The New Jersey School Boards Association’s board of directors met in-person and virtually on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. President Irene LeFebvre presided over the meeting from the Association’s headquarters in Trenton. Immediate Past President Michael McClure and Vice Presidents Bruce Young, Tammeisha Smith, and Dr. Karen Cortellino also participated in the meeting from Association headquarters.  Executive Director Dr. Timothy J. Purnell provided his report to the board from headquarters.

The board of directors approved the following items:

  • Extension of payment of dues for BOD members’ boards.
  • Annual ACES grant request from ELFNJ,
  • Open session minutes of the May 13, 2022, meeting.
  • Closed session minutes of the May 13, 2022, meeting.
  • Legislative Committee appointments.
  • Resolution Subcommittee appointments.
  • Board of director representatives to the 2022-2023 NJSBA Nominating Committee.

Executive Director’s Report Purnell addressed NJSBA activities and the progress made in enabling school districts to meet the challenges presented to them, including those of the public health crisis and ensuring that members continue to benefit from essential training, advocacy and direct service.

Financial Report  About 92% of the annual dues for the 2022-2023 fiscal year have been paid, as of Sept. 23 – a measure of member satisfaction with the services delivered to boards and a vote of confidence in NJSBA that it will continue meeting the needs of its members. The books on fiscal year 2021-2022 have been closed and the net income came in at $571,000 above budget. The NJSBA auditors have completed their fieldwork for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and the Audit Committee, which met prior to this meeting, received a draft report. The board of directors will receive the final audit for approval at an upcoming meeting.

Workshop 2022 The first in-person Workshop in three years is only one month away.  As of Sept. 22, there are 409 districts and 4,604 individuals registered. Union and Hudson counties both have 100% of their boards of education registered with Essex County and Morris County close behind. NJSBA will be welcoming more than 275 vendors back to the Exhibit Hall and will have more than 250 training programs. Sessions will cover a variety of topics, including school security, special education, school law, crisis communications, labor relations, policy, student mental health and more. The full agenda can be found on the NJSBA Workshop website. All four courses of mandated training – Gov. 1, 2, 3 and 4 – will be offered so members can fulfill their training requirements. There will be a Legislative Update, including the chair of both the Assembly and Senate education committees. The acting commissioner of education, members of the State Board, and the student representative to the State Board will also be featured at Workshop. NJSBA is introducing a new Student Innovation Showcase on the Exhibit Floor featuring a student art gallery and student films from the 2022 Garden State Film Festival. This year’s keynote speaker will be Jon Staff, co-founder and CEO of Getaway and the author of the book Getting Away: Everyday Practices for Finding Balance in Our Always-On World. The book discusses the importance of unplugging and reconnecting with what really matters on a regular basis.

Strategic Plan Progress 2022  Purnell provided an update on the progress of the strategic plan. Titled, “Framework for the Future,” the plan was approved by the board of directors last November and it has five goal areas. The goal areas and objectives were developed by the Strategic Plan Committee, which was comprised of board members and NJSBA staff. NJSBA staff and the previous executive director guided the development of the action items. Purnell briefly demonstrated how NJSBA’s initiatives and responses to changing events fulfilled some of these action items by holding a series of programs on school security initiatives; tools to educate your public and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program advocacy initiative.

Nominating Committee Elections Article X, Section 3 of the NJSBA Bylaws requires that the Nominating Committee be established prior to the May Delegates Meeting.

Governance and Operations File Code 84624 outlines the composition of the Nominating Committee. Board of directors’ members of the Nominating Committee shall be elected, one each from the four geographical areas. In order to meet the deadlines prior to the May Delegate Assembly, the board of directors elected its representatives at the Sept. 23 meeting.

  • Northwest Area (Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren): Marie Bilik, Green Township Board of Education, Sussex County.
  • Northeast Area (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union): Michael Jacobs, Ridgefield Board of Education, Bergen County.
  • Central Area (Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean): Erica Campbell, Palmyra Board of Education, Burlington County.
  • Southern Area (Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem): Diane Johnson, Pennsauken Board of Education, Camden County.

Recognition of Retiring and New Members

The following retiring members were recognized for their service to the NJSBA and the students of New Jersey: Richard Casey, member for Ocean County and Emily Cannon, member for Salem County.

The following new members and alternates and reelected members and alternates were introduced. All members attending took the oath of office.

New Members:

  • Essex County Alternate: Kathryn Weller-Demming, Montclair Board of Education.
  • Salem County Member: Eileen Miller, Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional Board of Education.
  • Union County Alternate: Dr. Brittany Kirkland, Roselle Park Board of Education.

Re-elected Members and Alternates:

  • Morris County Member and Alternate: Paul Breda and Diane Morris.
  • Ocean County Member: Stephanie Wohlrab (appointed to fill member vacancy from alternate position).
  • Sussex County Member and Alternate: Marie Bilik and Ronald Hoffman.
  • Union County Member: J. Brendan Galligan.

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 and Workshop 2022.

Information items included Association financials, legal case summary, NJSBA Delegate Assembly update – November 2022, NSBA DA resolutions, member dues update 2022-2023, and written reports from officers.