Vincent DeLucia, educator-in-residence at the New Jersey School Boards Association, was one of the keynote speakers at a Nov. 30 workshop conducted by the New Jersey School Public Relations Association at the FEA Conference Center in Monroe Township.

DeLucia, the former mayor of South Brunswick and a longtime educator, having served as an administrator in both South Brunswick and North Brunswick, presented a program titled “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” looking back at some of the lessons he has learned while working in politics and in education.

During his talk, DeLucia recalled how he wore a wire for the FBI for seven years to expose political corruption, noting that he “left politics because it was too dirty.” He added, “When it comes to leadership and the things we do, everything has to be deliberate. We have to ensure what we are trying to do is to create community.”

DeLucia noted that “leadership can build walls, or it can build bridges – and our goal is to build bridges, especially as communicators.” He added that it’s incumbent on communicators to build trust with the community. “Every day is a new opportunity to earn trust,” he said. “Unfortunately, if we are not consistent, we lose trust – and once you lose it, it is hard to get it back.”

Also speaking at the conference were Dr. Matthew Murphy, superintendent of Ramsey School District; and Lori Perlow, who attended her last NJSPRA event as chapter president and is the public information officer of Haddon Township School District in Camden County. She recently began a three-year term as the National School Public Relations Association’s Northeast region vice president.

Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director of NJSBA, was also at the event and greeted attendees. He shared how the Association has urged Gov. Phil Murphy and his administration to give school districts additional financial consideration so they can continue the programs he’s put in place as governor. “We are here to continue to help and work alongside you however we can,” Purnell said.

Learn more about the New Jersey School Public Relations Association.