Essex County School Board Association Recognizes Newark Board Members for Completing Certifications

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Board Certifications are part of Newark Board’s effort to move district toward local control

Board Member Certifications
(From left to right) Board members Marques-Aquil Lewis, Chair Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, Dashay Carter and Leah Owens are presented with their respective certifications

[Newark, NJ – April 7, 2017] On Thursday, April 6, the Essex County School Board Association (SBA) recognized six Newark Board of Education members for achieving Board Certifications. Board Chair Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson and Marques-Aquil Lewis completed the Master Board Member (MBM) Certification, while Donald Jackson, Jr. and Philip Seelinger, Jr. became Certificated Board Members (CBM). Leah Owens and Dashay Carter completed the New Board Member (NBM) Certification. These awards align with goals in the District’s Strategic Plan to develop skilled governance by continuing to build Board expertise in preparation for gaining and maintaining local control.

“I want to congratulate all Newark Board members who completed their certifications,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools (NPS). “Obtaining board certifications requires a significant amount of time and commitment, and helps our board members become better leaders. I want to thank our board members for their service and for all that they do to give Newark’s children access to an excellent education.”

The MBM Certification helps members cultivate leadership skills that will assist them in their role on the Board of Education. In order to receive the MBM certification, the board member must: earn a Certified Board Member (CBM) Certification, accumulate a total of 40 credits, not have violated the School Ethics Act, attend a variety of meetings and workshops, and attend programs in at least three core content areas.

“Newark’s school board members invest in achieving New Jersey School Board Association certifications because we take our responsibilities seriously. We are committed to ongoing professional development as a foundation for using best practices to serve the students and families of Newark,” said Board Chair Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson. “The participation of our school board in ongoing training is exemplary. How extraordinary is it that 6 of our board members, Marques-Aquil Lewis, Donald Jackson, Jr. Philip Seelinger, Jr., Leah Owens, Dashay Carter, and I are honored at the same time for completing recent certifications. I am confident that this tradition of learning will continue and will serve the Board well as we prepare the district and the community for local control.”

The NBM Certification offers professional development opportunities for new board members and the CBM Certification program gives members comprehensive training in the essential governance skills needed to carry out their responsibilities. The requirements for both certifications build up to those required for the Master Board Member certification.

The Newark School Board consists of nine members who are locally elected to the Board for three-year terms. Representing different professional backgrounds and parts of the city, members are charged with reviewing and voting on a wide range of NPS policies and actions that impact NPS students.