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  • Left to right: Dr. Frank Santora, superintendent of schools, Roxbury Township BOE; Bernadette Dalesandro, Morris County School Boards Association president; Leo Coakley, 2024 Irene LeFebvre Excellence in Boardsmanship Award recipient and president of Roxbury Township BOE; Karen Cortellino, M.D., 2022 Irene LeFebvre Excellence in Boardsmanship Award Recipient and NJSBA president; Irene LeFebvre, immediate past president of NJSBA and Morris County School Boards Association; Michael Bertram, 2023 Irene LeFebvre Excellence in Boardsmanship Award Recipient and MCSBA second vice president for legislation.

In 2022, the Morris County School Boards Association established the Irene M. LeFebvre Excellence in Boardsmanship Award, named in honor of the long-term Morris County board of education member, Morris County School Boards Association Executive Committee member, and the then-sitting NJSBA president, Irene M. LeFebvre.

The award was established to honor a sitting member of a board of education in Morris County who exemplifies LeFebvre’s dedication, leadership and commitment to the children of her town and Morris County. An impartial committee of board members outside Morris County reviews the year’s nominees to choose the one that best exemplifies LeFebvre’s leadership, dedication and commitment. The nominee must show evidence of leadership in their district and a commitment to personal and professional development.

The 2024 Irene LeFebvre Excellence in Boardsmanship Award recipient is Leo Coakley, president of the Roxbury Township District Board of Education.

An excerpt from Coakley’s nomination included, “Leo leads by example, would never ask anyone to do anything he would not ask of himself, and has an aura of integrity. It seems as if Leo plans his life around the meetings, rarely misses a meeting, and is completely committed to the students, the staff, and the entire school district. As I have said (not to his face), I believe Leo bleeds Blue and Gold.”