Lourdes M. Leon, a lifelong resident of Elizabeth, was elected to office in 2020, and is currently serving her first term as a County Commissioner. She is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Board of County Commissioners. Leon is a community activist and an award-winning educator and administrator, and has served more than 27 years in the Elizabeth School district.
Born in Cuba, she immigrated to Elizabeth in 1971 with her parents. During the course of her career in the Elizabeth School District, she worked her way up from a teacher’s aide to Vice Principal, and finally, Principal of the Donald Stewart Early Childhood Center, which she helped open in 2003.
In 2004-2005, Leon was the Recipient of The Donald Stewart “Strive for Excellence” Educator’s Award in recognition of outstanding performance as an educator.
As the Principal of the Donald Stewart Early Childhood Center, Leon developed and implemented schedules to maximize the effective use of staff and space; prepared and managed the budget; implemented “The High Scope Approach” to active learning, in conjunction with a Dual Language program for students to learn English and Spanish simultaneously; recruited, trained, evaluated, and assisted staff with curriculum development, and established learning centers that required active interaction among students and staff; incorporated a multicultural and diverse environment in the learning community; customized the curriculum and instruction for students with learning disabilities, and measured student progress using each child’s individual education program. Leon has special skills and experience in enhancing the instructional skills of student teachers, and new faculty members.
Leon retired in 2013 from the Elizabeth School District, and was appointed to the City of Elizabeth Mayor’s Community Development Advisory Committee. She has served as President of the Committee since 2017.
Leon is a member of the Snyder Academy Advisory Committee, which is a center for art, culture, education, history, social and economic advancement in Elizabeth.
She is also a member of “Hispanos Unidos,” a Non-Profit Organization that promotes the overall needs of the Hispanic community by hosting community-focused events to aid Hispanics in need.
Leon is Vice President of “Elizabeth Strong” a Non-Profit Charity Organization created in 2018 to aid citizens of Elizabeth that are in need.
Leon has also worked as a Second Language instructor to 25-30 adult students with different language levels at the Verizon – Benchmark Hotels Corporation.
Leon has a Master’s of Arts in Educational Administration, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kean University, and has 30 additional credits in Educational Leadership courses from Walden University and Marygrove College.