8th Ward Councilwoman Michele Yamakaitis
EIGHTH WARD COUNCILWOMAN
I was first elected to serve as Councilwoman in January, 2006. I consider it an honor and a privilege to represent my fellow residents in the 8th Ward and be their voice in city government.
I reside on McGillvray Place with my husband, Luke, our two sons, Danny and Tommy, our recue pets Abbey, a corgi/shepherd mix and our beloved cat, Toby. I grew up on the Elizabeth/Linden border in the Bayway section of Elizabeth. I am the third of four children of the late Patricia and Robert Szewczyk. I am a graduate of St. Hedwig Grammar School, Elizabeth, Elizabeth High School, and Union County College where I obtained an Associates of Art Degree and majored in Early Childhood Education.
My husband, Luke, is a lifelong resident of Linden and is the fifth of eight children of Bernadette and the late Bernard Yamakaitis. When Luke and I were married in 1991, we resided on Washington Avenue with his grandmother, the late Frances Yamakaitis, until we bought our home in 1992 on McGillvray Place. My children, Danny and Tommy, attended and are graduates of the Linden Public School system.
Upon graduation from high school, I worked as a secretary in the Superintendent’s Office for Elizabeth Board of Education. Looking to pursue my lifelong dream of working with children, I returned to school part-time at Union County College, where I graduated with high honors and obtained the award, "Outstanding Achievement in Early Childhood Education." Upon graduation, I worked for several years as a group teacher for the Cerebral Palsy League of Union County and am currently employed as a teacher assistant in a public school. I find working with children with special needs to be both very challenging and rewarding. Words cannot express the feeling of seeing children overcome obstacles to achieve what many of us take for granted.
Since moving to the 8th Ward in 1992, I have become very involved and instrumental in bringing activities and programs to the 8th Ward and the City of Linden. I have served in the 8th Ward Neighborhood Watch since 1992 and I started the 8th Ward Children’s Recreation Program in 2003, a program that I designed on Saturday mornings for children in the 8th Ward to come together to play since so many of them were scattered in numerous schools throughout the city since the closing of Public School No. 3. As an elected official, I established regular community meetings to keep the residents involved and informed. I host community events such as the annual visits from Santa, our annual 8th Ward Egg Hunt, and Community picnics. The 8th Ward was the first ward in the City to have any of these events.
Additional civic experience, community involvement and affiliations include the following:
- President/2nd Vice Pres./Member - 8th Ward Democratic Club
- Director – 8th Ward Children’s Recreation Program (2003-2008)
- Captain - 8th Ward Neighborhood Watch
- Volunteer Director of Religious Education/Catechist St. Hedwig R.C. Church (2001-Present)
- Lector – St. Hedwig R.C. Church
- Member–Pulaski Day Parade Committee–St. Theresa Church (2007- Present)
- 2008 Marshal–Pulaski Day Parade Committee–St. Theresa Church
- Member - NAACP
- Parent Teacher Association Secretary Linden Elementary School No. Four – 2001-2002
- Member – Linden High School Football Booster Parents Club
- Member – Linden Marching Band Parents Association
- Member – Friends of Linden Public Library
- Member – Linden City Democratic Club
- Member – The Union County Women’s Political Caucus
- Member – Phi Alpha Theta (Historical Honor Society) – Kean University
- Member – Union County College Alumni Association
- Former member of the Linden High School Football Booster Parents Club (2008-2011)
- Former member of the Linden Marching Band Parents Association (2011-2014)
On Council, I proudly serve on the following committees for 2018:
- Council President Pro Tempore
- Fire Committee
- Accident Review
- Liaison to the Mayor’s Youth Commission
- Liaison to Social Services
If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at (908) 925-2309 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.