Asia J. Norton was born at Newark Beth Israel Hospital to Geriylnn Talmadge, Walter Norton, and a big family of Newark educators. On Sundays, she and her family attended Union Chapel A.M.E. Church on Wainwright Street and she learned how to swim around the corner at St. Peters’ pool, now Marquis “Bo” Porter Recreation Center, during summer months. Asia loved the water so much, she became a trained lifeguard at JFK pool and worked at all the city pools through-out high school and college, including the city’s summer camp, Camp Watershed.
Asia attended a variety of public and private schools in Newark, including Maple Avenue and Calvary Christian on the corner of Lyons and Elizabeth Avenue. Her grandmother taught second grade at Alexander Street School and her mother was a fourth grade teacher at Miller Street School. Asia was a struggling learner but her family taught her the importance and power of an education and she successfully graduated from Simmons College in Boston.
Shortly after graduating from college, Asia returned to the Southward of Newark and was blessed to become a mother to a baby boy who is now nine years old. Being a single parent motivated Asia to follow in her grandmother and mother’s footsteps and she became a third generation Newark teacher. She was an educator for seven years in Newark at North Star Academy, KIPP NJ, and Marion P. Thomas Charter School.
While teaching, she received her master’s degree from Columbia University, Teachers College in Sociology and Education and then transitioned into coaching teachers in literacy at Elizabeth Public Schools with the Children’s Literacy Initiative.
Asia then decided to go to law school after witnessing a lifetime of educational inequities and social injustices plaguing her family and community. She is now a candidate for her juris doctorate at Rutgers Law School, Newark campus.
Asia was taught at a very early age to give back to her community. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and is currently part of the Beta Alpha Omega Chapter which services the Newark, Irvington, and Hillside community. She is also a Board Member for Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.
Asia was first elected to the Newark Board of Education in April 2018 on the Moving Newark Schools Forward Ticket. She served as Chair of the Finance and Budget Committee for two years and is currently serving as Chair of the Legal Committee and Vice Chair of the Programs and Instructions Committee.
As a Board Member, Asia has proudly facilitated partnerships that have enhanced Newark students educational experiences with the New York Federal Reserve, BridgeYear, The Southward View Newsletter, and other organizations.
Asia continues to be committed in advocating and building relationships with students, parents, teachers, and community members so that all Newark children have their individual needs met for them to be successful.
- Born and Raised in Newark
- BA, Simmons College
- MA, Columbia University
- JD Candidate, Rutgers Law School
- Chair of Legal and Vice Chair of Programs and Instructions committees, Newark Board of Education
- Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
- Certified NJ teacher
- Literacy Teacher Coach
- Board member, Girls Scouts Heart of NJ
- Writer for South Ward View Newsletter
- Advisory Board Member, South Ward Children’s Alliance