The New Jersey School Boards Association’s board of directors met in-person and virtually on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.  President Karen Cortellino, M.D. presided over the meeting from the Association’s headquarters in Trenton.  Immediate Past President Irene LeFebvre and Vice Presidents Dr. Tom Connors and Chanta L. Jackson also participated in the meeting from Association headquarters.  Executive Director Dr. Timothy J. Purnell provided his report to the board at headquarters.

The board of directors approved the following items:

  • NJSBA 2022-2023 Annual Audit Report.
  • Open session minutes of the Sept. 22, 2023, board of directors meeting.

Executive Director’s Report: Purnell addressed NJSBA activities, and the progress made in enabling school districts to meet the challenges presented to them, as well as efforts to ensure members continue to benefit from essential training, advocacy and direct service.

NJSBA Finances: NJSBA’s independent audit for fiscal year 2022-2023 reflects positively on the Association’s business and financial operations and was unanimously approved by the board of directors.

Workshop 2023: Workshop 2023 was held about a month before the meeting. The registration count, exhibitor count and district attendance count were all higher than last year, with 8,200 confirmed attendees at Workshop. Feedback received from attendee and vendor surveys has been excellent and is an indication of how hard the NJSBA staff worked to make the conference a wonderful experience. There was a 6% spike in Instagram followers and a 3.8% spike in LinkedIn followers during the event. 

New to Workshop was the “Unsung Superheroes in Education” awards. These awards shined a light on the individuals who work diligently behind the scenes and are often overlooked. Staff members in the following categories were honored: librarian/media specialists; coaches and club advisers; school nurses; bus drivers and aides; custodial, maintenance, building and grounds staff; cafeteria/food services; crossing guards; security guards; administrative assistants and secretaries; and others who play vital roles in the daily lives of our educational institutions. More than 200 nominations from 112 districts were received. NJSBA looks forward to next year’s awards and is proud to make this program a permanent addition to Workshop.

NJSBA Personnel Update: Three staff members have been added since the September board of directors meeting: two additional field service representatives, Kelly Mitchell for Passaic and Sussex counties and Dr. Timothy Teehan for Monmouth County; and the business administrator-in-residence, Charlie Muller. NJSBA is still actively recruiting for several other positions. 

The Boardroom Podcast: Purnell will be hosting a new monthly podcast series, “The Boardroom,” which will feature live and transparent conversations with board members. Each month, a senior staff member will join Purnell to highlight specific topics and answer any questions related to their subject area. Purnell will also be available to answer questions that board members may have related to NJSBA via call-in and chat room questions. The podcast will run from September to May and be held live the second Wednesday of each month, from noon to 1 p.m. It will be recorded and archived for later listening. The first podcast will take place Jan. 10 and will cover mandated training with Marcia Lavigne, the Association’s director of professional learning.

Recognition of Retiring Members

The following retiring members were recognized for their service to the NJSBA and the students of New Jersey: Stephanie Wohlrab, member for Ocean County; and Mattia Scharfstein, alternate for County Association Leadership.

The following new members and alternates and re-elected members and alternates were introduced.

New members:

  • Bergen County Alternate – Behrooz (Bruce) Pasdar, Emerson Board of Education.
  • Ocean County Member – Jennifier Bacchione, Berkeley Township Board of Education.
  • County Association Leadership Alternate – Tammeisha Smith, Knowlton Township Board of Education.
  • Urban Boards Alternate – Sheri Lowery, Pemberton Township Board of Education.

Re-elected members:

  • Urban Boards Member – Diane Johnson.
  • County Association Leadership Member – Michael Jacobs (from Bergen County, alternate).

The board of directors also received reports from the president, vice president for county activities, vice president for finance, vice president for legislation/resolutions and immediate past president, and detailed reports from NJSBA staff on advocacy and legislation.

Information items included Association financials, legal case summary, member dues update 2023-2024, NJSBA Delegate Assembly update and written reports from officers.