The first of 2016’s two weekend New Board Member Orientation programs was held last weekend at the Princeton Marriott in Plainsboro. Approximately 100 board members spent Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, attending large and small group sessions on topics including school law, policy, the School Ethics Act, how to improve student achievement, school finance, labor relations, the board-superintendent relationship, and advocacy.
Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director Don Webster Jr., NJSBA president At the head of the table is small group leader Cindy Auberger, member of the Vernon Township board, and the 2008 New Jersey Board Member of the Year. Carl Tanksley, NJSBA counsel, provided an overview of the School Ethics Act and school law. Jean Harkness, NJSBA policy consultant, spoke on school district harassment, intimidation and bullying policy. A small group was led by Kevin Ciak, Sayreville board member, former NJSBA president, and secretary-treasurer of the National School Boards Association; and Anthony Wilcox, Gloucester County Special Services and Vocational School District board member and president, Gloucester County School Boards Association. A small group led by Eileen Miller, Woodstown-Pilesgrove board member and Salem County School Boards Association president. Mary Walter, Manchester Township board member, led one of the small groups that met several times during the weekend. Participants report that one of the most valuable elements of the weekend orientation program is the opportunity to network with other new board members. Front, left to right, Ernie DiFiore, Montvale board; Bianka Butler, North Plainfield board; Dawn Gelsi-Collins, Franklin Township (Gloucester County) board. Back row, left to right: David Cannici, Emerson board, Tim Hack, Pittsgrove Township board; John Reichart, Jersey City board.