Leaders in education share their admiration for Calvin Back, who has served on the Middle Township Board of Education for 60 years, including 30 years as president, in a New Jersey School Boards Association video.
Back, 87, also looks back on his tenure in the video. He recently announced that he won’t be running for reelection, so he can spend more time with his family.
NJSBA believes that back is the longest-serving board member in the state. He won his first school board race in 1962 at age 27, when he was a builder that was part of the construction crew working on the school board’s office.
In the video, Dr. David Salvo, superintendent of schools for Middle Township, said Back’s advice and knowledge of the school district has proved invaluable over the years. “It’s been a great learning experience under Calvin’s leadership, when he was school board president, and it continues to this day,” he said.
Dennis Roberts, president of the Middle Township Board of Education, said it is amazing for someone to have served for so many years, being reelected so many times.
Back said technology has been the biggest change in his years of board service, noting that when he arrived, there were not even electric typewriters let alone computers. “But we got them now,” he said.
As board president, Back oversaw the construction of Middle Township Middle School and Middle Township Elementary School No. 2. In addition to his board service, he was a volunteer firefighter for Cape May Courthouse and was ultimately promoted to chief.
Back is eager to spend more time with his family, including his great-grandchildren.
On June 13, the district honored Back by naming the high school’s performing arts center in his honor.