State Board of Education Elects President and Vice President for 2014-15 Academic Year

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Yaple
Rich Vespucci
Date: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – The State Board of Education today elected Mark W. Biedron as president and re-elected Joseph Fisicaro as vice president for the 2014-15 academic year.

A resident of Pottersville in Hunterdon County, Biedron has served on the State Board since 2011.

"The State Board of Education plays an integral role in ensuring every child in New Jersey has access to high-quality schools and is properly prepared upon graduation for the rigors of higher education and the work force," Biedron said. "In my new role as State Board President, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and in the Department of Education, as well as all stakeholders throughout the educational arena, to advance educational policies that promote innovation in our classrooms and inspired learning by our students."

Biedron is founder of The Willow School in Gladstone, and the president and founder of Sustainable Growth Technologies. He holds a bachelor of arts in business administration from the University of Vermont.  He also serves as the chair of the advisory board of the University of Vermont's Rubinstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and previously served as a trustee of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, New York City Outward Bound, and the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education.  He is a member of the U. S. Green Building Council and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Biedron replaces Arcelio Aponte, who served as president for four years and has been on the State Board since 2005. Aponte, who declined to be considered again for the presidency due to increased career demands, will continue to serve on the State Board.

Fisicaro, a resident of Evesham Township in Burlington County, was appointed to the State Board in 2011 and became vice president in September 2013.

"I am honored to have been selected once again by my peers to serve as State Board Vice President," Fisicaro said. "The upcoming academic year surely will provide multiple opportunities for the State Board to consider changes to our education system and to work with educators across the state to ensure the state's education policies enhance student outcomes."

Fisicaro currently is a staff member in the special education unit of the Burlington County Institute of Technology in Medford. Previously, he was a teacher in the Philadelphia School District from 1972 to 2005. He was a member of the Lenape Regional High School District Board of Education from 1993 until 2011, including service as president and vice president. He previously served on the Evesham Township Board of Education from 1988 to 1992, and he was a member of the New Jersey School Boards Association Board of Directors from 2009 to 2011.

Fisicaro holds a master's degree in education from Widener University in Chester, Pa.; a bachelor's in American history from Widener; certification in Italian from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pa.; and K-8 certification from Immaculata College, Immaculata, Pa.

"President Biedron and Vice President Fisicaro are deeply committed to helping advance student achievement," said Acting Education Commissioner David Hespe. "Their enthusiasm for education excellence and their confident leadership will be instrumental in carrying out the State Board's mission."

The State Board is responsible for adopting administrative code, which are the rules that implement education laws governing the state's nearly 2,500 public schools. The 13-member board is appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the New Jersey Senate. Members serve six-year terms without compensation.