At its May 24 meeting, the Passaic County School Boards Association honored the distinguished service of the late John Vander Molen, who was vice president of the Manchester Regional High School Board of Education when he died on May 11.

A resident of Prospect Park, Passaic County, Vander Molen, 76, also was active with the Passaic County School Boards Association. He served on the New Jersey School Boards Association’s Board of Directors and was a member of the NJSBA’s Legislative Committee.

“For 46 years—and that length of time tells an incredible story of commitment that is truly amazing—he devoted his time and energy to public education, and we are all the better for it,” said NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod during the meeting of the county association.

“John and I had numerous discussions about how schools need to reach every student, and what it means to ensure that every child reaches his or her potential,” Feinsod added. “His passion and caring was, quite simply, inspiring. We will always cherish his memory.”

Active as a board of education member since the mid-1970s, he was a postal worker for 44 years, and he was proud to know nearly everyone on his route.

The resolution adopted by the Passaic County School Boards Association on May 24 reads, in part:

WHEREAS,  John Vander Molen served for 46 years as a school board member on the Prospect Park and Manchester Regional Boards of Education and during that time was a strong advocate for the students; and

WHEREAS , John Vander Molen was not only an active school board member locally, but was  an active member of the Passaic County School Boards Association (PCSBA), serving as an officer for the county association and attending those meetings for 46 years; and

WHEREAS , John Vander Molen also was an active member of the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) serving on the NJSBA Board of Directors representing Passaic County, as well as later serving on the NJSBA Legislative Committee representing the 35th legislative district. In addition, John also served one term as NJSBA’s Vice President for Finance; and

WHEREAS , John Vander Molen was an advocate for board member training and had achieved the highest level of training certification that NJSBA offers as a Certified Board Leader;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Passaic County School Boards Association recognizes John Vander Molen posthumously for his outstanding contributions to public education not only in Passaic County but in all of New Jersey; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the PCSBA would like to acknowledge that John was a truly dedicated public servant; and be it further

RESOLVED that the PCSBA extends condolences to the entire Vander Molen family and thanks them for sharing him with the rest of the county.