DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Having been a resident for the last 33 years and dedicating herself to the community, Najah Jannoun is hoping to retain her seat on the Crestwood School Board.
Jannoun has been a realtor and has worked in the community for more than 10 years. Before being appointed to the Crestwood School Board, she was invited to participate in different district committees such as the District Code of Conduct, Wellness Policy and the Health Advisory Committees.
During the COVID pandemic, Jannoun helped the Crestwood School District’s food service department to sort and package food for families and has recently been appointed to the Dearborn Heights Community and Cultural Relations Commission.
All four of Jannoun’s children have or are attending Crestwood schools, with her oldest, Saeid, having graduated from Crestwood High School before earning a scholarship to attend the University of Detroit Mercy, where he is studying biology and is a member of the men’s soccer team. Her son Malik, who also graduated from Crestwood High School, is attending Henry Ford College, where he studies cyber security; and her two youngest daughters are currently students at Crestwood High School and Riverside Middle School.
Being a parent of students in the district, Jannoun has regularly been involved.
“Prior to being appointed to the Crestwood School Board in August of 2020, I had attended every single school board meeting and advocated for our students, staff and families of our community,” she said. “I have always been actively involved in our schools and being the PTA president, I believe, has allowed me to see things through a different lens. I have worked hand in hand with staff and families to fundraise and provide safe outlets for our students. Although what we do in our classrooms is extremely important, education extends beyond the classroom and connecting with students and staff offers insight that you cannot get anywhere else. This is why I believe my role on the board is so unique.”
Since being appointed in 2020, Jannoun said she feels the district has made great progress, but still needs much more due to the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
“We are at a crossroad with our educational system and it is crucial that we have people at the table that understand what our students need,” she said. “I am excited to be a part of the continued growth that we will make. If elected, I will continue to educate myself as I have throughout the past two years as a board member on matters that affect our students and staff. I do not plan on sitting at the table, making decisions on things that I am not fully informed on. Since being appointed in 2020, I have continuously worked on my certifications with the Michigan Association of School Boards. These courses are not mandatory as a board member, but have been useful in assisting me in understanding my role as one of seven members. My commitment is to the safety and well being of our students and I will continue to work to understand what they need to be successful, while ensuring that we, as a body, can provide the necessary tools to assist them in achieving their goals.”
Going forward, Jannoun said she hopes to see the technology, arts and athletic departments continue to grow as those areas are often outlets for children, as sometimes extracurricular activities sometimes can make a significant difference in their lives.
In addition to Jannoun’s activity in the district, she also volunteers at PetSmart, assisting Wag Animal Rescue at adoption events. Her family even has fostered cats and rescued two of their own.
“I hope that my greatest success and legacy that I leave behind will be my children,” she said. “Showing them that the world may not be simple, but they can simply help and give back whenever possible. That’s how they can make a difference. Wherever I am needed, if I can be of service, I will be there. It truly takes a village and I can only hope that my small role makes a difference to someone. I am a ‘boots on the ground, get my hands dirty’ advocate and volunteer. I will never ask of someone anything that I am not willing to do myself. I have often struggled with asking for help, but throughout my years as PTA president, I have been able to surround myself with families that share my vision and are willing to put the work in. They’re just as excited to lend a hand; sometimes we just need a little guidance and teamwork is the only way to get it done. I worked hand in hand with community members to ensure that every voice was heard. I am proud to say that I was a part of the change prior to the new administration and I hope to continue to work towards a brighter future for our district. Education is evolving and we need to continue to evolve with it.”