Solomon enjoy their backyard space. Photo credit: JamieEach office is individually owned & operatedMeierfeature story /17'