Whether they do it because they want to see changes in the education system locally or because they want to make sure the school district remains the same, school board members donate hours of their time as a service to their communities.
Throughout the state this month, school board members, those volunteers who help make decisions about schools, will be honored by their districts during the New Jersey School Board Association's School Board Recognition Month.
"New Jersey's local boards of education play an essential role in our students' lives. They oversee 586 school districts which, in turn, operate nearly 2,500 public schools and provide educational services to nearly 1.4 million children," the NJSBA website said.
In the state, there are about 4,800 school board members, the NJSBA said. The association has been celebrating members during the month of January for the past 12 years and does so to raise public awareness about the "role and responsibilities of local boards of education."
In school board members have not only been recognized by district leadership this month, but by their colleagues as well. After Board President Dr. Karen Cortellino was sworn in to another term, along with Charles Grau, Board Vice President Matthew Kayne told Cortellino that working alongside her was "awe-inspiring."
At the most recent Montville Township Board of Education meeting on Jan. 15, Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried took a moment to tell the board members how much he and other administrators appreciate their work. Fried said he wanted to honor and thank members of the board "for all of their work, efforts, sincerity and for keeping children first."
"We want to thank all of our board of education leaders tonight for all of their efforts," he said.