New Jersey Board of Education

Member of the Year

Nominations for the 2020-2021 Board Member of the Year Award are now being accepted.  Deadline for receipt of nominations is 4:30 p.m., September 8, 2020.

In recognition of school board members’ service, leadership and contributions to education, NJSBA has established the New Jersey Board of Education Member of the Year Award. Given annually, the award honors an individual board member who: makes significant contributions to public education; exemplifies leadership in the field of education with a strong commitment to the children of New Jersey; demonstrates a strong commitment to his/her personal and professional development as a board member; and shows active involvement in school governance at the local, county and state levels. Past winners include:

2019 Judith Bassford, Clifton Board of Education
2018 Sister Carol Adams, Salem City Board of Education
2017 Bruce Young, Carlstadt Board of Education
2016 Sheli Dansky, River Edge Board of Education
2015 Helen E. Kirsch, Berkeley Heights Board of Education
2014 Peggy Saslow, New Milford Board of Education
2013 Kevin E. Ciak, Sayreville Board of Education
2012 Debra Roosen, North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional Board of Education
2011 Diane Holzberg, Demarest Board of Education
2010 Linda Bond-Nelson, North Plainfield Board of Education
2009 Dale G. Caldwell, New Brunswick Board of Education
2008 Cynthia Auberger, Vernon Township Board of Education
2007 Cathy Moncrief, Lindenwold Board of Education
2006 Marie Hakim, Clifton Board of Education
2005 Maria Alamo, Nutley Board of Education

Nomination Procedure

Nominations for the New Jersey Board of Education Member of the Year must be submitted on the nomination form. Board members, superintendents, business officials, staff and community members may nominate individuals for the award. County Associations may nominate board members from their own counties.

Current NJSBA officers and staff may not nominate candidates for the award nor may current NJSBA officers be nominated for the award.

Criteria for Nomination

  1. Current member of a local board of education at the time the application is received

  2. Served a minimum of 5 consecutive years on his/her local board of education

  3. Certified Board Member through the NJSBA Board Member Academy

  4. Demonstrated leadership, service and contribution to education at the local, county and state levels

All nominations are to:

      1. Be made on the nomination form provided by NJSBA. No more than three pages of additional data, inclusive of the statement of the board member’s contributions, may be submitted with the nomination. 

      2. Include in the application a statement of the board member’s unique and recognized achievements in the areas of service, leadership and contributions to education at the local, county and state levels.

      3. Be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on September 8, 2020.  No late entries will be considered, and will be returned to the person entering the nomination.

      4. All information requested on the nomination form must be provided.

Selection Procedure

All eligible nominations are forwarded to the officers of another state school boards association. These officers review the nominations, select the winner of the New Jersey award and forward their selection to the NJSBA President.


The New Jersey Board of Education Member of the Year will be recognized in the following manner:

  1. Recognized at an NJSBA event later this year.

  2. Presented with a plaque conveying the honor.

  3. Recognized through a news release sent to statewide and local media.

  4. Recognized in School Board Notes.

  5. Featured in an issue of School Leader Magazine.

Email nomination forms with signature (electronic signatures are acceptable) to:

Ann Marie Smith:

Subject line: NJ Board of Education Member of the Year Award

Any questions, contact Ann Marie Smith at