• Essex County Board of Education members are recognized for their New Board Member Boardmanship Certification, which they received through the NJSBA Board Member Academy. Also pictured are Reginald Bledsoe, ECSBA president; Benjamin Morse, NJSBA board of directors' delegate; Kathryn Weller-Demming, NJSBA board of directors alternate; and Charlene Peterson, NJSBA senior field service representative. The board members in photo, from left to right, are Parul Aneja Khemka, Livingston BOE; Michael Louis Derro, Belleville BOE; Diana Ferrera, Verona BOE; Medinah Muhammad, East Orange BOE; and Denise Verzella, Verona BOE.

The Essex County School Boards Association met May 9 at the Glen Ridge Country Club in Glen Ridge.

ECSBA President Reginald Bledsoe (who serves on the Essex County Schools of Technology Board of Education) called the meeting to order and welcomed the attendees, virtually and in person, to the year’s final ECSBA meeting. Charlene Peterson, senior field service representative at the New Jersey School Boards Association, delivered an update, as did Jonathan Pushman, director of governmental relations at NJSBA. Peterson also introduced Jeanne Cleary, field service representative at NJSBA, who will work directly with Essex County school districts.

Christopher Jennings, principal at Bloomfield High School in the Bloomfield School District, introduced Shamshadeen Mayers, the 2023-2024 Essex County Teacher of the Year. He shared a powerful message, highlighting how stakeholder collaboration, diversity and inclusivity improve public education.

Robert Acerra, county activities coordinator at NJSBA, presented the milestone awards and all NJSBA board member academy certification recognitions, acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the board of education members in Essex County. After the recognitions, Benjamin Morse, NJSBA board of directors’ delegate, shared a comprehensive report of the NJSBA board of directors meeting.