TRENTON, September 19, 2012—Dr. Lawrence Feinsod, an educator and public school advocate for more than 40 years, has been named Executive Director of the New Jersey School Boards Association following a nationwide search. The organization's 26-member Board of Directors approved the appointment unanimously on September 14.
Dr. Feinsod will succeed Marie S. Bilik who, in May, announced her retirement after five years as executive director and a total of 19 years with NJSBA.
"Clearly, the Board of Directors appreciates Dr. Feinsod's depth of educational experience, his respect for the important role that local boards of education play in advancing student achievement, and his enthusiasm for the work of NJSBA," said John Bulina, NJSBA president and co-chairman of the organization's search committee. "I believe that under his leadership, local boards of education will have a strong, effective voice in Trenton and Washington."
NJSBA is a non-partisan federation of the state's local boards of education. It advocates the interests of public schools and provides boards of education with training and technical assistance in areas such as labor relations, policy development, school finance and school district governance. The process of finding a new executive director began in June, with the Association's search committee screening applicants and interviewing candidates throughout the summer. Bulina and NJSBA Immediate Past President Raymond R. Wiss chaired the committee.
The panel's selection, Dr. Feinsod, has served as chief school administrator in the Cranford, Madison and Mount Arlington school districts. Since 2008, he has been the state Department of Education's executive county superintendent for Essex County, assisting and overseeing 23 school districts with strikingly diverse needs and challenges. He began his career as a teacher in Linden. In addition, Dr. Feinsod served for approximately 20 years as a member of the Board of Education of the Morris-Union Jointure Commission, including a term as the board's president.
Dr. Feinsod is a former president and co-founder of the Garden State Coalition of Schools, a grassroots advocacy group of school administrators, school board members and parents, established in 1992. He holds a Doctor of Education degree from Rutgers University, a professional diploma in Educational Leadership from Fordham University, and a B.A. and an M.A. in Special Education from Kean College of New Jersey (now Kean University).
He is a recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award from the Newark affiliate of the National Organization of African American Administrators (2012), the Outstanding Service Award from the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (2008), and the Education Leadership Award from the New Jersey Coalition of Educational Leaders for the support and advancement of women in leadership positions (2004).
Dr. Feinsod has been involved extensively in community and civic activities. He was a long-term member of the service organization Rotary International and was presented with the New Jersey State Vocational Service Award for his contributions to education from the president of Rotary International.
Addressing his new position as NJSBA Executive Director, Dr. Feinsod cited the local school board's critical role in the educational process.
"I thank the Association's Board of Directors for this exciting opportunity," he said. "I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with school board members across the state in advancing the achievement of all students."
Dr. Feinsod resides in West Orange. He will assume the position of NJSBA Executive Director in late October.
The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of 581 local boards of education and includes 81 charter school associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.