In accordance with NJSBA bylaws, a proposed slate of officers selected by the Nominating Committee will be presented to the delegates for their vote at the annual Delegate Assembly on May 15, 2021.
The Nominating Committee selected the following school board members for election by the delegates to serve as NJSBA officers from 2021 to 2023:
- President: Irene M. LeFebvre, Boonton Town Board of Education, Morris County.
- Vice President for County Activities: Bruce R. Young, Carlstadt-East Rutherford Board of Education, Bergen County.
- Vice President for Finance: Tammeisha D. Smith, Knowlton Township Board of Education, Warren County.
- Vice President for Legislation/Resolutions: Karen Cortellino, Montville Township Board of Education, Morris County.
NJSBA bylaws also provide a process for candidates to be nominated by petition. No nominating petitions were received by the NJSBA by the March 31 deadline. According to guidelines set by the NJSBA Board of Directors, candidates for NJSBA officer positions are to receive publicity in School Board Notes. The information below is provided by the candidates.
Irene M. LeFebvre, President
Candidate statement: After 26 years of involvement with the NJSBA, and after leading my local board and county school boards association, I now feel ready to assume a leadership role on the state level. It has been my pleasure and honor to support the NJSBA’s work in multiple roles. As a member of the Delegate Assembly and the Board of Directors, and as a volunteer from my district and county, I have participated in setting a direction for the association by serving on committees that searched for the Executive Director, developed the current Strategic Plan and nominated the NJSBA’s officers. I have fully supported the training mission of NJSBA by leading my board to achieve certification – twice – and by personally achieving the status of Certified Board Leader. I have helped the field service staff provide training on basic and advanced levels in weekend and one-day programs. By participating in several task forces and ad-hoc committees, I helped develop position and information papers on critical issues in education. While serving as chair of the NJSBA Special Education Committee, I maintained a balanced focus on meeting these most fragile students’ needs and the impact on district finances. I have learned from the best leaders while developing my leadership style and skills. I currently have the time and resources and a sincere desire to serve the NJSBA in the role of president. I look forward to the collaboration and the challenge.
Local Board Activities
- Boonton Town Board of Education, 26 years of the past 27 years, serving as president and vice president several times, chairing many board committees.
- First won election to the Boonton board as a write-in candidate.
- Led the board through NJSBA board certification twice. Served as chair during the process.
- Served as liaison to the Morris County Educational Services Commission. The commission provides services such as transportation and purchasing to Morris County public school districts and educational programs for special education children.
- Morris County School Boards Association. Served as president, as a member of the executive committee and as vice president of legislation.
- NJSBA County Association Leadership (CAL) committee representative.
- County representative to the NJSBA Board of Directors, as an alternate and also as a member.
- School Board Member of the Year 2020-2021
- Certified Board Member
- Master Board Member
- Certified Board Leader
- Task Force Membership: Special Education Task Force (2017); Opportunities for Non-College-Bound Learner Task Force; Ambassador Program: Career Focused Students; Task Force on the Delivery of Mental Health Services; Health and Wellness Steering Committee.
- Chair, NJSBA Special Education Standing Committee. Presented testimony to legislative committees and the Montclair State University Summer Conference on Special Education.
- BA in Mathematics; N.J. Teacher Certification (Math 7-12), Caldwell College, N.J. (1962-1966)
- Master of Arts in Educational Administration, Caldwell University, J. (2000-2002)
Employment (Retired 11/30/17)
- Boonton High School (‘66-’71)
- Daytop Village –Residential Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Center (~’92-96)
- Teacher of Mathematics (Half Day)
- Boonton Recreation Director (~’92-’98)
- FGL & Associates (1984-2000)
- Passaic County Educational Services Commission (1999-2017)
- Teacher of Mathematics – Memorial Hall (Alternative High School for At-Risk & Special Education Students grades 7-12)
- Vice Principal – Memorial Hall
- Principal – Park School (Kindergarten and Primary Special Education School for Paterson School District)
Bruce R. Young, Vice President for County Activities
Candidate statement: I am pleased to submit my name to continue serving as the NJSBA’s vice president for county activities. My commitment to the advancement of public education, as well as my qualifications, experience, and years of service to NJSBA make me the right choice for this role. I am extremely approachable and organized and my vast expertise and knowledge of school board matters will help me to be successful in enhancing the education field. Over more than two decades, I have served as a dedicated board member on several school boards including the Bergen County School Boards Association (BCSBA). During my service on the Carlstadt-East Rutherford Board of Education, I was a four-term president. I also served as the chair for finance, negotiations, policy, and buildings and grounds committees, in which my involvement was key in the acquisition of funding through the FAA and Port Authority for the soundproofing of Becton Regional High School. Additionally, while president of the Carlstadt Board of Education, I was successful in implementing a campaign for a new school referendum. In 2010 when I was made aware of a need to serve on a county level, without hesitation I got involved with the BCSBA. There I served as vice president for four years and as president from 2017 to 2019. During my service on the BCSBA, I committed myself to visiting all Bergen County district meetings. One of the highlights of my volunteering as a school board member was when I was chosen as the NJSBA School Board Member of the Year in 2017. I have had the pleasure of being the NJSBA vice president for county activities for the past two years. Also during my service with the NJSBA, I was appointed to the Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Policy and Sub-resolution Committee, and most recently I was asked to participate in the Strategic Planning and School Security committees. I am proud to have obtained all of my NJSBA certifications (Certified Board Member, Master Board Member and Certified Board Leader).
Local Board Activities
- Carlstadt Board of Education, 1990 to 2008, and again from 2012 to 2018. Elected president four times. Member of various committees including finance, negotiations, shared services, building and grounds, and policy. Played a key role in passing a referendum to build the new Carlstadt Public School.
- Carlstadt-East Rutherford Regional Board of Education, 2002 to 2008, and again in 2018. Elected president for two terms. Chair of finance, negotiation, policy, and building and grounds committees. Key involvement in the acquisition of funding through the FAA and Port Authority for the soundproofing of Becton Regional High School.
- Elected to the Bergen County School Boards Association. Served as vice president of legislation from 2012 to 2016.
- President of the Bergen County School Boards Association from 2017 to 2019.
- Appointed to the NJSBA Board of Directors in 2017.
- Named NJSBA School Board Member of the Year, Oct. 2017 to Oct. 2018.
- Appointed to NJSBA’s finance and school security committees.
- NJSBA Vice President for County Activities, 2019 to present.
- East Rutherford High School, East Rutherford, N.J.
- Part-time zoning official, January 2015 to 2020.
- Carlstadt Director of Public Works, January 2014-15.
- Carlstadt Senior Friendship Club, 2013 to present. President, 2016 to 2018.
- Carlstadt VFW and American Legion, 1975 to present.
Tammeisha D. Smith, Vice President for Finance
Candidate statement: I have a passion for education and have exhibited a continued dedication to New Jersey’s 1.4 million students, ensuring they all receive a thorough and efficient education. I support the advancement of public education and promote the achievement of all students through diligent advocacy. With all my years of public service and volunteering in the areas of education, healthcare and social justice for all, I believe I deliver the qualities for a leadership role with the NJSBA and look forward to continuing as the NJSBA vice president for finance. My history of being fully engaged in NJSBA roles and opportunities on local, county and state levels, coupled with my achievements, impressive leadership in business and my community involvement illustrate a true acumen for helping to lead the NJSBA. Lastly, in these unsettling times of increased racial bias, inequities and social injustices, I plan to deliver an emboldened and passionate leadership to our diverse membership, demonstrating that NJSBA executive leadership is truly representative of all the districts it serves. Through my service, I will show NJSBA continues to support and promote increasing the diversity of the NJSBA officers on the Executive Committee and in leadership roles throughout the state. It has been a great experience and tremendous pleasure serving the last two years as the vice president for finance, and I look forward to continuing in that role.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.”– John Quincy Adams
Local Board Activities
- Board member, Knowlton Township Board of Education, Warren County, 2010-2011. Served on the Policy Committee.
- Board Vice President, 2012-2013. Member of finance, policy, and contract negotiations committees. Served as a member of the Delegate Assembly.
- Board President, 2014 to present. Served as a member of the finance, facilities, contract negotiations and community outreach committees. Represented the district as a member of the NJSBA Delegate Assembly.
County Level Positions
- Vice President, Warren County School Boards Association, 2017 to 2019. Served on legislative committee in 2018 (a new committee).
- NJSBA vice president for finance, 2019 to present.
- Legislative and Finance Committees, 2017 to present.
- Certified Board Member, May 2018.
- Master Board Member, April 2020.
- Certified Board Leader, April 2021.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), Trinity College & University.
- Currently semi-retired with ample time to be fully engaged with NJSBA responsibilities on a local, county and state level.
- Chief Executive Officer and Owner: Dunbar Center, Inc. – 2016 – Current
- Insurance Consultant: Foundation Risk Partners – May 2016 – Current
- Governor Appointee to N.J. Department of Health – Office on Minority and Multicultural Health Board Member.
- St. Luke’s University Health Network – Board of Trustees
- Saint Michael’s Medical Center – Community Advisory Board
- United Negro College Fund (UNCF) N.J. Leadership Council
Karen Cortellino, M.D., Vice President for Legislation/Resolutions
Candidate’s statement: I am currently completing my first term as the NJSBA vice president for legislation/resolutions. I have found the experience rewarding. This has been a difficult time, yet I have learned a great deal. I have been privileged to learn of legislative actions in real time. I have had the opportunity to work closely with the competent NJSBA staff and have honed my parliamentarian skills. Prior to my term as an officer, I served in leadership positions on my local school board and in the County Association. I have developed relationships with state legislators in my capacity as president of the Morris County School Boards Association (MCSBA) and as a member of the MCSBA legislative committee, as well as my service as the board president for the Montville Township Board of Education for more than five years. I am seeking a second term, first because I enjoy the work, but also, I believe that consistency in leadership at this difficult time aids the Association. I believe I will be a strong voice and advocate for public schools in our state. I look forward to continuing to serve in this crucial position.
Local Board Activities
- Member Montville Township Board of Education, May 2006 to present.
- Served as board president, May 2010-January 2016.
- Served on every standing board committee and various ad hoc committees.
- Served during four MTEA teacher negotiations.
County Level Activities
- Morris County School Board Association, president, 2013 – present.
- May 2006 to present. Active member.
- May 2008-April 2010 — Board of Directors.
- May 2010-May 2013 – vice president.
- NJSBA vice president for legislation/resolutions, 2019 – present.
- March 2014 – Master Board Member.
- March 2015 – Certificated Board Leader.
- Invited to participate in NJSBA strategic planning.
- Participated in more than a dozen NJSBA committees and training events, including serving as a new board member orientation group leader; serving, since 2008, on the County Association Leadership (CAL) committee; and making Workshop presentations on effective board governance.
- Post Graduate Training: Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Medical School: Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico.
- Undergraduate College: Queens College of the City University of New York, New York.
- Chair, 2018 and 2019 Boy Scouts of America Montville Good Scout Award.
- Board of Trustees Towaco Civic Association.
- Towaco Civic Association named Montville Township Chamber of Commerce 2020 Organization of the Year.
- Charter member Towaco Civic Association.
- Member, One Montville Response Team.
- Executive Board Member, Boy Scouts of America, Patriots Path Council.
- Member, Greater Montville Relay for Life.