Executive Director: Marsha Tom
Marsha Tom joined Kids X-Press in April 2015 as the new Executive Director following a career filled with service to children and families in the education and non-profit worlds. Most recently she served as Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Westchester for five years and twenty three years in the New York City Department of Education. Driven by her passion, sensitivity and caring, Ms. Tom's educational career began as an Art Teacher which led her to working in the NYC Board of Education. Working as a Substance Abuse Specialist in 1987 and serving the South Bronx community for seventeen years, her passion to work with children and families was welcomed and nurtured. Having created programs for parents, she was transplanted and became the school district's Educational Parent Liaison. Her belief that all children have the potential to be academically successful was founded with her outspoken mindset that we as leaders and educators are obligated to transform education by developing methodologies to strengthen the foundation of families by teaching them how to help themselves. By providing the necessary opportunities and support in order to progress, she set high standards and expectations for them to reach their goals. Having gained the respect and trust of administrators and parents of this challenging community, she was able to introduce the understanding of educational standards and correlate them to parent workshops empowering parents to expand their capacity to help their children with schoolwork and homework.
The New York City Department of Education began to notice that something special was happening in that small classroom devoted to parent involvement/accountability in the South Bronx. Her mantra of “Helping families to help themselves” became the new approach to supporting education at home. As a result of her work which was recognized in school districts throughout New York City, she was promoted to Regional Director for the Office of Family Engagement. Entrusted with the responsibility of increasing parent engagement for the 150 schools in Region 3 in Queens, Ms Tom developed professional development for Superintendents, Principals, Parent Coordinators, teachers and parent leaders and educated all on best practices for increasing parent involvement and leadership through optimal use of federal funding and strategic planning while building strong partnerships. Creatively using resources, she established essential parent lending libraries in the South Bronx and Queens which gave families local access to books, learning manipulatives, educational research materials and weekly parent workshops which engaged and motivated hundreds of families so that learning became a natural part of their daily lives. In 2007, Marsha was acknowledged for her leadership, bold thinking and impactful results and became Borough Director of Queens for the Office of Family Engagement and Advocacy. While supporting 315 schools, Marsha Tom continued to develop solid models of parent involvement practices and policies which to this day are still executed as standard operating procedure throughout schools in the five boroughs of New York City.
Having served in Big Brothers Big Sisters, she transformed programs into educational opportunities for children and highlighted the need for children to gain insight about themselves in order to nurture self esteem and self worth. Developing relationships with the private and corporate sector allowed her to increase awareness and funding in support of Big and Little matches and the need to engage more positive mentors to help just one child by becoming a mentor.