The meeting of NJSBA’s Board of Directors took place on Friday, May 15, 2015, at NJSBA hedquarters in Trenton. The agenda included the following:

  • Recognized the following new Board of Director members and alternates: Jennifer Montone, alternate member representing Burlington County; Andrea Olenik-Hipkins, member representing Cape May County, and Mark Bonjavanni, member representing Monmouth County;
  • Administered the Oath of Office to the new Board of Directors members and alternates, as well as members and alternates who did not attend the March 2015 reorganization meeting;
  • Recognized Gail David, who has been elected to move from the alternate member position to the member position representing Camden County;
  • Recognized retiring board member, David Higham, who represented Middlesex County;
  • Approved open session minutes of the March 27, 2015 meeting;
  • Approved the NJSBA Legislative Committee appointments;
  • Approved the use of $300,000 to cover the expenses of implementing elements of the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan; the funds come from the surplus to be realized from the 2014-2015 fiscal year operations;
  • Approved a grant request from the Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey (ELFNJ) to the Alliance for Competitive Energy Services (ACES) in the amount of $30,000 for fiscal year 2015-2016 to serve as programmatic money to enable ELFNJ to provide services in specified program areas;
  • Approved the executive director’s evaluation and contract addendum (2015-2016);
  • Received reports from the president, vice president for county activities, vice president for finance, vice president for legislation/resolutions, and immediate past president;
  • Received an end-of-year report from the executive director on the success of the following NJSBA activities:
      • County school boards associations have experienced a 53 percent increase in attendance since 2013, to 4,000 attendees this year
      • Implemented a sequential leadership training, improved delivery and content of online mandated training, established a permanent Task Force on Training quality, and established certification criteria in the areas of STEM education and sustainable practices
      • The Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program, launched at Workshop 2014, reached a milestone in mid-March with the 100th school joining the program. Two months later, the participation rate has doubled to 200 schools participating.
      • NJSBA joined with Rider University in April in sponsoring a Sustainability Symposium for high school students to learn about sound environmental practices and green careers. NJSBA will conduct its second annual field trip to the NASA Goddard Space Center in Maryland on May 29
      • NJSBA is working with the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations on a project based on research showing that a collaborative relationship between labor and management has a positive impact on student achievement
      • Building partnerships with other educational associations, government officials; high-ranking members of the governor’s staff; the commissioner of education; and legislative leaders, including the Senate President, the Assembly Speaker and the minority leaders of both houses
      • Partnering with the League of Municipalities and the Bloustein School at Rutgers to study the potential impact of pension reform on local school boards and municipalities
      • It was reported that the bill to repeal the superintendent salary cap is making progress. Sponsored by education committee chair Teresa Ruiz and Paul Sarlo, the budget and appropriations chair, the legislation was scheduled to be posted for a vote in the State Senate on Monday (See “Senate Votes to Eliminate Superintendent Salary Cap” article in this edition.)
      • Senate President Sweeney and Senator Tom Kean were recently featuredon Education Matters, NJSBA’s on-line video program
      • NJSBA has a new Grant Support Services program that includes a free searchable database, grant writing services and regular notice of new grant opportunities
      • NJSBA continues to develop alternate revenue sources to membership dues including grants from Investors Bank, New Jersey Manufacturers, Education Testing Service, Marriott and Bristol-Myers Squibb, through ELFNJ
      • Recently created a video that explains the role of local boards of education and the satisfaction of volunteering for this role;
  • Discussed best practices regarding parental involvement with local boards of education;
  • Information items included written reports of the president, vice president for county activities, the vice president for finance, vice president for legislation/resolutions and the immediate past president; association financials; GO/8260R – executive committee members’ expenses; legal case summary, and DA resolutions update.
Three new members of the NJSBA Board of Directors were sworn in at the May 15 meeting. Left to right, Mark Bonjavanni, Howell Township board, Monmouth County representative; Andrea Olenik-Hipkins, Upper Township board, Cape May representative; Jennifer Montone, Burlington City board, Burlington County alternate; and Don Webster, NJSBA president.
NJSBA honored departing board of directors member David Higham, North Brunswick Township board member and representative from Middlesex County at the May 15 meeting.