Marla Burns- Vice Chair

 

Marla is a born and raised Jersey girl and proud of it.  She comes from a diverse background with her father growing up in Jersey City, NJ, an urban area outside of NYC, while her mother is from a rural area of Canada raised to live off the land.  From a very early age, Marla was always a very determined and dedicated young woman.  From the time she was able to work, she was the woman to work not one, but three jobs.  If she wasn’t working, she was a trained dancer (ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop) and soccer player.    

Marla attended the University of Connecticut and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Counseling.  Believing that knowledge is power, Marla immediately continued her schooling to earn a Master’s Degree from Montclair State University in Special Education.  Marla’s passion to work with students from diverse backgrounds and return to her family’s roots, Marla worked at the Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, NJ for 13 years.  There she held several roles including special education teacher (K-8), LDT-C, and Coordinator of Special Education.  Also during this time, Marla went back to school again for a post-master’s certification to be an educational diagnostician to assess students for disabilities.  

Similar to her childhood, Marla could not work just one job  At the age of 25 she started Mozaic Mindz, a consulting and tutoring practice in Hoboken, NJ which she still runs today.  At the age of 29, Marla became a graduate adjunct professor at Montclair State University teaching graduate courses in special education.  She held this position for 5 years.  For the last 8 years, Marla has worked at Verona High School as their Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant servicing special education students ages 14-21.  To tap into her creative side, Marla became a Mary Kay beauty consultant in 2015 and in 2018 attended a cosmetology program and became a certified makeup artist.  

Personally, Marla’s passion is traveling the world.  She spent most of her 20s and 30s doing exactly this; visiting over 20 countries.  When not on a plane, Marla loves animals and is the mom to 3 loveable pitbulls.  Although she has lived a very full life, Marla’s greatest blessing and accomplishment was becoming a mom in 2019 to her miracle baby girl.