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The Verona Board of Education in Essex County recently earned its Board Certification, joining its county colleagues in Bloomfield, Livingston, Millburn, Newark, Roseland, South Orange-Maplewood, West Essex, West Orange, Roseville Community Charter School and the Marion P. Thomas Charter School in earning the prestigious credential.

This is the first time the Verona Board of Education has earned its Board Certification. Some of its former and current members had a vision to earn recognition for the board’s commitment to effective governance and the hard work its members have done on behalf of their students.

During these past four years, the board hired a superintendent, invited the Verona community to assist in the development of a five-year strategic plan and committed to regular training opportunities to ensure it stayed focused on the foundations of ethics, evaluation of the superintendent, and a review of the board self-evaluation. The board also had an engaging board retreat where members shared their “why” for this meaningful work and expressed pride and gratitude for being part of their Verona board team. There is no doubt that the focus of these board members is on student achievement.

To earn the Board Certification in four years, a board must complete 16 hours of training together, and have a policy wellness check done to ensure its policies are up to date. It also must submit a bargaining agreement to NJSBA’s Labor Relations team and demonstrate board effectiveness through its self-evaluation and the governance portion of QSAC. All members must be current on their mandatory training.

Charlene Peterson, a senior field service representative at the NJSBA, and Jeanne Clearly, field service representative at NJSBA, present the Board Certification to (from left to right) Jorge Cruz, business administrator/board secretary, Verona School District; Lisa Freschi, former president and member, Verona Board of Education; Diana Ferrera, board member; Diane DiGiuseppe, superintendent of schools, Verona School District; Reese Sahadow, student representative on the board; Pamela Priscoe, board president; and Denise Verzella, board vice president.