Morris County Republican is New Jersey School Board Member of the Year

Bernadette Dalesandro, Netcong board president and the NJSBA’s 2023-2024 School Board Member of the Year with Dr Karen Cortellino, president of NJSBA.

Bernadette Dalesandro, president of the Netcong Board of Education and the Morris County School Boards Association, is this year’s New Jersey School Board Member of the Year. 

A Republican registered to vote in Morris County, Dalesandro was recognized with one of the NJSBA’s highest honors at a surprise ceremony at a Netcong Board of Education meeting in Netcong on Oct. 17. 

Each year since 2005, the NJSBA has given out the award to recognize a local board of education member whose work has had a positive impact on the education of children in his or her community and the state. An independent, out-of-state panel reviews the nominations and identifies the winner.

“Bernadette Dalesandro is a shining example of what it means to be a great board member,” said Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director and CEO of NJSBA. “Not only has she faithfully served the Netcong Board of Education, she also has taken a leadership role at the county level, serving as president of the Morris County School Boards Association, where she has done additional work to promote student achievement and the efficiency of individual boards. I congratulate her on being our School Board Member of the Year.” 

She began her board service at the Lenape Valley Regional High School District in 1995 and joined the Netcong Board of Education five years later, serving as a board member of two districts concurrently until 2005 – all while being a full-time Marine, according to a nomination letter. She retired from the Marines after 25 years of service.  

In her years of service to the Netcong Board of Education, Dalesandro helped the district pass a referendum and has been instrumental in enabling the district to integrate technology into the curriculum, in implementing a day preschool program, and ensuring staff get training. 

She has also been involved in advancing board governance at the state level, serving as a delegate to the NJSBA and as vice president and president of the Morris County School Boards Association. 

She was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the New Jersey Education Foundation Partnership in 2019 for her service and dedication in helping the Netcong Education Foundation advance its mission of enhancing the educational experience of all Netcong schoolchildren by providing financial support and other resources to supplement programs and activities. 

Dalesandro will be honored on Oct. 24 during this year’s NJSBA Workshop in Atlantic City.

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