A number of the New Jersey School Boards Association’s former School Board Members of the Year turned out to celebrate the 2022-2023 winner of the coveted honor: Adam Parkinson, who was president of the West New York Board of Education, at a luncheon at the Association’s headquarters May 3.
Former winners attended in person and virtually, sharing insights on what led them to serve on a local board of education in the first place and congratulating Parkinson on a job well done.
Given annually, the award honors an individual board member who: makes significant contributions to public education; exemplifies leadership in the field of education with a strong commitment to the children of New Jersey; demonstrates a strong commitment to his/her personal and professional development as a board member; and shows active involvement in school governance at the local, county and state levels. (Learn more about the award and its past winners.)
Also in attendance were NJSBA officers, including President Irene LeFebvre; staff; and Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director and CEO of the Association.
“Adam Parkinson has been a tireless supporter of public education in his community,” LeFebvre said. “His district has thrived under his leadership, he has advocated for students at the county and state level, and he has been dedicated to his own professional development as a board member, having been designated a Certified Board Leader by the NJSBA – the highest designation in the Board Member Academy for individual board members.”
She then invited Parkinson to stand next to the Association’s “Wall of Fame,” where each year the portrait of the newest School Board Member of the Year is unveiled alongside the previous winners. The wall includes LeFebvre’s picture, as she was named the Association’s School Board Member of the Year for 2020-2021.
Before the group sat down for lunch, Purnell thanked Parkinson for his “impressive level of focus, energy and insight.” He also expressed his appreciation to all the board members in attendance for their commitment to education and the children of New Jersey.
Purnell also recognized Peggy Saslow, who was named NJSBA’s School Board Member of the Year in 2014, and who will celebrate her 100th birthday next month. Saslow attended the celebration virtually.
Coincidentally, the luncheon also marked Parkinson’s birthday, and the group celebrated with a cake in his honor to mark the occasion.
Parkinson expressed his appreciation to his fellow board members as well as to the NJSBA for recognizing him with the honor.
Recently, Parkinson attended his last meeting as president of his board, as he has resigned ahead of the nonpartisan May 9 municipal elections. He is running for town commissioner on Albio Sires’s ticket, who formerly served in Congress and is running for mayor.
You can learn more about Parkinson and his school board member journey in this profile that was published in School Leader, the quarterly magazine of the New Jersey School Boards Association.