No other organization can provide information on school law, labor relations, policy and governance better than the New Jersey School Boards Association.  I discovered that fact early in my career as a district superintendent, and it’s been confirmed during my past six months as NJSBA’s executive director.

Still, a nagging question remained about the scope of our information services: Where do school board members turn when they have questions about curriculum and instruction?

Up to now, if you called NJSBA with a curriculum-related question—such as “We’re thinking of implementing a new first-grade reading program.  What can you tell us about it?”—we did not have a specialist to provide the answer.

That situation changed this week with the appointment of Vincent R. DeLucia as NJSBA’s educator-in-residence.  Following an extensive search, this outstanding educator was selected to fill this needed position.

Vince brings a strong and impressive background to the NJSBA staff.  His educational experience spans more than 25 years in our state’s public schools, including administrative leadership positions in curriculum, instruction and professional development, as well as service as a principal and a classroom teacher.

In 1994, he was among the first 89 teachers in the United States to earn National Board Certification in Early Adolescence-English/Language Arts.  National Board Certification, established in 1987, involves a rigorous, peer-reviewed process, requiring recipients to possess proven skills and knowledge necessary to advance student achievement.  It is likened to certification in fields such as medicine.  It is not easy to attain: Out of more than 7 million teachers in the United States, less than one-and-a-half percent have earned National Board Certification.

Last November, when I was introduced to the NJSBA membership at our Annual Workshop, I expressed my goal to establish an educator-in-residence, someone who could guide local school boards and administrators on educational issues.  The function is more critical than ever.  New requirements in the areas of teacher evaluation, academic standards and testing are driving discussions in Trenton and in the local school board meeting room.

In his role as educator-in-residence, Vincent DeLucia will assist board members in fulfilling their responsibilities to advance student achievement.  He will serve as an information resource, play a central role in NJSBA training, and work with local school leaders in developing goals for their instructional programs.

Additionally, Vince will serve as NJSBA’s contact with the state Department of Education regarding curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

I firmly believe that, as an educational organization with a core mission to advance student achievement, NJSBA needs to be a resource on the development of curriculum, its implementation, and assessment.

Our new educator-in-residence is here to provide that service.  You can contact Vince toll free at 1-888-886-5722, Ext. 5236, on his cell phone at (609) 468-2070 or by email at [email protected].

These are my Reflections. I look forward to hearing yours. Contact me at [email protected]