In honor of New Jersey’s 21st annual School Board Recognition Month, the NJSBA will release an online video series, “Two Centuries of Service,” featuring interviews with longtime board members who share their decades of experiences in office.

The three shows will be aired on NJSBA’s YouTube video show, Education Matters, and are intended to raise public awareness of the role and responsibilities of local boards of education members and to help school officials, particularly new ones, learn from their veteran peers. Ray Pinney, director of NJSBA’s county activities and member engagement, hosted the virtual sessions.

On the first episode, airing this week, Jeffrey Fischer and Richard “Dick” C. Morris, Jr. discuss their challenges and the changes that they have experienced during their decades serving on their local boards, and why they have chosen to keep at it.

The guest lineup includes the following:

Tuesday, Jan. 18

Jeffrey Fischer

      • 48 years of service.
      • Former NJSBA president and Passaic County School Boards Association president.
      • Manchester Regional High School Board of Education (9th through 12th grades, regional), Passaic County.
      • Previously served on the Haledon Board of Education, which sends students to Manchester (pre-k through 8th grade).

Richard “Dick” C. Morris, Jr. 

      • 41 years of school board service.
      • Alloway Township Board of Education, Salem County (pre-K through 8th grade), current board president; served as vice president and president.
      • Also serves as the sending Alloway Township representative to the Woodstown-Pilesgrove School Board for 17 years (pre-K through 12th grade).
      • Alloway graduate and grandfather of an Alloway student.
      • 40 years as Upper Pittsgrove School District (K-8) teacher, Salem County.
      • Former district representative to Salem County School Boards Association.

Monday, Jan. 24

Jay Wilson Hughes

      • 46 years of service.
      • Elk Township Board of Education, Gloucester County (pre-K through 6th grade).
      • Serves on local planning board and fire department.

Betty Wright

      • 35 years of service.
      • Former Burlington County School Boards Association treasurer.
      • Served 23 consecutive years as president of the Southampton Board of Education, Burlington County (pre-K through 8th grade); vice president prior to that; currently board vice president.
      • Retired bank manager.
      • Former PTA president for four years and honored with lifetime membership.
      • Children attended school in the district.

Monday, Jan. 31

Rona McNabola

      • 35 years of service.
      • Former member of the NJSBA Board of Directors and Bergen County School Boards Association president.
      • Glen Rock Board of Education (pre-K through 12th grade), Bergen County.
      • Former NJSBA group leader and delegate.
      • Former New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association president.

Eleanore Shaffer

      • 48 years of service.
      • Kittatinny Regional Board of Education (7th through 12th grades, regional) Sussex County.
      • Also a member of the Hampton Township Board of Education (pre-K through 6th grade).

Visit the School Board Recognition Month web page for resources and ways local districts can recognize the members in their districts.