Lakeland Regional Board of Education member Daniel Sinclair was elected president of the New Jersey School Boards Association during the organization’s semi-annual Delegate Assembly on Saturday at Mercer County Community College. Sinclair previously served on the Wanaque Board of Education, including six years as its president. He will serve a two-year term in the volunteer position of NJSBA president.

Sinclair has a total of 18 years of experience as a local school board member. He was elected by acclamation by the 156 local school board representatives at the meeting.

In his acceptance speech, Sinclair told the delegates he will continue NJSBA’s progress in the areas of board member training and education advocacy. At the same time, he indicated his desire to also focus on the needs of the non-college-bound student.

“Over the last several decades, financial constraints and other restrictions have greatly reduced, or eliminated, program options for the non-college-bound learner,” he said. “This issue affects a large number of students and must be addressed immediately if our schools are to prepare all of our learners to be job-ready upon graduation.”

Sinclair served as NJSBA’s vice president for county activities since 2014. Prior to that, he was a member of the NJSBA Board of Directors for six years, and he chaired the NJSBA Training Task Force. He has also served on numerous NJSBA committees, and holds the designations of Certificated Board Member, Master Board Member and Certified Board Leader through the Association’s Board Member Academy.

He has served as a group trainer at NJSBA orientation programs for newly-elected and newly-appointed school board members.

Sinclair succeeds Donald Webster Jr., of Manchester Township, Ocean County, who now assumes the role of NJSBA Immediate Past President.

The NJSBA delegates also elected the following local school boards members to officer positions by acclamation: Vice President for County Activities –  Christy Tighe, of Greenwich Township, Warren County; Vice President for Finance – Michael R. McClure of Maple Shade, Burlington County, who was re-elected to a second term; and Vice President for Legislation/Resolutions – Brandon J. Pugh, of Moorestown, Burlington County.

Sinclair, the new NJSBA president, graduated from Rowan University and received his master’s degree from William Paterson University. He is retired as a cooperative industrial education coordinator with the Bergen County Special Services and Technical School, a position he held for 39 years.

“NJSBA is fortunate to have such a strong Executive Committee at its helm,” said NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod following the meeting.

“Don Webster’s service as president over the past two-and-a-half years has been invaluable to the growth of our Association,” he said. “Don is a true champion for the students of New Jersey and our state’s school board members.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with our new president Dan Sinclair in his previous role as vice president for county activities. Spending most of his adult life as an educator and the last 18 years as a board member, our new president knows education and cares deeply about New Jersey’s public school students. That is crystal clear.

“We also look forward to working with our newest officers, Brandon Pugh, vice president for legislation/resolutions, and Christy Tighe, vice president for county activities. Both of these individuals are committed board members who understand the critical role of governance and its impact on student achievement.”

Delegate Assembly Considers Two Resolutions The representatives voted on two proposed resolutions for changes to NJSBA’s Manual of Positions and Policies on Education.

One, from the Edison Township Board of Education in Middlesex County proposed new policy language stating that NJSBA believed that New Jersey charter schools erode the operations of public education by draining badly-needed financial resources. The representatives voted to send the matter for further study to an NJSBA committee. The committee’s recommendations will be presented to the group at the next Delegate Assembly, in November 2017.

The other resolution, from the Waterford Township board in Camden County, was rejected by the group. The resolution had requested that NJSBA adopt a policy stating its belief that existing New Jersey state law should be amended by the Legislature to allow for a shared superintendent for no minimum time period and to be done on an as-needed basis. The recommendation of the Resolutions Subcommittee stating that NJSBA believes that a local board of education should have the legal authority to enter into a shared superintendent arrangement with another board of education on a limited, short-term basis when unforeseen or emergent circumstances give rise to a temporary vacancy at the chief school administrator position was adopted.

The delegates also adopted the recommendations of the School Finance Committee, Special Education Committee and the Task Force on Student Achievement.