Kerri Wright, a longtime member of the Chester Board of Education and a lawyer specializing in education and employment law, was celebrated as a fierce advocate for education at an April 6 luncheon at the New Jersey School Boards Association’s headquarters in Trenton honoring her as the Association’s 2021-2022 Board Member of the Year.
Irene LeFebvre, NJSBA president and a former Board Member of the Year, called Wright, who has served the Chester board for 16 years and is a principal at Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. in Morristown, “a true champion for all students.” She added, “We are so blessed to have Kerri on our team.”
During a gathering that attracted several past winners attending in person or via a virtual option along with NJSBA staff, officers and past officers, Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, executive director of NJSBA, noted how fortunate the Association is to be able to leverage technology to come together in new ways – particularly on a day that saw heavy rain make driving to the ceremony difficult for faraway board members.
Feinsod noted that the NJSBA established the Board Member of the Year Award in 2005 to recognize a board member who is an exemplary leader, dedicated to professional development and committed to the advancement of educational governance. Most importantly, however, the winner must demonstrate a strong commitment to children, he said.
Being named Board Member of the Year has been “an incredible honor,” Wright said. “I want to thank you because the support boards get from the NJSBA is so important,” she said, noting that it is critical for school boards to come together and speak with one voice on certain issues.
Later, she added, “The lunch provided a great opportunity to converse with the wonderful folks at NJSBA and to meet other Board Members of the Year; the insights, wisdom and dedication to the children of New Jersey that were gathered in that one room was awe-inspiring.”
During the luncheon, past winners shared some of the challenges of board membership – as well as why board members must continue their mission to advance education even during challenging times. Attendees received a book with a profile of Wright as well as past Board Member of the Year winners.
At the end of the ceremony, Wright’s picture was revealed on NJSBA’s Wall of Honor reserved for past and current winners of the Board Member of the Year.
The Board Member of the Year must have five consecutive years of experience and must also have achieved NJSBA’s Certified Board Member designation. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association, an impartial, independent, out-of-state entity, chose Wright as the 2021-2022 winner.
Read the School Leader profile that reveals how Wright has made her mark in Chester.